My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4 timely stars to All We Ever Wanted! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
When Emily Giffin releases a new book, it’s a big deal, and I think All We Ever Wanted is her best book yet!
That said, All We Ever Wanted gets off to a rocky start. The first chapter is narrated by Nina who escaped her middle class roots to live amongst Nashville’s wealthiest. I was worried over-the-top grandeur would take center stage in this book, but it did not. Nina’s son, Finch (no offense to any Finches of the world, but that name made me giggle a few times!), has been accepted to Princeton.
The next chapter is narrated by Tom, a single dad working multiple jobs to raise his willful daughter, Lyla, who earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, where she rubs elbows with the most privileged kids in town, including Finch, of course. We also hear from Lyla as a narrator.
Everything is going well until a photo goes viral. Amid all this scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are left holding the bag. How will they move past what happened? What is the right thing to do?
All We Ever Wanted is timely because we hear most every day a story where a teen, or even adult, has made a mistake on social media, one that could have a lasting impact on that person and their family, and even their community. I enjoyed hearing from the different points of view, and where the truth actually lies is anyone’s guess.
Additionally, Giffin addressed race and class biases, and there were unexpected twists to the story. All in all, All We Ever Wanted was a powerful and emotional journey. I highly recommend if you are looking for a summer read with plenty of substance and much to think about.
Thank you to Random House/Ballantine for an advance copy. All We Ever Wanted will be published on June 26, 2018.
In the riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of First Comes Love and Something Borrowed, three very different people must choose between their family and their values.
Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.
Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.
Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving.
Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.
At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.