Sunday, November 22, 2015

All of Us and Everything

All of Us and Everything by Bridget Asher
Random House: 11/24/15
eBook review copy, 352 pages
ISBN-13: 9780385343930

All of Us and Everything by Bridget Asher is a recommended book about an eccentric, dysfunctional family of women.

Augusta Rockwell was an eccentric mother as far as her three daughters are concerned. Esme, Liv, and Ru all grew up hearing that their absent father was a spy and couldn't have any contact with them for their safety. Their mother devoted her life to starting movements, unsuccessfully. Now all of their lives are in flux and weathering storms that will bring them home and, once there, they are going to learn some truths about themselves and their absent father.

Augusta survives a literal storm, Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane leads to the discovery of some letters that are given to Augusta. At the same time Esme and her teenage daughter, Atty, are reeling from their husband/father running off with his dentist in France. Atty is hyper-connected to social media and tweets incessantly. Liv is done with yet another marriage and needs to go to rehab. Ru, after one best-selling book, has left the country to do research for another book, but may just be trying to escape her engagement. All the daughters head home, ostensibly to help Augusta recover from the storm.

Really, most of the storm recovery consists of airing the emotional baggage they have all been carrying for years. None of the sisters really like each other or their mother. Augusta is an eccentric, but not as crazy as the girls imply. Augusta was a wealthy single mother, so the girls grew up in a safe, secure environment. I couldn't help but think that all of the damage they claim as a direct result of their childhood was not necessarily as awful as they claim.  Okay, some things were explained as unknown outside interference, but still... Stuff happens. You move on. While I basically liked this book, I had a hard time feeling a lot of empathy for any of the characters - with the exception of Atty.

This is an entertaining, light novel. You are going to be able to read it quickly and follow the action and the quirky emotional angst of all the characters. Even though I didn't connect with any of the characters, I was interested in what happened to them and what they learned about their father, and in the process their mother. The writing is decent, though some of the dialogue felt forced.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of
Random House for review purposes.

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