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