All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

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All We Ever Wanted
by Emily Giffin
400 pages
Ballantine Books (June 26, 2018)
Free copy provided by publisher

A huge fan of Emily Giffin's work, I am certainly not surprised by the quality of her writing in this newest release, All We Ever Wanted; the subject matter and story line were somewhat surprising, pleasantly, and I appreciate that Giffin has taken a step away from the territory of her previous novels and moved into a timely, relatable contribution that I think many, including new readers of her work, will enjoy. 

We were no slouches - my dad wrote for the Bristol Herald Courier and my mom was a retired fourth-grade teacher - but we were squarely middle class, and our idea of living large was everyone ordering dessert at a nonchain restaurant.

While I usually think of Giffin, now a hugely successful author, as part of the "elite" crowd (maybe privileged is a better word?) about which she writes in All We Ever Wanted, I commend her ability to bring awareness to the difficult circumstances involved when a member of the non-elite crowd is forced to confront those who enjoy a different level of privilege after suffering a traumatic experience. Readers should note that the topics of sexual abuse and rape are included in this novel. 

Was I intimidated? No. Was I jealous? Not at all. Did I begrudge them their fortune? I really didn’t think so. My problem, I decided as I eyed the doorbell, was that it was just so predictable that the rich boy did the shitty thing to the poor girl, and I hated being part of that cliché.

There were some portions of the story line, and a few characters, that were challenging for me; I felt like the story was on point, especially in the first half, but there was a little too much of the cattiness between parents and cheating spouses and I felt like it diminished the importance of the overall themes of the novel. If I'd known to expect more of a Real Housewives vibe, I might have been better prepared; nevertheless, I will always be an Emily Giffin fan and this is definitely a worthwhile read. 

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