Title: All We Ever Wanted
Author: Emily Giffin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Page Count: 352
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
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.
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin is an emotional tale that is very fitting in today’s social media obsessed age. One drunken night leads to a risque photo being passed around of a young teenage girl leading to the characters all dealing with the situation from their own points of views.
Nina Browning is the mother of the boy accused of taking the photograph and is appalled at his behavior. Nina came from a middle class family and while happy her family doesn’t want for anything she’s also somewhat ashamed of their wealth at times. She desperately wants her son to see that what he did was not right and not hide behind his father or their money.
Tom Volpe is the single working class father of the teenager Lyla who was the subject of the photo. Tom is furious that the incident happened but Lyla is only concerned with fitting into the rich crowd at her school and doesn’t want her father to make a scene and embarrass her further.
The book follows Nina, Tom and Lyla and changes the point of view between them as the incident unfolds to see how they all cope with what had happened. The author did a wonderful job conveying just how each person was feeling and their prospective on what was going on making it feel as if we were there witnessing the events with them and the effect it was having on each family throughout. It was wonderful to watch each grow and learn from their own mistakes and those of others in the story. Definitely a book I’d recommend checking out.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Emily Giffin is the author of eight internationally bestselling novels: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With, Heart of the Matter, Where We Belong, The One & Only, and First Comes Love. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and three children.