Review: Everything we ever Wanted

Why I picked it: I had just finished reading a few very dark novels and wanted to return to my comfort zone, family drama seems to be something I keep coming back to.

Synopsis: How do you choose between your family and your history?

A late-night phone call on a Sunday evening rarely brings good news. So when Sylvie, a recently-widowed mother of two, receives a call from the head teacher of the school she's on the board of, she knows it won't be something she wants to hear. The school was founded by her grandfather, and she's inherited everything he strived to build up - a reputation, a heritage, the school and the grand old family house. And with this inheritance comes responsibility.

Type: Fiction

Quick Take: At the surface this is a perfect choice for me.  After reading two novels by Shepard it's fair to say she writes with the same level of detail as Jennifer Haigh.  It felt like I knew the characters for years by the midpoint of the novel and the second half moves quickly.

I would have loved to spend more time with Joanna.  She was the most interesting character for me. Starting with her childhood obsession, fueled by her mother, she marries into a specific family... thinking her life will change significantly. 

Her obsession with her husband's high school sweetheart starts to unravel the life she's so carefully built.  Always feeling like an outsider in her husbands life, she stands on the periphery watching a family secret start to works its way to the surface. 

Even a few days after finishing this book I'm left wanting to know what happens to Joanna and Charles (after the novel ends), this is usually a good nod that I liked a book.

When I first posted that I was reading this novel someone left a comment saying that they bailed on this book, not a good sign.... I will tell you that if you don't like to read books with little dialog you might struggle with this one. That said, it worked for me. This would make for a good book club selection, there's a lot to discuss!

Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Review Copy, NetGalley

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