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All we ever wanted : a novel
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Nina Browning (Female), Married, Married into Nashville elite; husband has successful tech business; son is headed to Princeton
Finch (Male), Student, Nina's son: attends elite high school
Tom Volpe (Male), Single father, Works multiple jobs; daughter attends elite high school on a scholarship
Lyla (Female), Tom's daughter; attends elite high school on a scholarship
Husbands and wives
Teenage boys
Single fathers
Teenage girls
Community life
Tennessee - South (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

The latest from Giffin (First Comes Love) tells the stories of Nina, a middle-aged, ultra-wealthy philanthropist, and 16-year-old Lyla, a scholarship student at the exclusive private school that Nina's son Finch attends. At a party, Lyla passes out drunk and an explicit, racially charged photo of her circulates. Finch is accused of taking the photo, resulting in his acceptance to Princeton being withdrawn. Sophomore Lyla has a crush on senior Finch and wants the whole thing dropped. Nina loves her son, but the situation brings up a long-buried memory of date rape from her university days, so she sympathizes with Lyla and contacts her and her single father, Tom. As the story unfolds, it is not clear who actually took the photo, who sent it, who is guilty, and who deserves loyalty. Along the lines of William Landay's Defending Jacob, with a parent who is horrified at what their child might have done but still loves them, the story delves further into sexual assault as well as issues of class and how much privilege accrues to the extremely wealthy. VERDICT A compelling family story that brings up plenty of issues ripe for book group discussions. [See Prepub Alert, 12/11/17.]-Jan Marry, Lanexa, VA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Giffin's stellar latest (following First Comes Love), set in Nashville, concerns the wealthy Brownings and the scandal that ensues when their Princeton-bound son Finch appears to have taken a racy photo of Lyla Volpe, a high school sophomore on scholarship at the prestigious Windsor Academy. Nina's husband Kirk grew up with money, and they're richer than ever now that he's sold his tech company. Though he's confident and charming, Nina's starting to question his character-especially when Kirk doesn't want high school senior Finch to face the consequences of the photo of Lyla unconscious and exposed at a party. Though it's not revealed until later in the book who took the photo, it gets widely spread around, and the fallout is substantial. Nina wants Finch to be a good person above all, and she bristles when she learns that Kirk tried to bribe Lyla's father, Tom, to drop the issue with the school. Nina tries to right things with Tom, a carpenter who also drives an Uber to make extra cash. Tom has a huge chip on his shoulder that's exacerbated by the stresses of single parenthood, but he finds himself liking Nina despite her wealth. Meanwhile, Finch starts dating Lyla and tells her that he's covering for the person who really took the photo. Things come to a head as Nina attempts to find out whether her son is honorable or as untrustworthy as his father. Giffin's plot touches on social class and misogyny while delivering an excellent page-turning story. This satisfying novel will appeal to readers looking for a nuanced, thoughtful take on family and social dynamics. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - In this riveting novel from the #1 bestselling author of Something Borrowed and First Comes Love, three very different people must choose between their families and their most deeply held values. . . . <p> "An unpredictable page-turner that unfolds in the voices of three superbly distinct characters."-- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "A gripping, thought-provoking journey."--Jodi Picoult <p> NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THESKIMM<br> <br> 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. <p>Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she's strayed from the person she once was. <p> 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. <p> 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 teenaged girl, happy and thriving. <p> 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. <p> 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. <p> Praise for All We Ever Wanted <p>"Page-turning . . . Timely and thought-provoking, it's Giffin's best yet." -- People <p> "Giffin's novel has style and substance . . . . Truly excellent." -- The Washington Post <p> "If you're looking for a book club selection, All We Ever Wanted is bound to spark meaningful and meaty discussions." -- The Augusta Chronicle <p>"A page-turning exploration of wealth and privilege." -- Entertainment Weekly
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