Date:24th November 2015
Genre: Women's Fiction
The Rockwell women are nothing if not . . . Well, it’s complicated. When the sisters—Esme, Liv, and Ru—were young, their eccentric mother, Augusta, silenced all talk of their absent father with the wild story that he was an international spy, always away on top-secret missions. But the consequences of such an unconventional upbringing are neither small nor subtle: Esme is navigating a failing marriage while trying to keep her precocious fifteen-year-old daughter from live-tweeting every detail. Liv finds herself in between relationships and rehabs, and Ru has run away from enough people and problems to earn her frequent flier miles. So when a hurricane hits the family home on the Jersey Shore, the Rockwells reunite to assess the damage—only to discover that the storm has unearthed a long-buried box. In a candid moment, Augusta reveals a startling secret that will blow the sisters’ concept of family to smithereens—and send them on an adventure to reconnect with a lost past . . . and one another.
All of Us and Everything has one of what must be one of the weirdest families I've come across in a novel.
There is Augusta the mother, a somewhat strange woman who has her three daughters conducting storms when they were young. There is Esme the oldest, who always keeps the rules and has a daughter Atty who is somewhat mixed up and lonely. She counts her followers on Twitter and tweets continually, but has no real in the flesh friends. The middle daughter Liv makes a living from tracking down eligible men and marrying them and Ru short for Ruby has written one successful book and no more and is in the process of ending an engagement.
This family is fatherless, they have been told by their mother he is a spy so can never be revealed. Well of course they dismiss this, although it happens to be the truth and Augusta and Nick were very much in love, although she has now divorced him, even though they were never married.
The thing is these girls have been controlled! Their mother is a kind of controlling woman, however it is a bit of a shock for the girls to eventually find out that their father was a very controlling force in their lives and wrecked havoc in places. Out of love of course but well, we all like to be in control of our own lives, making what mistakes we will.
This is a novel about being sisters, a matriarchal family and an absent father. It is about being in the now and going after what you really want. Ultimately being yourself, choosing hope and love win. Can't argue with that! If you enjoy family drama, with a slightly different twist then this is one for you.
All of Us and Everything is a She Reads Spring 2016 book club selections. You can read other reviews on the She Reads website.