Wednesday, July 15, 2009

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything - Janelle Brown

This book is about a family whose entire way of life is being pulled apart at the seams during one summer. The dad, Paul Miller, is a CEO of a pharamaceutical company that has just gone public and now he/they are IPO millionaires. The day this happens, his wife Janice awakens alone in bed and is thrilled that now there is no worries about money forever and ever. She makes a mental list of how to procede through the day, ending with a huge celebration. Her day is quickly jolted when her tennis partner and best-friend does not show up for their tennis match. This throws her whole day off and by the time she is home and in the middle of preparing her feast, she recieves a Fed Ex message from her husband. He wants to end their marriage and has run off with her tennis partner. Janice is in denial and this is when the book begins to get interesting. Especially when another messsage comes that says, Janice signed papers that excludes her from the new fortune her husband's company has come into.

Janice and Paul have two daughters, Margaret, 28, a brainy feminist who is still trying to not "sell out" in LA and in tremendous debt; Lizzie 14, a little silly, a lot immature who has just lost a significant amount of weight and learned how to get the boys to like her. After Paul leaves, Lizzie calls her big sis to come and save the day and Margaret jumps at the chance to escape the credit card companies, collection agencies and the fact that she is losing her apartment push her towards selling her measly posessions and heading home.

When the three Miller women are under one roof it is chaotic. Janice and Margaret do NOT get along. Lizzie has no friends and oddly turns to an evangelical church because of the promise that God loves everyone. Maragret gets stoned and connects with the pool boy. Janice picks up a not so good habit and somehow they do not kill each other.

At some points this book was really good and some points it was so not believable, but it all flowed together. I did NOT like how some parts of the story were wrapped up neatly. Yet almost all of the conversation that happened between the characters in the book was hilarious. Especially when Lizzie is going around talking about God loving everyone. I think it could have used one more chapter to wrap it up because it leaves you hanging at the end to figure out on your own how it ended, but I kinda wanted them to have their day in court or a settlement made with Paul. Paul needs a slap in the face, I would not want him as a father!

And add in the fact that they were all obsessed with money, having it, not having it, flaunting it, worrying about the neighbors, it was quite the entertaining read with a significant amount of eye rolls at the actions of the characters.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Some of your description reminds me of a different book I read recently - the whole 'sister who is big debt & comes home to avoid her problems' was very similar in this other book I read (Smart One & the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik).

What's next? Are you going to tackle a Jane Austen? I'm still slowly making my way through Anna Karenina - it's good, but I am looking forward to starting something a little less cumbersome when I finish it!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Yup, I am going to be reading Pride & Prejudice. I read the first few pages a couple weeks ago, to feel it out and since a couple of my friends are reading it now, I figured it would be great to bump it up my to-read list to have some people to talk about it with. Depending on how that goes, Mansfield Park could be up next or Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz (sp?).