Book Review: Love All, by Callie Wright

This review originally ran in the Friday, July 19th issue of Shelf Awareness for Readers. If you don't already subscribe, sign up here to receive a bi-weekly dose of readerly goodness in your inbox.

Love All, Callie Wright's debut novel, begins when Joanie Cole dies in her sleep. Bob, her husband of more than 40 years, moves in with his grown daughter, Anne, and her husband and two teenagers. Now three generations of one family are living together under one roof, and without the glue of Joanie's acceptance, patience and forgiveness to hold them together, the family begins to come apart at the seams.

Bob must fend for himself for the first time in his adult life, no longer able to rely on Joanie for company, conversation or even a late-night sandwich. Anne is forced to relive her father's multiple affairs and infidelities as she begins to question her own husband's mysterious late-night activities. Julia, Anne's 15-year-old daughter, is caught in a love triangle with her two best guy friends and finds inspiration for gossip-mongering in a battered old novel she finds among her grandmother's possessions.

At its heart, Love All is a novel about family, but it touches, too, on the challenges of marriage and loyalty and fidelity and the complexities of relationships at any age. With incredible skill, Wright's narration alternates between each member of the family to give readers a complete, if sometimes biased, view of events as they unfold. Though transitions from third to first person are not always seamless, Wright's ability to convey the thoughts and motivations of each of her characters, from widower to working mother to high schooler, is both compelling and impressive.


Love All | Callie Wright | Holt | Hardcover | July 2013 | 272 pages | Buy from an independent near you

1 comment

  1. Admittedly, I haven't paid a lot of attention to this one, but reading your review gave me a better idea of what to expect and it sounds really good.


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