“All We Ever Wanted” was my first read from Emily Giffin and I loved it!
Life is good for the Browning family. Nina Browning’s husband Kirk sold his software company at the right time and they went from comfortable to very wealthy in a very short period of time. Nina doesn’t like to flaunt how wealthy they are, but her husband is a different story. Nina is trying to keep their eighteen-year-old son, Finch from becoming entitled though she admits they don’t say no to him often enough.
They just found out that Finch has been accepted to Princeton and the family is thrilled.
The book opens on a typical Saturday night…well typical for the Browning family. They are attending their fifth gala of the year. This gala is about suicide awareness and prevention and they are being honoured for their contributions.
Lately, Nina has been feeling like something is off in her marriage. She wonders if it’s money coming between them or something else. As she listens to her husband giving a speech about the horrors of losing someone to suicide, Nina thinks about Finch and all of the opportunities he has ahead of him. Time has gone by so fast. He used to tell her everything and now she’s lucky if she gets a few words out of him. She really can’t believe that he will be off to college in the fall.
What Nina doesn’t know is that right at that moment their son is across town making the worst decision of his life.
Tom Volpe is a single father who works multiple jobs in order to support his daughter, Lyla. Tom is extremely proud of his daughter. She is very smart which is how she ended up at Windsor Academy. The school is intense academically as well as socially. But so far Lyla seems to have adjusted well. As she heads out Saturday evening, she promises her father that she won’t be out late – he tries not to worry. However, later that evening Tom senses that something is wrong with Lyla.
Sure enough, a few minutes later his phone rings…
The story is told from the perspectives of Nina, Tom, and Lyla which really helped the story flow nicely. I liked hearing from both parents as well as Lyla.
As parents, our first instinct is to protect our children from everything. But are there times where we can’t (and maybe shouldn’t) step in and fix everything? What is the difference between privilege and entitlement? It’s hard when your child makes a mistake….to know when to help them and when to step back. It can be so difficult to let our children suffer the consequences of their actions.
Emily Giffin sure knows how to tell an engrossing and entertaining story with relatable and perfectly imperfect characters. I thought this was a well-written and thought-provoking novel that deals with important and relevant issues. I liked how everything came together and especially loved the epilogue.
“ All We Ever Wanted ” was a very powerful and touching read that I’ll be thinking about for quite some time. I’m really looking forward to reading more from this very talented author.
I’d like to thank Ballantine Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.