All of Us and Everything by Bridget Asher is part of the SheReads Fall book selections. SheReads is a community of bloggers that as a group help promote specific books. We share reviews, thoughts, and our feelings after reading books suggested to us by the wonderful people who run the SheReadsOrganization.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Bantam
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.
Three sisters, an odd mother, and a spy father… what a family. Esme, Liv, and Ru are interesting characters but it was their mother Augusta that interested me the most. I felt like she was an odd mother. At 16 she chose not to connect to Ru because she was leaving for college in two years, then Ru disappeared for numerous days and no one noticed for 3 days and they weren’t too concerned when they did realize she was gone. The secret societies that she starts then folds when they don’t go the way she wanted to me showed how much she did want to have friends and be part of society. I feel like she wanted to tell the truth of her life, she wanted to share her secrets, and she wanted to make connections yet she could not figure out how to do it. I would have loved to know some of her upbringing to see if this odd lifestyle is part of the Rockwell family history or something new to Augusta’s era.
The way that Bridget Asher told the Rockwell Family story was interesting. There were times that I felt it was confusing. The chapters and sometimes the paragraphs jumped between who was telling the story. I wish that they had been more clear and direct onto who was telling their story at what time. Once I knew who was telling the story I was intrigued. I enjoyed knowing the history and the present lives of Esme, Ru, Liv, and Augusta.
All of Us and Everything is a different style of story for me. I enjoyed it, I wasn’t pulled into the story, but I would like to check out more from Bridget Asher.
Praise for All of Us and Everything
“Engaging . . . [a] lively comic novel about stormy women and the spy (and other sexy types) who loved them.”—People (“The Best New Books”)
“Similar to Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down, [All of Us and Everything] rewards readers with an engrossing plot rich in witty and frank dark humor. . . . Readers will linger on the story’s web of connections. . . . Thoughtful and provoking.”—Booklist
“[Bridget] Asher’s newest title spotlights her unique voice plus an affinity for quirky, wounded characters that are both realistic and likable. . . . The subtle theme [is] how changing our stories can change us. An entertaining yet astute look at family, self, story, and connections.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Charming, original, and impeccably written, All of Us and Everything is a spirited romp through the lives of an unusual family of women—three adult sisters, their mother, one teenage daughter, and their longtime housekeeper—and the men who love them, amuse them, pursue them, and lose them. When I wasn’t laughing out loud or eagerly turning pages to see what happened next, I was marveling at Bridget Asher’s ability to tell a highly entertaining, fully engaging, and deeply insightful story.”—Cathi Hanauer, New York Times bestselling author ofGone
“While many writers strive to create a single memorable character, Bridget Asher, seemingly with the flick of her wrist, brings forth four amazing, unique, altogether brilliant characters in All of Us and Everything. The Rockwell siblings, Esme, Liv, and Ru, as well as their fascinating mother, Augusta, won me over completely, and their story twists and turns in such fascinating, hilarious, and heartfelt ways that it left me in awe of Asher’s abilities.”—Kevin Wilson, New York Timesbestselling author of The Family Fang
“Bridget Asher’s fascinating, eccentric characters are such good company that I finished All of Us and Everything in one sitting. This is a compelling, funny, moving story about an irresistible family.”—Leah Stewart, author of The New Neighbor