All of Us and Everything was kindly given to me in exchange for an honest review. It was part of our SheReads.org spring book selection. While I had never heard of this author before, the book synopsis was intriguing.
What did I think of the story? I actually really loved the plot idea. A mom who made a decision to be with someone and have children with him when he couldn't truly be part of their lives. The children, growing up without a dad, were told that he couldn't be with them because he was a spy and it would put them all in danger; an outlandish story thought to be a substitution for the truth. The children, all girls, all adults with their lives falling apart in one way or another. After a hurricane in their old hometown, they all return to their mother and finally learn the truth about their father and begin to put themselves right.
I did enjoy the book. I thought that the idea of the father really being a spy was creative and the girl's issues in adulthood were realistic for the most part, if a bit on the depressing side. I loved how the girls came back home as three separate people who wanted nothing to do with one another and ended up on the path to being a true family again, understanding what sisterhood should really be. The addition of Atty, Esme's daughter, showed us how easily our own messed up lives can affect our children. The epilogue gave a glimpse into how each character in the story ended up, even the minor ones, and I felt satisfied knowing they were all looking upward and onward. On the downside, I must admit that I felt the story was missing something. I'm not sure if it flip flopped too much from one character to the next or if everything just fell together too easily. Maybe I thought the father's story should have been more exciting. Something was amiss for me and it took away from my complete investment in the story.
I'd give this one about 3.5 out of 5 stars if I were rating it. As a book about families who have fallen apart and go on a journey to put themselves back together, it was good. I just think it had the potential to have been even better. However, don't knock it until you try it. If you like family drama, you may enjoy this one.