If I Know Why He Is The Way He Is Then Maybe I Can Learn Why I Am The Way I Am, Says Alex Tuchman, Strong Headed Lawyer, Loving Mother, And Daughter Of Victor Tuchman A Power Hungry Real Estate Developer And, By All Accounts, A Bad Man Now That Victor Is On His Deathbed, Alex Feels She Can Finally Unearth The Secrets Of Who He Is And What He Did Over The Course Of His Life And Career She Travels To New Orleans To Be With Her Family, But Mostly To Interrogate Her Tightlipped Mother, Barbra As Barbra Fends Of Alex S Unrelenting Questions, She Reflects On Her Tumultuous Life With Victor Meanwhile Gary, Alex S Brother, Is Incommunicado, Trying To Get His Movie Career Off The Ground In Los Angeles And Gary S Wife, Twyla, Is Having A Nervous Breakdown, Buying Up All The Lipstick In Drug Stores Around New Orleans And Bursting Into Crying Fits Dysfunction Is At Its Peak As Each Family Member Grapples With Victor S History, They Must Figure Out A Way To Move Forward With One Another, For Themselves, And For The Sake Of Their Children All This Could Be Yours Is A Timely, Piercing Exploration Of What It Means To Be Caught In The Web Of A Toxic Man Who Abused His Power It Shows How Those Webs Can Tangle A Family For Generations And What It Takes To Maybe, Hopefully Break Free Jami Attenberg is one of those novelists I am always curious about, because I read her books and I know they are good, but they never really connect with me on the level I want them to This doesn t mean she is a bad writer she is an objectively good one but the way in which her books should work for me and then don t quite work for me fascinates me and I cannot figure it out The cycle played out again here, this is a messy family drama that shifts perspectives, holds on to a few key reveals, and really asks about anger and forgiveness within families These are all topics I m deeply interested in And I found many of the characters incredibly compelling It just never quite hit for me in that very specific subjective way that I hoped it would It s really interesting, really readable, with people who are messy and barely keeping it together and I think it is probably a great fit for 99% of other people who love that kind of book.At the center of the book is Victor, on his deathbed, after he was a criminal, a bad husband, and a bad father Not just a little bad, a lot bad His family reckons with this in different ways His daughter Alex rages, his son Gary disappears, his wife Barbara gets quiet, his daughter in law Twyla prays And everybody eventually has a breakdown The characters were so deep and interesting I loved the way Attenberg really rooted the story in New Orleans I wish the cover made this clear, while there is a storage unit scene, I would have loved a New Orleans themed cover The shuffling perspectives made it a little harder on me as a reader Along with our main characters, there s plenty of side characters who come in and out Sometimes they get a whole chapter, sometimes just a paragraph I liked the idea but didn t love the execution But overall it s very smartly plotted, strong use of flashbacks, great reveals. I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley Oh man, I devoured this book Centered around a man on his deathbed, this book is alive, alive, alive It explores the effect of a toxic person on those close to them Family and secrets and connections It made me want to know about the inner life of every person I ve ever known or met or seen. A day on the death bed of the patriarch of a dysfunctional family Both grown kids hate their father and question their mother about her long term loyalty to him The story is told in flashbacks and the structure works well Taking place in New Orleans, the hat is tipped to recovery efforts and a short story line of a caregiver seems a bit out of place Other than this, this was a solid read and with some of Attenberg s other works has made me a fan.Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read the Kindle ARC of All This Could Be Yours, by Jami Attenberg I have read all of Ms Attenbergs books and this, by far, was my favorite It is the intricately woven story of a family, never quite to together but always quite broken Victor is a man with shady business dealings and connections His wife, Barbra, raises their two children, Gary and Alex, in the comfort of their Connecticut home, but its with a price Victor s money comes from unknown business and he is abusive to Barbra and, at times, to the children The book follows the early marriage of Victor and Barbra, all the way through Gary and Alex s middle aged days and their own families and relationships Alex, their daughter, is determined to get information about why her father was the way he was, but her Barbra is not forthcoming I would consider this book literary fiction there is nothing light about it, but it is written so wonderfully, it was a book I just didn t want to put down Plenty of slow reveals show further fracturing of the family, including Gary s spouse, Twyla I feel that this is Jami Attenberg s best story to date. I liked this book I loved the writing The sentences were never what I was expecting She finds unique ways to say mundane things I was sort of interested in the story and sort of not, but the writing kept me going I also liked the shifting focuses of chapters and the way the book moved through time Fiction lovers and lovers of family drama will love this book. Nobody writes dysfunctional families better than Jami Attenberg. I interviewed Jami Attenberg about All This Could Be Yours. 3.5ish stars thanks to the publisher for my free copyI m still not sure how I feel about this At one point, I feel like nothing happened it all takes course over like, a day and a half however, through flashbacks other retellings, SO much happens It s short so it s a quick read but I found myself skimming a little towards the end If you enjoy heavy character driven novels, you could try it. Prepub Due out in October.I have not been able to stop thinking about this book since I read it Attenberg is skillful at capturing dysfunctional family dynamics and the Tuchmans are as dysfunctional as they come Victor Tuchman is toxic masculinity defined and Attenberg guides us through the effects of that toxicity as daughter Alex tries to figure out the why of her family s history Asks the question Is forgiveness the only option at the end of a bad person s life or are there other ways to heal Recommended for fans of Jennifer Egan and Meg Wolitzer and readers who like examinations of dysfunctional family dynamics Great book group choice. This was one of those novels that swept me up in it and demanded that I keep reading at every available opportunity until I reached the end in this case, just a little over one day Her characters feel so true and so human, I know that once again these people will really stay with me, along with the images conjured by the prose I continue to be impressed with how Attenberg can manage to do so much , even with so little just the right details needed to bring a place or a person fully to life, like striking a match for you to see it for yourself I brought this book with me on a mini vacation and it was the perfect read for that.
- 304 pages
- All This Could Be Yours
- Jami Attenberg
- 25 August 2017 Jami Attenberg