All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg
“‘If I know why they are the way they are, then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am,’ says Alex Tuchman of her parents. Now that her father is on his deathbed, Alex—a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister–feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra.
As Barbra fends off 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. With her signature “sparkling prose” (Marie Claire) and incisive wit, Jami Attenberg deftly explores one of the most important subjects of our age.”
October 22nd, 2019
Family Saga Fiction
All This Could Be Yours was one of my most highly anticipated fall 2019 book releases. I have been on a family saga kick and after hearing some great reviews I couldn’t way to start it. I absolutely loved Jami Attenberg’s approach to the complexities and intricacies of family life, especially when it is dysfunctional.
We meet a family who’s toxic patriarch, Victor, is on his deathbed. Attenberg gave an intricate look at dealing with the complexities of grief and loss when the relationship you had with the person was deeply troubling at times. The desires we wish for with others (closure, forgiveness, and answers) are often up against the reality that sometimes we have to find this within ourselves.
The novel has flashbacks that help us see the history of this family which totally worked for me as I always enjoy knowing the who and why of this family drama genre. We learn family secrets and the emotional and physical damages Victor caused to his family members. Even when all of the characters were not super likable, I felt like I understood them because of Attenberg’s ability to create such multi-faceted personas. This was completely engaging to read while also being super thought-provoking which would make it a fantastic book club discussion.
Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an advanced copy.