All This Could Be Yours

All This Could Be Yours

Book - 2019
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"From New York Times best-selling author Jami Attenberg comes a sharp, funny, and emotionally powerful novel about a family reuniting at the deathbed of its patriarch. In reckoning with his secret past, can they rebuild and begin anew?"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.
ISBN: 9780544824256
0544824253
Branch Call Number: FIC ATTEN
Characteristics: 299 pages

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AMWayment
Jun 22, 2020

The novel is primarily told through the alternating viewpoints - mostly but not exclusively in the form of internal monologues - of immediate and extended family members of dying wealthy patriarch Victor Tuchman, a ruthless corporate gangster who seems like a horrible amalgamation of Bernie Madoff, Harvey Weinstein, and Jimmy Hoffa. Victor as a character is really only the named storm that has rolled through the Tuchman family and its environs; we hear directly from him once at the outset, but the novel is more concerned with examining the wide swath of fallout and collateral damage his actions have wrought, emotional and otherwise, so he remains mostly a dark and ominous looming presence gradually sketched out for us by others over the course of the novel. 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 deep and interesting.

a
ambdizzle
Jan 30, 2020

I really enjoyed this book. Having difficult relationships with my parents it felt like I was reading about my own family, but far more interesting. I liked how each character she wrote about in the book was intertwined, but you didn’t initially know how.

a
aamcgrath
Jan 30, 2020

Kind of a rehash of her earlier novel "The Middlesteins", which was better.

e
EljayJohnson
Jan 20, 2020

Of course I've read approximately 192,438 books featuring dysfunctional families, so it has to be something special to make me sit up and take notice. This certainly did. The primary cast of characters - the aging mother and father; the adult daughter and her child; the adult brother, his wife, and their child - all react and remember when hateful patriarch Victor has a heart attack. Different POVs in all of the chapters and excellent use of flashbacks -- and flashforwards. The writing had a very particular rhythm that I found engrossing and Attenberg gave all of the family members their moment, along with these interludes that featured sometimes very ancillary characters (with a big payoff at the end). Themes of race, gender roles, and what love can and cannot forgive all featured heavily, as did - as almost a character itself - the beating heart of New Orleans. I truly liked everything about this extremely well-written book.

debwalker Sep 08, 2019

Family dysfunction in New Orleans...when a brutal patriarch has a heart attack....

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a
ambdizzle
Jan 30, 2020

The value of youth was the absence of age, Barbara believed. No marks, no scars, just clear skies ahead, she thought.

a
ambdizzle
Jan 30, 2020

The New Orleans accent was about words slipping and sliding, collapsing into each other, like schoolkids on a patch of ice. How nice it must be just to relax like that, she thought with a little envy.

a
ambdizzle
Jan 30, 2020

The only animal that Barbara appreciated was the swan, which was exactly her type: shapely, quiet, pretty, refined, and somewhere off in the distance.

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