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WITH ALL MY LOVE
Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction
International bestseller Scanlan weaves together several generations’ worth of stories into one book about love, loyalty and friendship. While the over-arching story is bittersweet and believable, the writing and dialogue are at times strained and unnatural, the reactions of characters sometimes too similar. But beneath some of the clichés and forced situations and conversations, there is a story of substance that will hit a nerve with anyone who has ever had a difficult relationship with their parents or relatives.
Briony McAllister takes her 4-year-old daughter, Katie, to help her mother, Valerie, move into a lovely new home in Spain. Their loving relationship is tested when Briony discovers that her estranged grandparents, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a young girl, were forced out of her life by Valerie. A confrontation brings long-buried secrets to the surface about the events surrounding Briony’s birth and her father’s death. Briony struggles to understand and forgive her mother, but it is hard to repair shattered trust. She must decide if her pain is so strong that she would deprive her own daughter of the grandmother-granddaughter relationship that Valerie withheld from her, or if she can look past her own hurt for Katie’s sake. (ATRIA, Aug., 464 pp., $16.00)
Reviewed By: Abigail Ortlieb
Published: August 2013