Cover Image: We Are All Good People Here

We Are All Good People Here

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Member Reviews

I think this book was just trying to do way too much and it got lost in the enormity of its task. I love looking at the past, seeing it ripple to the future and seeing how life ties together through the choices we make. The promise is truly astounding and amazing but I just couldn’t connect to the characters and that’s a huge thing for me in any story I love.
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I absolutely adored this novel set in Atlanta during the 1960's - 1980's. As a Southerner who has visited Atlanta many times, I really did enjoy the setting.
I loved Eva and Daniella's relationship and any book set at a girls' school or boarding school is right up my alley. Susan Rebecca White must have done a ton of research, but it didn't read like many historical fiction novels...it read like a great story about friendship, class, and privilege. This comes highly recommended.
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I can't help but wonder if I would have liked this book had I read it a year ago, but today I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated with stories that portray rich, white people's problems. I'm frustrated with background minority characters that simply serve to to prop up the "white savior" narrative, even if this narrative is not the central theme of the book. The writing is good, and the historical information is fairly on-point. It just didn't work for me.
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Both a timely and timeless read. I'm picky about historical fiction, but between the complex characters and great storytelling, I enjoyed this one.
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The writing was exceptional, and overall, I enjoyed this book. However, I found that the cat scene was absolutely gratuitous and unnecessary, and was incredibly disappointed. I almost stopped after that. Instead, I just started skimming ahead to get ahead of any overly violent parts of the book. I felt like the character development was also lacking. Eve and Daniella both seemed to jump quickly to their adult selves, and outside of the summer in Mississippi, which focuses more on Daniella, there wasn't much development. Eve's personality after marrying Bob was also a shock -- how did she change so quickly? Did she do that on purpose? Overall, a fine book (I ended up finishing) but wouldn't necessarily recommend.
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We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca White

3.75 stars

This is a historical fiction novel following the two prolific lives of two white women when they meet in college as they become participants in the Civil Rights Movement. Their paths become very different when one is accepted to rally peacefully in an organization. When the other friend is rejected, she seeks out other means to take down the establishment and ends up joining a revolutionary cult. Things don’t go well and they wind up back together. Their daughters' lives are entangled in the secrets of their mothers from the time when one saved the other. I would rather not tell you which character is which because I think it makes it a little bit more fun to go in and see how the characters progress blindly. This is a character-based story, so to know too much about the characters upfront could ruin your enjoyment of the novel. White hits all the marks of an interesting historical fiction novel by building drama with the backdrop of women as the central piece. Unlike most historical fiction today romance is not at the center of the story, but race and changing the world takes the forefront. I guess the easiest novel to compare this to would be The Help, but I refuse to do that because I think this novel has some weird Charles Manson stuff that completely throws this novel into left field. If you are squeamish, then stay away from this novel because there is a scene when one of the main protagonists has to skin a cat to prove herself to the cult. It’s some weird and nasty stuff. Listening to it on audiobook was not how I expected my folding clothes session to go. The writing in this novel is gripping enough to keep you intrigued about the characters. It doesn’t steal the show and it is probably the weakest part of the whole story, but I think that most readers will enjoy the quick and rapid pace of some scenes and the slow-burn of others.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 3.25

The two main female characters are Eve and Daniella. I personally ended up not liking either of them at certain times, but also rooting for both of them. They both suck as people, but as characters your heart really breaks for them because they make some horrible choices. However, Eve was just absolutely horrendous and I spent a large part of the novel trying to keep my eyes from falling out of my head. I personally preferred Daniella’s storyline, but she was pushed into the background and not given much light.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: Eve-4 Daniella-4.25

The daughters were so much fun to follow in the second half of the book. Eve’s daughter has the most tragic story, but I wished that we had gotten to know her mind. Daniella’s daughter steals the show in this part and she really gives a different edge and dynamic to the novel that shows the severity and stupidity of keeping giant and life-altering secrets from family members.


Character Scale: 4

The Villain- It’s not a mystery. If you were shocked, then congrats because I saw that “shocking” twist a mile away.

Villain Scale: 3

My biggest qualm with this book is the ending. It’s depressing and unsatisfying. I love depressing endings, but this one is sad for the sake of being sad to make it a good book club book. That’s just not my cup of tea. Overall, I think that most readers in the historical fiction genre will love this or if you are interested in female friendships, generational plots, or the Civil Rights Movement.


Plotastic Scale: 3.5

Cover Thoughts: I love the cover and how you can see two faces when you move the cover. It’s a brilliant design.

Thank you, Netgalley & Atria Books, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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It is as if there is a checklist of the major historical notes, and We Are All Good People here by Susan Rebecca White attempts to hit them all. In that, the book becomes a survey of the history. The story of the women becomes the vehicle for the history rather than the history becoming a background for the story. The history is there, but the story doesn't quite come together. 

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2020/03/we-are-all-good-people-here.html 

Reviewed for NetGalley.
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I found this to be an intriguing story with well-developed characters. Just enough mystery to keep me reading. Always fascinating to see how people seemingly on the same path can diverge end up worlds apart.
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I could not get into this book.  The characters seemed one dimensional and I felt no connection to them or the story.
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Check out my fascinating Q&A Elevator Interview with the master Southern storyteller, Susan Rebecca White. Get exclusive behind-the-scene inspiration of her extraordinary novel, WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE HERE, plus fun facts about the author.

I am excited to share with you one of my favorite Southern authors, master storyteller, Susan Rebecca White, and her latest highly anticipated novel, WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE HERE— "cover of the year" and Top Books of 2019!🏆

A few months ago, I stumbled upon this vibrant cover, a stunning "optical illusion" and was spellbound. It drew me in. I "must" read this book. But wait, next, OMG, I noticed the author's name...Could this possibly be "the" Susan Rebecca White?

The Atlanta Southern Author I adore, who wrote A Place at the Table (LOVED), A Soft Place to Land, and Bound South (all favorites)? I read each of these books years ago (all 5 Glowing Stars) 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. I fell in love with the author's authentic storytelling and her way of making the characters jump off the page. A Place at the Table landed on my Top Books of 2014, and have been anxiously awaiting her next book.

Immediately, I go to her profile on Amazon and, YES! it is the "same" Susan Rebecca White! Where has this gal been? Five years. (Yes, I do stalk my favorite popular authors anxiously waiting for the next book). Trust me, it is worth the wait.

You can guess I went a little "crazy" and started emailing everyone to snag an ARC copy of this book, dying to get her on my editorial schedule for a Q&A Interview, even though I had already scheduled four others for August. (thank you, Atria) A dream come true. As an Atlanta gal, I have always supported Atlanta and Southern authors.

OK, now that I have told you about my obsession, I do not want to take too much time telling you how fabulous Susan Rebecca White truly is, so we can get into this interview and her latest novel. She is amazing.

I love her writing and highly recommend each of her books, but her latest book is a true "masterpiece." Her most accomplished novel yet! As with her previous books, Susan writes about the underdog, the injustices, racism, diversity, family, the South, history, religion, and the complexities of life.

Highly charged emotional topics, all her books are character-driven. Different people from all walks of life come together. She does not hold back. I call this one her "grownup" real-life book—totally "radical."

As the author mentions, we can try to rewrite our history, but the truth will eventually surface, as we find in her latest novel. How women, in particular, feel the need to reinvent who they once were when they have children

WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE HERE brilliantly explores the lives of two young women who form a bond starting at Belmont College in the 60s, and their lives are forever changed. Often it takes one incident to ignite a movement. A gripping, multi-generational story inspired by real events that follow their friendship for years to come, even though they take different paths.

Can you imagine a debutante going underground? From political awakening, social classes, racial, privilege, justice, causes, passions, duty, love, friendship, family, and moral divides.

In the first half of the book, we follow the turbulent 70s with two women from college and beyond. (this is the era I lived through: college, marriage, children).

In the second half of the book, we catch up with their daughters as the dark secrets of the past began to unravel. This novel covers an incredible period—from the early 1960s to the 1990s.

The story resonates with what we are dealing with today across America in these trying and turbulent times. Ironically, Georgia ranks among the worst states in America for women’s equality. Often you think we are going backward instead of forward.

Georgia has always been a controversial state, particularly Atlanta. I resided in Vinings, Buckhead, and Midtown and was in the media business as an associate publisher (Atlanta B&B Magazine), Black's Guide, Network Publishing, Cahners/Reed, and publisher (Primedia) for many years before relocating to South Florida full time. Atlanta will always be home for me and often meet up with my sons there which reside in NC.

Look at what is going on in the headlines at the moment: Controversial anti-abortion bill passes in Georgia State Senate. Controversial Atlanta judge hit with ethics charges by state watchdog agency. Celebrities postpone events and shows. An activist artist removes controversial art from the Atlanta beltway. Atlanta's Controversial 'Cityhood' Movement. They also have an Atlanta Controversial Topics Group. And the list goes on and on. Atlanta is diverse. Spread-out, and traffic is a nightmare. It is forever changing.

Without individuals who speak up, take action, risk their lives for a bigger cause, where would our country be? As referenced in this extraordinary blending of fact and fiction, the author explores courageous women and men who have stood on their beliefs to create change. I totally agree with one of the author's previous interviews. Atlanta is the perfect setting for these rich fictional stories.

In WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE HERE, the author proposes many thought-provoking questions:

Why do good intentions often lead to tragic outcomes? Can we separate our political choices and our personal morals? And is it possible to truly bury our former selves and escape our own history? She adds a new dimension. Actions have consequences.


White offers detailed historical research into the Weather Underground Organization, documentaries, and other references for additional reading. I particularly enjoyed learning more about the Mississippi Summer Project, “Freedom Summer,” and what occurred during those months and enjoyed learning more about Bob Moses and particularly, Fannie Lou Hamer.

Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer’s role in the civil rights movement was absolutely fundamental and blown away by her continuous courage to overcome obstacles and providing a voice for others. Read More on Susan's website.

The true essence of the story, as the author so eloquently describes:

"[I] I hope that readers, no matter where they fall on the political spectrum, will recognize how dangerous ideological purity is—removed from love, removed from mercy, removed from compassion. I hope this book encourages readers to seek justice, but with love."


Indeed, you accomplished your goal and exceeded all expectations!

I cannot wait to tell everyone about this powerful book. I am a huge fan of shows such as Underground (2016), Queen Sugar, and The Good Fight, etc. Flannery O'Connor would be proud! You will note many similarities here ripped from today’s headlines.

If you are new to the author's work, I highly recommend reading her previous books as well, listed below. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did and look forward to your thoughts.

PS. Since these are some of my long-time favorite Southern authors, please take a moment to review the recent feature in Atlanta Magazine, Scribes of Summer. Atlanta authors talk about their latest books and invite us inside the writer’s life.

Congrats, Susan another hit!

A special thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.

@JudithDCollins
#JDCMustReadBooks
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I had kind of have a love-hate relationship with the book I love the story concept and the fact the story took place for like 30 years. But weirdly enough I wasn't a fan oh you either of the main characters.  I understand that the book was supposed to show growth of these two women over like 30 years but I it sucks that Eve's storyline ended the way it did.
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Are you doomed to repeat your parents’ mistakes? That is the disquieting question lurking in the shadows of Susan Rebecca White’s ambitious fourth novel. Spanning thirty years of American history, the first half of We Are All Good People Here charts the unlikely bond that blooms between Daniella and Eve against the backdrop of the politically-charged 1960s while the second explores the slow corrosion of their friendship in the increasingly conservative 1980s as they grapple with how to best raise their daughters. A chilling reflection on the destructive power of secrets, White has penned a true powerhouse of a story.
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We have so many people that grace our lives over the years. It's hard to find that one person that will always be there for you no matter what. Eve and Daniella found that friendship. They found the level of love that wouldn't let them out of each other's lives, even when their roads took separate turns. 

This book spans different events and difficulties throughout the two girls lives. Both have similar values at first, but have been brought up very differently all of their lives. Sometimes that one particular difference comes between them more than they would have thought possible. 

What's important is whether or not they are there for each other through the different trials that will be faced. Trials that may threaten to tear them apart in the process. 

A thought provoking and heartwarming/wrenching book.
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Sisterhood of the Traveling Idealogues

Blah.
Epic story of a friendship starting in the sixties at a southern college and ending with their daughters going to college. Interesting immersion in civil rights, women’s rights, discrimination, revolutionaries, choices, rape culture, etc. of any of the given decades. It was just a little flat considering the scope of these women’s relationships.

Wendy Ward
http://wendyrward.tumblr.com/
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I really enjoyed this historical fiction novel! Especially being a multigenerational family drama - one of my favorite sub-genres! Great characters, dialogue & pacing. I look forward to reading more novels by this author.
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I was so excited to be given a copy of this book to review!! I honestly requested it for the amazing cover. I love books about female friendships and those that follow the friends through so many years.  This book did both and I was not disappointed. I loved seeing the ups and downs through the years and the pieces of history in the book. I've seen some reviews talk about one dimensional characters, but I didn't feel that way at all.  I enjoyed the entire book and was sad to finish.
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I read this book in two days because I just couldn't put it down!  I have been steering away from historical fiction lately, but this book made me miss it.  

Eve and Daniella's friendship spans over decades with its ups and downs and in the midst of very important historical events.  The story was well researched and very entertaining.

 I truly believe that we read books at just the right time, and this book had been sitting on my Kindle for months and I just decided to read it even though it was not on my TBR for the month, and it was just what I needed as I am going through a fork in the road with a friendship that is close to my heart.
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This was an all-engrossing and educational read.  I was fascinated by the remise and was not disappointed.  The two main characters have a complex relationship and easily found myself rooting for who would seem like the underdog. I recommend to book clubs and readers of women's fiction.
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I could not get into this one, DNF at 22%. I found it really hard to like the characters and was a little confused by where the story was going. Sadly, I was not interested enough to finish.
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I had a love/hate relationship with this book and reading it was a true roller-coaster for me. There were times that I truly loved this book: the well-developed characters, the descriptions of thought-provoking issues that the American people faced in 1960s to 1990s period, and the beautifully written prose. However, there were also parts of this story that dragged and made it hard for me to continue reading it. Overall, this is a solid historical fiction novel, and many readers will find this book captivating and provocative. I think this was just not the right book for me or rather it was not the best time for me to read it. 
Thank you NetGalley, Atria Books, and the author for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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