Cover Image: We Are All Good People Here

We Are All Good People Here

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

It was a long wait for a new book from Susan Rebecca White, but after reading the last page in this book, and every word from start to finish I can say it was worth it!

Eve and Daniella meet as unknown college roommates and become fast and best friends. Their differences are obvious but what shines is their desire to be kind and to stand up for what is right. The title begins to ring true early in this book, as we often ponder what makes a good person, and even if we are good, do our actions have positive results?

We Are All Good People Here takes us along and Eve and Daniella grow and change. They change colleges and forge their way along divergent paths. Eve still dealing with her southern belle, privileged up bringing, and Daniella finding a balance in her desire to help others and mature. The history of the 1960’s and 70’s is a driving background in this book. Change was everywhere, civil rights, women’s rights, and the characters are in the middle of it all. When Eve takes a more extreme path there are years where she and Daniella don’t see eye to eye, and the loss of that sister like friendship is harsh.

White has woven this story with so much passion and individual struggle I was both heartbroken and cheering on Eve and Daniella as their lives changed and they were brought back together. Motherhood gave them a new bond, but they were not the same type of mom, and their family dynamics were evident. Deep secrets begin to creep back, and the results were devastating.

I loved this book, and I loved following these two women for 30 years, and learning about all their struggles. Moral and ethical questions are all over this book, and I wanted to talk to someone at every major turn. We Are All Good People Here would make and excellent book club selection. This book will stay with me, and haunt me for a while.

Thank you again to Atria for the advanced copy.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this multigenerational story of two friends, Eva and Daniella. Eva comes from a very wealthy Southern old-money and Daniella a half-Jewish who comes from an academic family. Their friendship begins in 1962, Belmont College in Roanoke, VA. as roommates. Their story spans three decades expanding through their daughters' story. Their friendship takes a hit when Eva becomes involved in an underground terrorist group. Years later, their friendship is tested again as Eve asks Daniella for help as the past is catching up and could jeopardize the safety of their teenage daughters. 

White brilliantly writes about a well researched world in the 60"s. This is a time when political changes may be confusing to these two protagonists, who are in the midst of chaos and at a time when American History is changing. Additionally, the reference to the music, hairstyle, clothes, The Vietnam War, the Beatles, MLK to JFK to Clinton build this setting for these complex multidimensional characters. 

I highly recommend this book and despite some of the violent and disturbing stories, it is all part of the what makes this story so powerful and part of our American History and was well written and presented with love and compassion. 

Thank you NetGalley, Atria, Simon&Schuster for the ARC ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I'm not sure what to say about We Are All Good People Here. I liked it, but i didn't like it. Confusing, right? The societal norms addressed in the book are something I liked. These issues should be at the forefront so much more than they actually are. I liked the portrayal of these women as friends, enemies, allies. Women are shown as strong and intelligent, as well they should be.  Fighting for a cause you believe in regardless of consequences shows strength of character. I didn't like that the story seemed to drag at times. The daughters of Eve and Daniella seemed like a bit of an afterthought, just written to show that women still face so many hurdles in society and are treated as less than. The overall story had too much crammed into one book. Not every issue has to be addressed, almost to the point of redundancy. So, there it is. I am torn because there was a lot I liked but some I didn't. I think read this book if the subject matter interests you because it's informative and engaging in that regard. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Pros:  Interesting Characters, story spans over 30 years and you see the important and triggering character development, the story line is intriguing and reminiscent of a lot of struggles that women go through during their "growing up" years, starts out strong.

Cons: It didn't quite pull me as much as I wanted it to.

Overall:  I did enjoy this book, even though it took me longer to finish than it should have.  That happens sometimes when I'm not fully invested.  I found Eve to be a very polarizing character.  At times I hated her and other times, I completely sympathized with her decisions.
Was this review helpful?
While I love the cover of this book, I don't think that it does what is behind the cover any justice. This has a lighter feel - whereas the words are much deeper. 

We Are All Good People Here from Susan Rebecca White is the story of friendship between Daniella and Eve. Starting as college roommates and following their lives through the Vietnam War, racial tensions, the Reagan years and the cusps of change into the Clinton years, we watch as two women grow closer and further away from each other. We read about love, marriage, race, religion, and motherhood. 

This book captures female friendship - through all of the lows and highs. When you are proud of your friend, but don't agree with her actions. When you can't believe how far your friend has fallen. When you will do anything for your friend - because she's more like a sister.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
*3.5 stars* 

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I appreciated how much depth was given to each of the two female protagonists. The book spanned decades of Daniella and Eve's friendship through college and motherhood. The topics of race, sexuality, and gender are explored. As their daughters become teenagers, their perspectives are interwoven into their mother’s stories. I loved that Daniella bucked the societal norms of the era in the later portion of the book. She provided a safe space for her daughter, Sarah, to become the person that she is. 

As for the cons, many of them revolve around the presentation of societal issues. I loved that the book discussed these issues at all, but it often felt as if the issues only appeared for the sake of mentioning. Even coming from a person who believes that the way to improve the world is to bring awareness to societal issues, the inclusion of rape in the book felt like an afterthought. I don’t feel like it was a necessary plot point for the character involved. The book had far too much going on and every issue was difficult to keep track of. Personally, I would have liked to see the topic of race more explored. Within the first few chapters, an African-American maid is fired as a direct result of Eve’s (perceived by herself to be well-intentioned) actions. From then on, we see Eve denounce racist actions but never takes an action to change the status quo. For most of the book, Eva hates the type of person that she ends up becoming. Lastly, SKIP CHAPTER 7 IF YOU ARE AN ANIMAL LOVER LIKE MYSELF. I didn’t know about this chapter beforehand or else I would have skipped it. It actually made me angry that this was included at all, especially when it did not alter the plot at all.  

I did enjoy the author's writing style and subtle empowerment of Daniella's character over time. A copy of this ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I LOVED this book! If you loved Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner, this is a MUST READ. Eve & Daniella meet at a private women's college and immediately become best friends. Through the years, they drift apart as their views on the Vietnam War and social justice put them at odds, until Eve finds herself in desperate need of a friend once again.
I really liked that this isn't your typical friends get swept up in the same movement as every other 60s novel. The group Eve joins is underground and far more violent than hippie sit-ins; likewise Daniella follows a path that suits her and the story, not remarkable for the time, but notable for its difference from other stories.
Was this review helpful?
Ms. White tells us that this was a hard novel to write.  This was also a hard novel to read.  It brings to light all the misinformation and naivety those of my generation brought with us into adulthood. This tale covers a timeframe of thirty years, between 1962, when Eve and Daniella meet on the first day of their college life at Belmont College, an all-girl school in the deep south. We follow these two very different ladies through their lives and choices, from the dawn of the Kennedy White House to Bill Clinton's election. We live again through the growing pains of racial strife in the south, the pain of every step toward equality, the many miss-steps and regressions in that war, and the deep division of between the have and have-nots of any color. It hurts, to live it all again.  And to see just how far we still have to go.

This is a novel I wish every person would read.  Equality - of race, gender, sexual orientation - is an interesting buzz word.  It is, even today, still looming for us way down the road of time.    

I received a free electronic copy of this historical novel from Netgalley, Susan Rebecca White, and Atria Books.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun read about two friends who meet at the beginning of college in 1962 and quickly become best friends. they both become politically active but in different ways, one much more radical than the other, and their friendship fluctuates. It’s a multigenerational story that spans thirty years of history. I loved how real it felt: the settings, the relationships, and the main friendship. it was cute! Thanks to @atriabooks and @netgalley for the ebook. Also - that cover. I didn’t realize til I took a photo that it’s an optical illusion and there are two faces there. it’s perfect.
Was this review helpful?
I have mixed feelings about this novel. It starts off well. It spans two generations of women and their friendships, beginning in the early 60s, as Eve and Daniella meet at Belmont University as freshmen. They are from very different backgrounds but, thrown together as roommates, they form a strong bond. When they butt up against prejudice for the first time, Eve, who has lived a privileged life, jumps in to try to improve things, with disastrous results. 

The girls decide to transfer to Barnard College in NYC for their sophomore year and there become more deeply involved in social issues: Daniella wants to work for the civil rights movement while Eve becomes involved with the anti-war campaign, falling for a charismatic radical, again with disastrous results. 

This is where the story started to leave me behind. I went to university in the late 60s so I'm very aware of how our newly-fledged idealism could be directed toward fighting many social injustices. But where is Eve's brain? She allows herself to be pushed into doing things she knows are wrong. That 'cat' chapter--ugh!!

Later, when each has a daughter who become friends, we are fairly bludgeoned with every form of modern-day prejudice there is. It was just too much in one story. Is this a commentary on what's going on today, when prejudice seems to be gaining ground again, when there seems to be a different set of rules for the wealthy 1%ers? Are 'we all good people here?'

Eve and Daniella's friendship just didn't ring true for me. I have a life-long friend and we've often gone our separate way on issues, but not to this extreme extent. I wonder if we would have remained friends if we'd been on different sides of the law, for instance. I truly doubt it. 

I received an arc of this new novel from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review. Thank you for the opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book. It was not exactly what I was expecting, however it did deliver poignant messages about cultural, political, and social issues that we still face today. I myself was once in a sorority (not in the 1960's), but I enjoyed reliving some of those memories. Susan Rebecca Whites writing is wonderful. I would have liked a bit more detail in respect to the characters themselves, I felt that I didn't really get to know them before moving on to the next historical event. However, this was likely just my preference as it is a historical fiction and does an accurate job of detailing the events that took place from the 1960's on. Thank you to NetGalley, Atria Books, and Susan Rebecca White for the a-ARC copy in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing how much I love a coming of age story, but I do enjoy watching characters make decisions, learn from their mistakes, and see their adult personalities develop in response to their previous decisions and experiences.  We Are All Good People Here follows Daniella and Eve over 30 years, through the 60s, 70s, 80s, and into the 90s.  Faced with inequities due to social class, religion, race, and eventual political opinions, Daniella and Eve cycle through unwavering support of each other, to estrangement, and back again.  A story of true and devoted friendship. 

And let’s just take a minute to appreciate that cover!  I’ve been looking at it for weeks and JUST NOW saw it!  Wait for it...
Was this review helpful?
Eve and Danielle are assigned to be roommates at all female Belmont College in 1962, setting them up for intertwined lives in a novel that ends in the present day.  An ill conceived effort to help the maids at the college and anti-semitism lead them to transfer to Barnard, where they fall in with a group of more radical students.  Eve, a child of privilege, is entwined with Warren, who, btw is also from a wealthy family, and she turns her back on her family.  Danielle travels to Mississippi to register voters and later goes to law school, marries Pete, and becomes the first female associate at a big Atlanta law firm.  Sara and Anna, Danielle and Eve's daughters respectively, are raised more or less together, albeit under different economic conditions.  The book is largely told in the third person, alternating between Eve and Danielle, until suddenly, Sara appears as a narrator in the first person.  Those who aren't familiar with the tumult of the 1960s and radical activity will likely find this enlightening. More time is spent on Eve during this period than Danielle (we learn nothing about her time in law Schoo, for example, although her letters from Mississippi shine). There is a scene about 38 percent through on the kindle that animal lovers might want to skip-I almost put the book down because of it.  Shock value yes but necessary- no.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  For fans of the female friendship genre.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced digital copy of this book from the author, Atria Books and Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

Ms. White brings the turbulent South of the 60's to life through the lives of two very flawed women and their children.   An engaging read, a story really about the choices we make and the effects of those choices on ourselves and those we love.

4 out of 5 stars. A good read.
Was this review helpful?
We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca White, out on August 6th, follows the interwoven lives of two women, Eve and Daniella, and their daughters as they all navigate the tumultuous political and personal aspects of their lives, stretching from the Vietnam War in the 1960s to the Reagan Era of the 1980s. It's a historical fiction novel with a lot of complex moral implications, as Eve and Daniella attempt to be the best type of person they can possibly be and how those definitions can differ. 

For all that, which sounds so intriguing especially because women are often left out of late 20th century historical fiction, the novel fell a little flat for me. The situations and plot were interesting enough, but the characters felt a little one dimensional, despite White offering ample opportunity for the reader to delve into their heads and hearts. Eve and Daniella have a lot of passion and personality but I couldn't invest any emotional attachment to them, perhaps because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and something terrible to happen at any moment. The narrative also switches back and forth between the two women and their daughters, which could also explain why I felt more removed. 

The whole novel has an ominous feel but an ambiguous ending. Daniella involves herself in a really radical anti-Vietnam War group while Eve chooses law school as a way to fight injustice from inside the system. Without giving away too much (spoilers!), it definitely seems like Eve "wins," as her life does not fall apart as Daniella's does, and that aggressive radicalism is discouraged in the novel itself. The end of the novel feels a bit like a shoulder shrug, a simple passing comment of "well, this is life" without any real punches pulled -- I just wanted so much more! 

It's a good read, with very poetic language, and ultimately interesting, but it just fell a bit short for me. If you've read this one, let me know what you think! Thank you to @netgalley and @atriabooks for this e- ARC!
Was this review helpful?
I love this book.  Susan Rebecca White gets Atlanta just right.  Reading about Eve and Daniella and  their daughters, Anna and Sarah against the backdrop of an Atlanta I once loved, even with the mixed feelings I had about it, was compelling.  Every mention of every street name, business or happening was brought back to me in stark reality and I appreciate the author staying so true to the city, the history and the culture.
Was this review helpful?
I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting out of this one, but I will say, I didn't exactly love it. I try to give books a fair chance to hook me and draw me in, but even 20% into it, I was getting Daniella and Eve confused constantly. It may just be a matter of it's me, not the book.
Was this review helpful?
This was excellent. The writing, the story. I felt so connected to Eve and Daniella and then their daughters, Anna and Sarah.

I was actually bummed when I finished it because I wanted more!
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars rounded up.

I loved the first half of this book.  The story of Eve and Danielle as they grew to womanhood is perfect in its description of the American 60’s.  Memories of the time vividly returned to me reading about the Kennedy assassination,  the My Lai massacre, the Freedom Riders.  Eve and Danielle, best friends in college, each adapt to history and their circumstances.  They stand up to injustice, and make the big and small compromises that inevitably lessen them in the way that humans do.

I found the stories of Eve and Danielle’s daughters less compelling.  Somehow they seemed less three-dimensional, and more of a canvas for writing about the issues of todays headlines.

Overall, an interesting and readable book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this new novel as an ARC.  I had not read any books by Susan Rebecca White previously and was not expecting such an incredible read.  I enjoyed the story told from when the two main characters met and then through the years continuing on to their daughters journeys.  I enjoyed the history interwoven showing the discrimination of women, races, and religions in the 50's on and how things were explored and changed.  There were a few sections that were hard to read but overall I greatly recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?