Member Reviews

Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced copy.

I am a fan of Fowlers writing and was happy to get an early copy of her new novel. This book follows 3 girls who mother just died, leaving them some surprises along the way. This book took me awhile to get into until I was able to navigate the key players. We get the perspectives from Marti, the mother, three daughters, Paul (spouse of daughter) and CJ a man from the past. The group is all intertwined and come full circle after the death of Marti and visiting Camp, their cabin on the water. Each person has their own secrets and Marti's death helps unite them all together and encourages them to be honest with each other.

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IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS is a lovely family drama sure to delight fans of Emma Straub, J. Courtney Sullivan, & Lianne Moriarty. The characters' voices won me over from the beginning and I couldn't wait to see what would happy next for Marti (alas...), Beck, Claire, Sophie, and CJ.

Fowler keeps the plot moving at a nice brisk pace, which keeps the reader turning the pages. I particularly appreciated how she kept the story feeling realistic, giving each character believable aspects to their personalities.

The ending is satisfying without being artificial or forced.

I'm a longtime fan of Fowler's work and her latest certainly does not disappoint.

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I’m a little perplexed about my feelings for “It All Comes Down To This”…..
but, I really like *Therese Ann Fowler*.
I gave five stars to four other books she wrote—enjoyed them immensely:
….”A Good Neighborhood”,
….”Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald”,
….”A Well-Behaved Women: A Novel of the Vanderbilts”,
and
….”Exposed”.
….with other un-read Fowler novels, I still want to read.
So, clearly I like Therese Ann Fowler.

So….I’m puzzled by my own mixed feelings.
I had expected ‘messy-family-dramedy’…..(complicated relationships, marriages, divorce, parenting, career’s, difficulties, lies, secrets, betrayals, unfaithfulness, mistakes, unfairness, vulnerabilities, regret, loss, questions of thyself, lessons learned of thyself, A Great Undoing”, etc.)…
along with joy, humor, and a pleasurable reading experience.
Mostly, this novel was all those things. It’s a character driven (soap opera-ish novel). And although it moves unsteadily at times - I was involved right up to the conclusion.

I felt Therese captured all the qualities I had anticipated—yet, the plot was spinning in so many directions, no one thing ever happened that became the ‘main’ focus of the book.

The idiosyncratic authenticity of the ensemble cast of characters felt pretty real. Messy-but real.
Fowler is excellent at describing her characters- their personalities, their strengths and flaws…..delivering engrossing contemporary stories.

At the center of this novel are three sisters — The Geller Sisters: Beck, Claire, and Sophie….a journalist, a pediatric cardiologist, and an assistant gallerist—
Their jobs are the least of what’s interesting about any of the sisters…
Their conundrums—[their intricate particulars]—are much more mystifying.

It’s a book to have a little fun with — not to take seriously — even though serious issues are examined —
It could have been tighter — but if you go with the flow — there are plenty of micro tales to enjoy.

…A character who called herself “The Resident” (real name was Tabitha), was hilarious.
…A couple of the children ( Arlo and David) were both adorable.

This novel is a great tribute to the theme “life is messy”.
We grow, we change, life happens!

3.5 stars —

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