Cover Image: It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

It All Comes Down to This by Therese Anne Fowler is a sensitive family drama about the Geller sisters: Beck, Claire and Sophie. Their mother dies leaving undivulged secrets and instructions to settle her estate between all three women. She also specifies that the family “camp” on Mount Desert Island in Maine be sold and also divided between all three. The problem is that Beck wants to keep the cottage and Claire and Sophie want it sold and monies disbursed as per their mother’s instructions. The best features of this novel are the characters. The reader is introduced to each sister’s past and present, denoting the differences between all three. The chapters generally alternate between Beck, Claire and Sophie. The cottage is at the center of the novel and each woman’s future revolves around it. This is a quiet and enjoyable book. Therese Anne Fowler has created great female characters and the book is a reminder that all families have their issues, large or small. I look forward to reading more from this author. Highly recommended. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press, NetGalley and the author for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the Advance Copy for a review of my honest opinion.

Every family has secrets, no doubt about that. After the family matriarch’s death, the Gellar sisters face deception and secrets intertwined between themselves and from their mother. Together they need to face one another and grow from this experience.

For me, this did no hit the spot. I would consider this a soft drama if anything. Things started off strong as the author built up what was supposed to be a huge secret, but was also played off to be like not a big deal? I was a bit confused.

I also was not a fan of going back and forth for so many characters. I felt like I couldn’t get into a specific story. Every character was dealing was deception, but you couldn’t feel empathetic, because there was so much drama from everyone.

I think I would have liked this more if we only had POVs from the women. I was not into CJs entire backstory. I don’t think that added much into this plot. In honesty, it could have be built to be a book itself. Also knowing more about Paul was annoying. I feel as if we could have gotten it from one conversation with Claire.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

This story revolves around the lives of 3 sisters - Beck, Claire, and Sophie - whose mother is dying. Marti leaves behind their Maine home to be sold and the proceeds to be split between the 3 girls.

Enter a man with a hidden past that wants to buy their home, and drama ensues.

This was just an okay read - it took me some time to get interested in it.
Was this review helpful?
I love a good dysfunctional family drama. I love a good setting. I love characters that seem like they could be real life people with real life problems. This book had all of that. I was reading in every minute I could find to find out how it all turned out for these sisters!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to st. Martins press for letting me read an arc copy of It All Comes Down To this by Therese Anne Fowler.  I liked the beginning of the book it was enough  to continue reading some everyday but, I got bored in the middle and the ending I had to push myself to finish this book.

A short summary a mom was dying the three girls has to share the inheritance and the son in law was the excutor of the will.  I wasn't fond of any of the characters.
Was this review helpful?
✨ Review ✨ It All Comes Down to This by Therese Anne Fowler; Narrated by Barrie Kreinik

Wow - I love a messy, multiple POV family story with some love plotlines thrown in and this hit just the spot. It's definitely a read that takes some thought as you shift around between POVs but it's written just so beautifully.

Three sisters - Beck, Claire, and Sophie - return to NYC for their mother Marti's funeral. While the sisters see each other as so put together and successful, each of them is struggling with their identity and trajectory. Marti knew they were struggling and tries to set the scene for them to come back together by forcing them to confront some of their issues. Each of the sisters takes a journey throughout this book and it's often slow and messy and really complicated, and I loved it for that. 

Maybe it's my own mid-30s lifepoint that's talking but this really resonated in the character's struggles and experiences as they hit (or miss) a variety of midlife milestones.

The audio was gorgeous - I switched between the ebook and the audio; although there are a lot of POVs to track -- the three sisters and, less frequently, the POVs of several other peripheral characters. It was doable but I could see where it would throw a more casual or distracted listener.

Genre: Literary fiction
Location: NYC and Mount Desert Island, Maine mostly
Reminds me of: One Italian Summer without the weird mother-daughter relationship; Half-Blown Rose maybe too?
Pub Date: Out now!

Read this if you like:
⭕️ Messy explorations of love and sisterhood
⭕️ Multiple POV stories
⭕️ Raw emotion

Thanks to St. Martins Press, MacMillan Audio and #netgalley for digital and audio copies of this book!
Was this review helpful?
5 Lots to Consider Stars
* * * * * Spoiler Free-A Quick Review
It All Comes Down to This by Therese Anne Fowler is perfectly titled. It takes the reader on a journey of what it means to lose a mother who understands her daughters and what they may need. It is a story of how things will eventually be worked out and family can be the support to work through it all.
Was this review helpful?
🛶 Book Review 🛶

#NetGalley published 6/7/2022

🛶🛶🛶🛶🚣‍♀️/5 (rounding up for ratings)

If you like messy (familial) relationships, this book is for you. It is not a romance. Though there are couples that do manage to get together. This is the story of 3 sisters who bc of their age differences have never seemed to manage to grow together over the years. Each broken in their own way. And yes, I'll spoil it, not really a spoiler, manage to be OK in the end with themselves and each other thanks to a request in their mom's will.

I took off a half point bc my mind kept wandering as to where the heck was this book going? In a bad way. Like, how can it possibly finish up the story from here? Kind of like a TV show where you swear that it's going to be continued. But then it all gets wrapped up quicker than you ever could have imagined. 

I would definitely choose another book by this author. I loved her voice. 

#bookstagram #booknerds #bookworm #booklover #bookdragon #readalot #ilovereading #inkdrinker #librarymouse #booknerdbookreviews #bookaddict #bookaholic #bookrecommendation #bookreview
Was this review helpful?
Marti Geller knows she’s dying and it’s coming soon. She gathers strength to get ready, including selling her summer cottage. After her death, we follow her three daughters Beck, Claire, and Sophia and the burdens they struggle with after her death.

This book touched me emotionally as I have three daughters. This book felt more soap opera than a moving story, so in a way it fell a bit flat for me.
Was this review helpful?
I have never been disappointed in this author’s ability to tell a terrific story and this one is no exception. I loved this book! In the same style as her previous novel, A Good Neighborhood, Fowler creates a family saga that is gripping and heartwarming throughout. This story begins with the matriarch, Marti, who is the mother to 3 grown daughters. She comes to find out that her battle with cancer has reached the extent of medical intervention and she is placed on at home hospice care. She has already decided that she will tell the daughters, but insists that she does not want the hovering that occurs towards the end of life in these situations to be part of her dying process. She spends her time laying out her wishes once she passes with incredible detail. She plans her funeral and lays out very specific wishes within her will. 
She feels strongly about specific aspects of her eventual passing, including forcing the family to work together to close the estate. One of the main aspects of her will states that the family “summer camp”, a rustic house in Maine should be sold and the profits split between the daughters. Between the apartment in NYC and this camp, there are a lot of memories that have been forgotten in the business of daily lives. 
The character development is wonderful. The reader can predict how each daughter will handle a given situation. I love this style of writing and flew through this story. I personally connected with some characters better than others, and frankly found one to be annoying when we first meet her. Over the course of the novel, it is easy to develop an understanding of the motivations and the growth of each character. I appreciated every character and their story.
My only “negative” is that I was able to predict part of the plot about halfway through the story. I generally do not enjoy it when this happens, but I think it was because the characters were fleshed out brilliantly and each storyline was told well enough to allow this to happen and my enjoyment of the story and investment in the characters remained high.
Highly recommend!

#ItAllComesDownToThis #Netgalley #StMartinsPress
Was this review helpful?
I liked this messy family drama just fine but I was never totally engrossed. I enjoyed it enough to finish it so I could recommend it to the right reader. 

It All Comes Down to This is a very character driven novel. It is about the Gellers. The three Geller Sisters are not very tight. They all try to look better than their siblings. There is an invisible competition between them. Beck (44), Claire (40) and Sophie (36) are in very different places in life. Their mom Marti dies. She reveals a big secret to them on her deathbed. And she also instructs them to sell the camp, their summer cottage in Maine. Beck is "happily" married to Paul. They are more like friends than partners after over 20years of marriage. She is content with not having any sex in her marriage, she thinks Paul is gay, and she is okay with it. She just wants to stay in the cottage and write the novel she'd been planning for years. Her sister's though could use the money that would come from the sale especially Sophie, who has a lavish lifestyle and is drowning in debt. There is also tension between Claire and Beck. Claire avoids her sister because she's been desperately in love with Beck's husband for a long time. This infatuation has cost Claire her marriage and Beck has no idea. There also another character back in Maine, CJ, their prospective house buyer.    

Each character has a unique voice. Fowler's writing makes them come alive. The Geller's are not one of these fictional families you would kill to be part of. They are distant. Each sister is a little bit selfish. 

The older sister-husband-younger sister love triangle is not as icky as it sounds. When I first read the synopsis I wasn't sure about whether it would bother me but it didn't. The youngest sister Sophie was my least favorite character because I found her very superficial. 

I expected more of a The Paper Palace feel from the camp/cabin setting but I was disappointed in that aspect. The scene that the three sisters had the big talk and got every secret off their chest was intense but satisfying. The ending was a bit too neat but it worked.

I have a feeling an older audience would enjoy this novel more. 

I liked the following quote though "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find you get what you need.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately, this one did not work for me. I read until the halfway point and then decided to move on. 

This had the potential to be a really great character driven story. The sisters are all unique and well developed by the author. The issue was that there didn't really seem to be a plot. Nothing had really happened in the first half of the book, the sisters had just come together for the first time at that point. 

The writing was well done, it just didn't have enough plot to keep me reading.
Was this review helpful?
This story hooked me immediately. I have several special women in my life who are part of 3-girl families so it’s fun for me to read about that dynamic. I really enjoyed Beck and Claire, although Sophie was the least believable and/or likable to me. I loved getting the glimpse’s of Marti’s past and how Fowler interwove the stories. C.J. was also an interesting character and I particularly liked his ending. This was an absorbing family drama with great characters. I enjoyed Fowler’s writing and would read more by her.
Was this review helpful?
Three sisters lose their mother and because of the terms of the will they are forced to be to work together to sort out the details of the estate.  At one time they were close but time has passed and their lives have diverged. From New York, Minneapolis and Mount Desert Island, Maine all come together to tell the story of a family.  A story of love & forgiveness; of secrets kept and secrets learned. A tale of growth, love and finding what truly matters.
A great summer read for men and women alike.
Was this review helpful?
It All Comes Down to This, by Therese Anne Fowler, is an absorbing read.  The four main characters are very different, fully developed, and compelling, each in her own way.  None are totally likable although their individual conflicts and demons become clear as the story progresses.  At any stage of life, we are all making choices. Reality and change may require new choices if we are to be happy.

Other reviewers have noted that the pacing of this novel is awkward.  I agree.  The wrap-up was hurried and unsatisfying. Imagine expecting a full-course Thanksgiving dinner and getting a cold turkey TV plate.  All the elements are there, but it lacks the essential experience.  Nonetheless, this book does raise issues with which many of us grapple.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Publishing for the opportunity to read a digital ARC.
Was this review helpful?
I adored Fowler's previous novel A Good Neighborhood. Strong characters, compelling themes, and good plotting all came together to make a memorable novel with a really tangible setting and a credibility to it; the characters felt like MY neighbors. 

I got this book on the strength of that one, as well as its 3 adult sisters motif, and it didn't work for me. I can see that other reviewers loved it so maybe it's me?

I didn't find the characters thoroughly drawn; they felt more like pawns that were useful for the plot but did not feel like real people to me. And the plot! Full of implausibilities (Sophie's whole life, a certain chance meeting late in the novel), and it had a really big hole concerning the mother's motivation in a certain decision about property disposition in her will (trying to avoid a spoiler here!).
Was this review helpful?
It All Comes Down to This was a great read by Therese Anne Fowler. Beck, Claire, and Sophie are three strong-minded women. They are the Geller sisters that find out their mother Marti will be dying soon. Marti has ensured that the modest estate is easy for the family after she passes. The only provision included is that the families summer cottage be sold, and the proceeds split equally between the three girls. Beck is the oldest and he marriage doesn’t look like others. Her husband is hiding a troubling truth about their love lives. Beck feels that the cottage is essential for her secret wish to write a novel. Claire is a pediatric cardiologist that has always felt like the misfit in the family. Her unrequited love or the wrong man has destroyed her and her marriage. Sophie is the youngest daughter who seems to have the perfect life, at least on Instagram. C.J. Reynolds’s is an enigmatic southerner who wants the cottage but is also hiding his own past. I enjoyed reading this book and cant wait to read more by the author.
Was this review helpful?
Man, I was a bit disappointed in this slow burn of a book. I had high hopes but honestly it fell flat. It took a lot for me to get into it as I really wasn't invested in any of the characters storylines and found them a bit underdeveloped. Overall 2/5 stars from me.
Was this review helpful?
Family drama unfolds as the Geller sisters settle their deceased mother’s estate.
This book is my idea of a perfect summer beach read: love triangles, rekindled old flames, family secrets, and the family vacation home’s fate. I love how different each Geller sister is (instagram influencer, doctor, and a writer). Their wants and needs intersect to heighten the drama. Each sister has a secret and revealing these secrets to each other finally allows them to authentically live. I am not a fan of traditional romance, chick lit books, so I felt that this was a great cross between a literary fiction novel and a romance novel. High brow romance, maybe? 

Fowler’s writing is rich and a pleasure to read. I enjoyed this much more than her last novel.
Was this review helpful?
I do love a good story about a modern messy family, and was intrigued by the comparisons to Jane Austen novels. Unfortunately I found this story had more style than substance—but what style! Fowler's prose is completely gorgeous.
Was this review helpful?