Cover Image: It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This

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Member Reviews

I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was an okay read for me. I liked some of the characters a lot but ended up being mad at Bec most of the time. I thought she acted immature for her age throughout the book. I thought the story was very predictable in parts. I was not a fan of the brother-in-law and sister-in-law storyline.
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In 2021 I really enjoyed Therese Anne Fowler’s writing in A Good Neighborhood, even though the story itself left me both sad and frustrated. While a family drama, the plot involves societal expectations of people, especially as neighbors. Engaging and thought-provoking, the book was a go-to recommendation for me, and it just barely missed making my top reads list for the year. Because of this, I had extremely high expectations for It All Comes Down to This. Unfortunately, my expectations were too high to be met.
It All Comes Down to This is a family drama that left me wanting more. I was hooked in the beginning of the book, learning about the Gellar sisters. As I continued to read, my interest level dwindled, and I took a 2.5 month break from the book. When I finally resumed this past week via audiobook, I remembered exactly where I’d left off, and I was happy to finish the second half of the book. Other than a feeling of completion (for me) and the resolution of much of the drama, the book didn’t leave me with anything like the deeper commentary on social issues that A Good Neighborhood included.
Thanks to St Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion - this one is available everywhere now. It reads as a beach read family drama, so I think you’ll enjoy it more if you go into it with those expectations.
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This is my first time reading a book by Therese Anne Fowler, and I enjoyed it. I like character-driven novels about messy lives. Thanks for letting me check it out!
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I started out engaged and wanting to know more about the Geller sisters, but the longer I read, the less I cared.  While I don’t have any siblings, it seemed far from what a normal adult sibling relationship is like.  

I was slightly disappointed since everyone was raving about the author.  I did like her writing style and will give her another chance.
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It All Comes Down to This is the story of three very different sisters who come together after their mother’s death. Beck is a freelance writer with kids and a seemingly happy marriage though she suspects her husband might be gay. Claire is a doctor in Duluth who was recently divorced by her husband and is navigating this new life with their child splitting time with her and his dad. Sophie is single and an influencer in the art world, traveling and living the high life, posting it all on social media, and glossing over the hard facts of her life. 

When their mother dies, they come together for the funeral. They love each other but distantly, separated not only by distance but by age and interests. Their mother wrote in her will that the family’s cabin in Maine had to be sold. Beck imagines going there to write, but Claire and Sophie just went to sell. Before they can do that, though, they have to spend a weekend there together. And that’s when a lot of truths come out. 



I was surprisingly disappointed in It All Comes Down to This. I loved Fowler’s A Good Neighborhood. I just think everything was a bit too pat. I know from her past books she can leave things unresolved, but she chose not to this time and that felt very wrong. I liked the people who felt well-developed at first. But it was just too neatly done. I also think the situation with Beck and Claire is not very credible. Not that I think two sisters cannot overcome what might feel like a betrayal, but overcoming it so quickly makes people feel emotionally shallow, as though they didn’t care. Sophie’s resolution felt too perfect. It all felt too nice. 

I received an e-galley of It All Comes Down to This from the publisher through NetGalley.

It All Comes Down to This at St. Martin’s Press | Macmillan
Review of A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler
Therese Anne Fowler
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If I had sisters, I think we would be very much like the Geller girls!  Beck, Claire, and Sophie have each taken different paths in adulthood, but it's heartwarming when they come together.  The struggles Beck faces are reality for a lot of us.  With her finding solace and peace, the book had the perfect ending!  This was my first Fowler book, and I will be exploring her other works as well.  I will be recommending this book to my reader friends.
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This is a refreshing read by a new to me author. I enjoyed this story immensely and highly recommend it.
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In her will, Marti Geller instructs her three daughters to gather at the family's summer cottage before selling the Maine home. Unhappily married Beck, a freelance writer, Claire, a pediatric cardiologist and recently divorced, and Sophie, a gallery assistant, living beyond her means, haven't seen one another in ten years. Will the forced reunion and family revelations strengthen the sisters' bonds? Perfect beach reading.
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I respect this departure from the historical fiction I associate with Fowler, but this wasn't the right story for me when I picked it up.
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It All Comes Down to This reads like La Croix tastes: a diluted and somewhat flat version of what you thought you were getting. None of the characters were particularly likable, and all of them have "problems" created by their own selfishness. 

Three-sentence summary: In the wake of their mother's death, the three Geller sisters learn their mother's family history wasn't as straightforward as they always believed, and furthermore, the family matriarch has left strict orders to sell the family summer home on Mount Desert Island, Maine. Eldest sister Beck moves into the cottage under the guise of renovating for sale, while secretly she nurtures a plan to fix it up and live there, leaving her husband and their sexless marriage in the process. As the sisters bicker endlessly over what to do, each reveals her own secrets that prove the whole family is garbage.

Ugh. I couldn't wait for this one to be over. The Geller conundrums are the definition of rich people problems. The side plot about a character named CJ with a mysterious past who's trying to buy the Geller property is strange and irrelevant. Beck tries to lay blame for her crappy marriage at his feet, and by extension, the drama between her and her middle sister -- but none of it is actually his fault, and we never needed to hear about him at all. 

For character-driven "New England summer" novels driven by real emotion and pathos, read Jennifer Weiner's excellent Summer series (Big Summer, That Summer, The Summer Place).
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This is my first time reading work from NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Terese Fowler. I like the title, the cover, and the story. The novel is classified under Literary Fiction/Women’s Fiction; however, I think most people that pick up this book would enjoy it. This novel is the perfect beach/porch read. It’s big-hearted and enjoyable.

This book is about sisterhood, family, dreams, secrets, struggles, love, romance, and basically happy endings.

The mom, Marti, is dying and she is presented in a way that is calm, cool, and collected. Her organization skills, planning, and fearlessness of death set the stage for the book. This is a strong woman who is likely to have strong daughters. Speaking of the daughters: Beck, Claire, and Sophie are quite different but they are all strong in their own way. The main background for the novel is in NYC and Mount Desert Island, Maine. I have been to NYC many times but have never visited any part of Maine. After reading this story, (well honestly, I already wanted to go!), I definitely plan to visit Maine any chance I get.

It’s Marti’s wish, and part of her will, that the three sisters gather in Maine and spend time together and then sell the family cottage and split the money three ways. Just like life, things are never that simple. Marti held secrets that she didn’t reveal until after her death and as the story unfolds each sister starts to unravel their own secrets to themselves and to each other.

Filled with humor, honesty, struggle, and triumph…. Oh, did I mention a charming, handsome man who might have spent some time in prison is part of the story, and he comes with an endearing young sidekick to boot?

Interesting to me that throughout reading the book I went from five stars to four stars, to maybe threeish stars. The three stars are due to the ending, but I won’t share any spoilers! I do like this novel very much and I also recommend it. I think I’ll go with four stars.

A special thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my review.
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This is a beautiful look at sisterhood in all of its messiness. Beck, Claire and Sophie are all wonderfully fleshed out characters and I love the way their mother intervened in their relationships even after she passed. Fowler's writing is lyrical and descriptive but the pacing got a bit too slow in the middle and I started to lose interest. I wish it had finished as strongly as it started.

Thanks to St. Martin's and NetGalley for the copy to review.
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I loved Fowler's last book but this one didn't hit the same as it did. It was slow and hard for me to enagage with.
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Although there was much to like about the book, especially that it’s about sisters and their relationship, but the characters did not resonate with me.  The three sisters, Beck , Claire and Sophie, were too self-centered and spoiled.  Personal growth only came to one at the very rushed ending of the book, although it was slow going through most of the way.  Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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Three sisters are tasked with dealing with the family vacation home upon their mother's death. The sisters each have their own drama in their personal lives that plays into how they want to handle the home. As they uncover their mother's secrets, they are forced to deal with their own secrets. Will this bring the sisters back together or drive them apart forever?

As one of three sisters who has lived through the process of dealing with a family home after the death of a loved one, this book spoke to me on so many levels. The situation that unfolds between the sisters is definitely more dramatic than mine with my own sisters, but the dynamics of how the sisters work through the drama is very familiar and real. The emotions felt by each sister about what to do with the family vacation home are all ones I have seen played out in my own life. Some of it felt so real it made me emotional. While some of the circumstances throughout the book seemed overly dramatic, I enjoyed how realistic many of the emotions felt. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good, easy family drama.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC of this book.
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Marti Geller is dying of cancer. She leaves a will with a few unexpected surprises for her three daughters. In a video she tells her daughters about her past and is very specific about her future wishes concerning her estate. Readers learn how inheritance, tumultuous relationships, secrets, betrayal and dysfunction can alter a family dynamic. Can the three sisters maintain their bond and follow through with their mom's last wishes? Beck is the oldest of the sisters and also a mother who's a writer on the side. She loves her husband, but they have never really ‘connected’ in a deep way, or sexually. They are polite and caring, but the distance is growing and their marriage is on shaky ground. Her heart was broken as a teen with a summer romance in Maine. Middle sister Claire is a recently divorced doctor who juggles her career and child and dog, adding up to tension and high blood pressure. Sophie, the baby, has a glamourous lifestyle and a huge following for SimplySophie! on social media. She wines and dines artists and prospective art buyers, but has a massive credit card debt and no permanent home. She is hovering on the edge of disaster.Each sister is dealing with their own issues they must face and try to overcome. Secrets are uncovered as the book progresses. This is a slow but good character driven novel dealing with relationships, betrayal, loss and regrets. I especially loved CJ & Arlo. I enjoyed this book a lot.
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I struggled with this book. With a story like this, that is so character-driven, I need to be interested in at least one (hopefully more) of the main characters, and in this book that was not the case. I did not care for Beck, Sophie didn't have much of a personality, and Claire was fine but boring. I thought there would be so much more to the relationship between the three of them, but most of the book is focused on them as individuals and they only come together towards the end - and by that time, it is apparent that they spend very little time together as sisters. They seem to barely know each other. It felt like the book was heading toward some major conclusion but the end fizzled and was extremely predictable. I have to give it more than one star, though, because something in me wanted to keep reading and find out what would happen in these women's lives. I think I may be done with Fowler after finishing this book, however, as I really didn't like her most recent one. Perhaps I'm more a fan of her historical fiction than her family dramas.
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I know some people love these kind of books: the ones that are just a mundane look at life where literally not much happens but everyone is messy but it's all okay because of LOVE. But I really need to stop reading them at all because they are definitely not for me. 

Everything about this just felt so flat. There's no plot but I hardly even consider it character-driven because I didn't feel any sort of connection for any of them. It didn't feel plot or character driven...it felt like a freaking parked car. 

I expected a lot more grief to be dealt with when the synopsis mentioned a dying mother. I never once felt a twinge of sadness for the loss of the 3 sister's mother, though one of them would mention it was hard not to be able to call her every now and then. There wasn't even too much drama over the will...if you aren't going to make me feel anything, can you at least entertain me with spiteful drama? No...oh okay.

And then the whole baiting in the synopsis of "the ex-con with a mysterious path who changes everything"? That was obviously something that could have been great, hence the urge to try to bait us all in by putting that right in the synopsis. I didn't feel like he really fit at all. His own story, past and present, was super intriguing and fascinating but give him a whole book; not a weird side plot that is being forced into a story that doesn't even genuinely need it. 

Overall, I just feel that the multiple perspectives took away from the whole story, but I didn't like how we dropped 3/4 of the perspectives and focused solely on one in the end. Simply because everyone else completed their character arc, and one just took a tiny bit longer.
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In her newest book, Therese Anne Fowler shares the story of a trio of sisters who must reunite in order to sell the family’s summer cottage in Mount Desert Island, Maine as required by their mother’s will. While working through their grief, Beck, Claire, and Sophie each realize that they are unhappy with their lives and are seeking solace and change. When ex-con C.J. Reynolds arrives with his own set of secrets, he creates waves between the Gellar sisters and their mission. 

From the first sentence, It All Comes Down to This starts off with bang that instantly piqued my interest. After the Gellar sisters receive their instructions to sell the family’s summer cottage, the story shifts between each, unleashing a bevy of misgivings about the lives they’ve chosen. The secretive C.J. Reynolds seems to hover in between chapters. As as reader who throughly enjoys emotional family dramas, this one just missed the the mark for me. And it all comes down to this—miscommunication as a plot device. 

Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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It All Comes Down to This by Therese Anne Fowler is about secrets and family.  This is my first book by Ms. Fowler and I can truthfully say that she creates strong, caring, insightful characters, male and female both. However, this novel does center around three sisters with strong differences between all three.  The chapters alternate between each sister in order to create a well rounded view of each one.  

I believe what intrigued me the most about the story was why the main characters were behaving they way they were.  Each is living with a secret about themselves reminding us that just below the surface each family has their own issues.  The evolution of the sisters relationship depends on them finally acknowledging their own past and being honest with themselves.  It is then that is possible to reconnect with not only themselves but others that play an important role in their life. As you read the story you find the reoccurring theme of finding your own passion, being authentic to ones self and ultimately how that changes one for the better. 

The setting is also a major character.  It takes place on Mount Desert Island in Maine.  Ms. Fowler does a great job of making the reader see the cottage, the town and most importantly the sea.  Each sister’s future revolves around the family summer home located here.  

Thank you to Therese Anne Fowler, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.  I look forward to reading more from Ms. Fowler.
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