Cover Image: It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This

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Member Reviews

I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

A mother dies and leaves a video exposing secrets to her three daughters.   

I love the storylines in this novel.
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I wanted to like this book but couldnt ever seem to get into it. It just fell flat for me and i could barely finish this.
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Thank you St Martins Press and Net Galley for this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

I loved this book! 

Strong women, an irresistable southern gent, and strong family connections.

The sisters are so realistic with their banter, the mom was a smart, kind person who knew her very different daughters well.

Therese Anne Foster's get book yet!
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I was impressed with how much I loved the simplicity of this book. It was a normal story about pretty normal people. Even the dialogue is smooth and natural. Each character had their own hurdles and catalysts but there were no truly earth-shattering events (though a serious plot twist), unlike Fowler's previous book "A Good Neighborhood". 

The main bulk of the narrative is on three sisters whose Mom has just died and they need to decide what to do with the vacation home. Each one is in such a vastly different place in her life that this is no easy task. There is also a side narrative of a guy just out of jail, C.J. Reynolds that plays in later. I will say though, it's not quite like the summary describes it. I felt he had less effect on the plot than the description would have one think

I think this is a PERFECT book club book as there is so much to unpack with each of the characters and sometimes there is truly no "right answer". 

There were several plot points that seemed a bit random, or forced, but real life itself can be messy with no seeming purpose. The ending was wrapped up nicely though even if everyone didn't quite get what they thought they wanted.
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I started reading this book expecting your typical beach read about sisters, sibling rivalry and long simmering family secrets. Well it was all that, but in addition there is wit and a greater complexity to the characters than I’ve come to expect in summer escape stories.
I loved Marti the mother who set the whole drama spinning at the beginning with her death. Although she wasn’t on stage long, her decisions throughout her life and at her death had ramifications for all three of her daughters.
The daughters themselves are unique. They might make a good case study on birth order as an element in personality development. I loved reading about the full lives of each, Beck as a writer, Claire, a doctor and Sophie as a social media Influencer. Fowler captured the financial and societal pressures on each.
 The men in the lives of these women were well drawn to give the reader insights into the impact they had on the sisters’ lives and decisions. They did not stand out as sharply as the women, but that was clearly the author’s intent.
Except for C.J,, whose story is revealed little by little until the very end. He is a very sympathetic character, especially as he relates to newly orphaned Arlo. I was rooting for this pair from their first meeting. And I loved the way C.J.’s story,  both in the past and present,  gives the reader an understanding of the conflicts of the sisters and an ever greater satisfaction as the story draws to a conclusion. 
Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book for an honest review,
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Solid 3.5 star read for me rounded up to 4. 

I found the overall themes of It All Comes Down to This to be wonderful~ acceptance, family dynamics, starting over ~ and most enjoyed the story of C.J. Reynolds. He truly changed and embraced the life he'd chosen and I loved his relationship with Arlo. Quite frankly, C.J., Arlo, and Arlo's grandmother were my favorite characters. 

Therein lies the problem, in my opinion. The sisters should have been the most sympathetic characters, the ones the reader enjoyed. I didn't really care for the sisters. I thought they were selfish, spoiled each in the own way, and not all all people I'd want to meet.

The setting was great and while I did enjoy the book in the end, I'd have been much happier to read about just C.J., Arlo, and the grandmother. I'm wondering if there might be a future novel there?

Thank you to the author, Netgalley, and the publisher for an ARC at my request. All thoughts are my own.
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I could not get into this book, and I did not finish it.  I made it through 21%, but realized it was just not keeping my interest.  I really wanted to like it, but it was just too long in building the characters and explaining how the three sisters' lives were different from each other.  It took a lot of time developing characters who ended up feeling empty and uninteresting to me.  

To be fair, this book probably does appeal to many people.  I really like this author, and i really wanted to like this book.  I just could not.  I feel bad giving it 3 stars, but settled on that, as this book may just be a one star book to me, but to many will be a four or five star book.  The story was just too slow and uninteresting to me.  I could almost see where it was going and where each character would end up.  Maybe I should have finished it...I might be totally wrong.  I just can't when there are so many great books out there waiting to be read.  Thanks for the opportunity, NetGalley.  Perhaps I will go back and read this at some other time.  If so, I will update this review.
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I. Couldn't get into this book.  It wasn't my taste.  I tried.   I chose it because it was part of a book group.    I thank netgalley for letting me read this in exchange for an honest review.
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I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review

I didn’t love this book and I didn’t hate it. I found all the characters to be very unlikeable but I kept reading because the quality of the writing was so strong.  None of the people deserved the HEA they all seemed to get. 3.5 rounded up
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This book blew me away! I was unable to but it down. Perfect, dazzlingly, very well written. The details the author described throughout the book was so amazing. The  characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Could not put down nor did I want to. Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Maybe even a book club pick.
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It All Comes Down to This is a touching and heartbreaking at times story of three sisters by Therese Anne Fowler. Many of us have been exactly where Marti’s daughters find themselves at this stage of their life. So without a doubt it is an emotional relatable story. 

The author has a gift for writing which is clearly shown in giving warts and all characterization of the characters in this story. Women’s Fiction story with the ups and downs that come in life. Lots of drama and lots of messy, complicated relationships. An interesting read to say the least. 

An ARC of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I am definitely a fan of Therese Anne Fowler and her fictional families that certainly could be real life situations. In this story, the mother of three girls is dying and is going to do it her way. Along the way the reader gets to know each daughter and who they are, the oldest of them, 44 and already a grandma. I love the general theme of family, specifically your sisters, and how you can love them and not like them very much at the same time. I also like that sometimes things don't go your way and you do not get what you want but, like Mick says, sometimes, you get what you need. Midlife is definitely a life far from over and yes, you can move forward and every day, you get a chance for a new beginning.
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It All Comes Down to This tells the story of the Geller sisters – Beck, Claire and Sophie, strong-minded and very different women.  Beck, an aspiring author under wraps, is in a sexless marriage to Paul.  Claire, a Chicago pediatric doctor, just got divorced after she confessed her love for Paul.  Sophie, an influencer, has no roots or money and she’s nearing 40.  When the family matriarch dies, the girls uncover some secrets and are forced to reckon with others. 


I can see this book being a BOTM choice and having commercial appeal.  It did not work for me, although I had no trouble getting through it.  I thought the voices of the sisters were too interchangeable and the storylines to be a little eye-rolling.  It also bugged me that the voice completely changed in the last chapter (from third person to first person) out of nowhere.  This is one of those books that I’m fine with having read, but it did not move or speak to me.
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Engaging writing and slow reveal mysteries are the strengths of this book.  

Three sisters are dealing with their mother’s sudden death and the terms of her will which requires that they sell the family’s summer camp. Along the way they discover secrets about their mother and each other, and each of them changes their own lives dramatically for the better. 

There is family drama but a very staid variety. This book is mostly about the struggles and personal development of the sisters. 

For me, the fact that a large part of this book takes place in Maine is icing on the cake and possibly the best part. I didn’t find the characters terribly sympathetic or interesting but the writing kept me engaged, along with descriptions of Mount Desert Isle.
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Several years ago, my husband came home and told me that one of the people he worked with said “your wife likes to read, doesn’t she? Tell her to read my sister’s book.”  And with that, I read Therese Anne Fowler’s first book, and have been a fan all this time.

This is not “typical” Fowler.  It’s a departure from her usual style, which I love, but this has great appeal as well.  Labeled by the author herself as a “dramadey” it’s a breath of fresh air in our covid restricted lives.  A little less serious, a little more fraught with sisterly issues, and a completion to the book that is satisfying, I say hurray for thoughtful, well-written escape fiction.

I like family drama, I like a good laugh, and I’ve come to recognize that unlikely circumstances and outcomes aren’t nearly as unlikely as I once believed, thanks to the pandemic.  I am grateful I got to read this book early.
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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I love this book. It focuses on a family drama that is set between New York and Maine for the majority of it. Three daughters have to come to terms with their relationship with each other and their relationship with their mother after her passing from lung cancer. The daughters unearth painful secrets and truths about each other during this process and as they work together to decide what to do about their summer house found on the coast of Maine. The novel also follows a man who is living on the coast of Maine that is reinventing and rebuilding his life after a incident led him to make a fateful mistake. He is given charity from an older woman and her eight year old grandson who help him find meaning and purpose in life again. Even though each character does not get exactly what they want, they all come away with lessons they learned from the journey.
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A enjoyable surprise of a novel. Readers cannot help but think the worst when introduced to the three adult Geller sisters and C.J. Coleman who has been released from prison after found guilty taking a shot at his father, and missing, at the end of a hunting trip. The novel takes place on Mount Desert Island near Bangor, Maine, in New York City, and in Minnesota. The Geller sisters come together to bury their mother, Marti, and manage the sale of the family's summer cottage on the coast of Maine. The story unpeels each layer of the women's ups and downs. A good story of lives entwined.
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This book - I could not put it down. The novel winds through the girls and the mom's life, along with a man who is staying in MDI. The story is told through the POV of all 5 of them and shows how their lives are connected. What a wonderful story!
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The story of 3 sisters, all quite different and their secrets.  Add a dying mothers request, a strange man and you’ve got quite a story.  Highly recommended!
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