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It All Comes Down to This

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Member Reviews

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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It All Comes Down to This 
by Therese Anne Fowler (Goodreads Author)  
265730
Lauren Kaz's review Feb 15, 2022  ·  edit
liked it
bookshelves: arc, kindle, netgalley 

I read Therese Anne Fowler's "A Good Neighborhood" and I found it very thought provoking, so I was expecting a similar experience with "It All Comes Down to This." I think first person plural narration is difficult for any author, and it mostly works here. Typical of her writing, there are many characters and the character development is strong, but having so many fully developed characters while using first person plural narration can get messy. The story starts off strong as we learn the dying Mother's story, but most of the book focuses on fleshing out the characters and thus, the plot didn't have as much movement as needed. The main characters are the 3 sisters...Beck, Claire, and Sophie. All of the characters have their secrets and using dramatic irony, the reader is let in on these secrets while the characters are still making these discoveries. Everything is not quite like it seems, and the reader is along for the ride as the characters begin to piece together the stories they hear about their family and friends. I liked the settings, NYC and Maine. Many themes are explored such as class, identity, family, art, love, sibling rivalry, and one's relationship to their past and how that shapes their future. I think the strongest part of the book is the last section when the focus is on Beck. I was most interested in her journey and her writing, her relationships, her family, and her sense of self. Many thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy before the June 2022 publication.
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Marti Geller has recently passed away, leaving her three daughters to sell the vacation home on a Maine Island along with the truth about her past. As the daughters deal with their mother's past, they are all looking at the decisions they made about their own lives, the regrets they have and the secrets they keep. As one daughter heads to the island to prepare the home for sale, she encounters the one who broke her heart years ago. The sisters reunite on the island, secrets are revealed and change is in the air.
Thanks to NetGalley for a copy.
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Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Three sisters in their 30s and 40s - they haven't been particularly close, although not estranged, but when their mother dies, they're forced together to deal with the death. The particular issue at hand is the family's vacation home in Maine, which their mother has directed them to sell. There is also a message left for them with her son-in-law (the executor), revealing for them a hidden family history. All three sisters are in crisis of one kind or another - the oldest, Beck, is dealing with a marriage that is lacking any passion or excitement, the middle, Claire, is recently divorced and dealing with an hidden passion, and the youngest, Sophie, is heavily in debt and rootless.

All of this sounds like the making of a good story. Sadly, it just didn't do it for me, beyond being somewhat meh. I couldn't find any liking for any of the main characters. I just didn't like any of the sisters - each of them seemed selfish and cold. I didn't much care for the deceased mother and her order that the cottage must be sold - which did not seem to be some psychic premonition that this what the daughters needed to resolve all their problems, but rather to shed her ties with the town where the house was located, while not having to explain why.

And, finally, it all ends up with everyone happy ever after, and loving each other, and no hard feelings about anything. I just didn't buy it. However, it's an easy and somewhat entertaining read.
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This is an interesting story of 3 sisters (seems like there is an epidemic of 3 sister families), forced to work together and change their lives after their beloved mother dies.  Despite their differences, each is going through an existential crisis when they come together after the death. 

The sisters, Beck, Clare and Sophie confront memories and learn shocking truths about their mother and their roots. 

Much drama takes place over the sale of the family camp on Mount Desert Island. It is there that a stranger comes into the mix. Yet, perhaps, not really a stranger. The author mixes these characters together, makes them all very sympathetic and then shuffles the deck and creates a lovely, if unbelievable ending.  

Thank you Netgalley for this ARC. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more novels by Fowler. This is a great choice for book clubs!
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I have enjoyed other books by this author such as Exposure and A Good Neighborhood but this one did not work for me. I gave it my best shot but after 31% I am calling it quits. I will not post my review on Goodreads since I didn’t finish the book. I was not enjoying the characters or the storyline. I will try again in the future.
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The three Geller sisters come together following their mothers passing to settle her estate.  They all seem to have secrets and their mother did as well.  They seem to be at turning points in their lives and don’t really see eye to eye.  I found the ending to be pretty predictable, but it was an enjoyable read.
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Well-written book with a pat ending that was lovely but (in my opinion) far-fetched to the point of absurdity. 

Overall, I found the characters compelling and I was intrigued by their stories, but I felt this book - in large part because of how it ended - to be a little too "shiny". I preferred 'A Good Neighborhood' - but I would recommend this for anyone looking for a chicken-soup-for-the-soul-esque novel. 

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC.
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Great family story of 3 sisters and what they discover after their mom passes away.  Interestingly, what they discover about their mother becomes far less significant than what they discover about themselves and each other.  
The women range in age from mid 30’s to mid 40’s so they are still young women embroiled in the most lengthy and challenging time of life - middle age.  It is that time in life when all the responsibilities, obligations, and expectations  of adulthood  must be faced.  It can also be the time when a person comes to understand  who they are, where they are, who they want to become and where they want to go. Their mother’s death is the catalyst for the momentous changes in their lives. 
Wonderful, relatable characters.  Very fluid and well woven. Only one caveat and that is an event at the end of the novel where a rather contrived surprise reunion occurs. I was able to accept this only because in my life I actually experienced a similar situation several thousand miles from home on another continent.  Who knew?
In short, it can be a revelation when you are no longer any one’s child.
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