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It All Comes Down to This

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I LOVED Fowler's "A Good Neighborhood," but this novel fell very very flat. I don't remember the last time I read a novel with so much conflict, but such a tidy ending. The characters were not well developed and most of them had few redeeming qualities. I wanted to love this, but only liked it instead. Fowler's writing style, as ever, is crisp and engaging, and one of the book's best qualities.

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I started out really liking this book. It is character-driven and I started to become invested in the characters. And then…nothing happens. I read to 50% and the author is still developing the characters, delaying any climax or any kind of rising action, really. Characters can only get you so far. Perhaps the second half is amazing, but if so, it is taking too long to get there. Thank you for this advanced copy, NetGalley!

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Wow! I was not prepared to fall in love with tis book, but fall in love I did. Folwer weaves together the life stories of three sisters, Beck, Claire, and Sophie, adding in story threads from their mom, Mari, an old flame with a plot twist of a past, CJ, and Beck's husband, Paul.

To manage a story with so many characters, so many subplots, and so many details takes an expert level of writing not often seen in literary fiction, but is done to perfection in "It All Comes Down to This." The characters are flawed, yet in a relatable way, making the reader love them dearly, whether they deserve it or not. This complexity, coupled with the moving storyline from multiple perspectives made this book both engaging and endearing.

The themes of this novel could be redemption, forgiveness, and coming into one's own. If you enjoyed "We Are The Brennans" by Tracey Lange, you will assuredly love this lighter hearted but equally complex story.

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This is an entertaining story with drama, relationship issues, baggage, responsibilities, and the bonds of sisterhood and family. It was an enjoyable read.

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The story of Beck, Claire, and Sophie told from mainly Beck's view. It is a story of sisterly binds, relationships, and memories. It was good but didn't wow me. Slow going at times and parts of it, didn't fit in with the rest of the story. Read it if you stumble across it but not one I'd probably be in a hurry to read.

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3.75 out of 5. This one is a hard one to pin point. I really enjoyed the ending, and how it all ties up, but the first 50% of the book dragged. It could have been shorter and more to the point as it just made me not understand what we were doing or where we are going to. I think I found with this book the opposite of with the Paper Palace. I really enjoyed the destination and not the journey, where as in that one I loved the journey and fell flat of the destination. I also think there were too many characters and not enough happening, and it really did not make sense to have so much of CJ, let alone involve him even in the description. I think the story was about the sisters, why give him so much protagonism?. It is an interesting family saga, a good character exploration but really there are better books.

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Beck, Claire, and Sophie Geller have recently lost their mother, Marti, to cancer. Born and raised in New York City, the siblings spent many summers, growing up, at their summer house in Maine. Marti’s will stipulates that that home must be sold, and the profits divided equally among her daughters, but they do not immediately agree on that course of action. Before the final decision is made, each of them must contend with upended personal lives, and what shape their futures will take from that point on.

After trying her hand at historical fiction twice, Therese Anne Fowler debuted a contemporary racial drama tinged with tragedy in A Good Neighborhood, one of my favorite reads of 2020. In It All Comes Down to This, she continues her incursion into the contemporary fiction genre, albeit less successfully than with its predecessor. This novel has the feel of a summer read and unfolds, partly, in a beachy setting, so it’s perhaps appropriate that it’s released towards the start of the summer season.

Aside from its readability, the drama doesn’t score points for originality; most of Elin Hilderbrand’s Nantucket novels are like this— three siblings cast adrift by their life choices face a reckoning… and, possibly, their own versions of a happy ending. Just because it’s not original doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining; it is, though it feels denser at times than a drama like this should feel. It’s not Fowler’s best work by any means, but it comes down as smoothly as a good tonic.

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with a digital ARC, via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.

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'Three things cannot long stay hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.' –Buddha

Near the end of 2019 I read Therese Anne Fowler’s A Good Neighborhood, which I loved, but it’s the only other book of hers I’ve read. I’d hoped to enjoy this one as much, or nearly as much, but… alas, it was apparently not meant to be.

Three sisters, a mother who dies early on in this story, and the grief that follows. Grief for the loss of their mother, but also finding out that their mother had determined that the summer cottage that has fond memories, along with everything else, is to be sold, with each receiving one third of all proceeds.

The loss of their mother wasn’t exactly a surprise, they knew there was a strong potential for it on the horizon, but hoped for more time with her.

Sophie, the youngest, seems to be living a carefree lifestyle, living well beyond her means, hob-nobbing with the rich and famous, with clothes and accessories to impress.

Claire, now divorced, is the middle child and a pediatric cardiologist, and while she treats the hearts of others, her heart belongs to one who is unaware.

Beck’s marriage isn’t exactly rocky, but it isn’t exactly what she’d hoped for in a marriage. There’s no passion, at least none coming from her husband Paul. She suspects another reason for the lack of passion. Beck is a freelancer, currently as a journalist, but she has long wanted more. To write a novel, and to rewrite her life.

Struggling over the terms their mother set over the sale of the cottage, Beck tries to convince her siblings to keep the cottage. It is where she plans to write, and she can’t bear to lose this place. So she goes there in order to clear out the things that need to go, save the things that have memories attached, and hope, somehow, that all will turn out in the end.

Pub Date: 07 Jun 2022

Many thanks for the ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press

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One of the top ten ARC's I've read this year! My first time reading this author, it will most certainly not be my last! No spoilers from me; This is a family drama, a beloved mother and three daughters and all the twists and turns one would expect. The things said, and not said until it was too late to ask the questions. What a beautifully written novel! Well worth the time and I would highly recommend it.

As aways, many thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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What an interesting take on a family novel! Meet the Geller sisters: Beck, Claire, and Sophie - all clearly related but terribly different and all facing large problems in their personal lives. Their beloved Matriarch, Mari is dying of cancer and has left an interesting caveat in her will. The caveat upends many of the plans the sisters have made and this causes much of the drama.

I greatly enjoyed this novel. I liked getting to know the characters and hearing about their problems. I will say that some of the situations did not seem plausible, and there were just too many plots to pull together. The writing, however, was fantastic and I continue to read on to see what would happen next. If you love a contemporary family drama, fight with your own siblings at get togethers, or just are interested in situation where the Will surprises all -then #ItCallComesDownToThis is for you! #STMartinsPress #Netgalley #NetGallyereads

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There's no doubt that Therese Anne Fowler is an incredibly talented writer, as evidenced by "A Good Neighborhood", but many things about this book missed the mark a bit for me. The plot felt a little piecemeal & meandering, and I felt that there were too many plot points to focus on & this detracted from the ultimate impact of the book. Fowler is best when she's writing about conflict between characters, making even the most irrational of responses feel relatable, and I wish that she had focused on Beck as the main character, with C.J. as a secondary, leaving Claire and Sophie as recurring characters and not including as much of their day-to-day lives. It wasn't relevant to the arc of the story & made the book longer than it needed be. Despite all of this, I would still recommend this book as an entertaining, thought-provoking summer read.

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This book about family secrets, sisterhood, and missed chances really struck a chord with me. While I most identified with Beck, I did find the other two sisters (Claire and Sophie) interesting in their own ways as well. In particular, I hadn't ever seen an examination of what it's like to be a "influencer-adjacent" like Sophie, who survives through her friendships and connections with famous friends, but has accomplished little on her own and wound up seriously in debt. When their mother dies and leaves the old famous home in Maine to the girls to sell off, it causes ripples throughout all three lives they didn't see coming. If you're a fan of intricately-woven family dynamics, you should enjoy this one. The writing is well-done, as we've come to expect from Fowler who has established her bonafides with best sellers in the past. While the plot did get lost a bit in the middle and began to meander, it ultimately came together in the end in a satisfying way.

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This is a contemporary family drama about three estranged sisters coming together after their mother's sudden death to sell their mother's vacation home in Maine. Each of the sisters has issues she is dealing with. This book was well-written, but not all that engaging. Everyone has a messy life, and I wasn't all that enthralled to find out what was going on with each sister.

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Marti is dying but she does not want her three daughters to know until she actually passes. It was interesting watching the relationship between the sisters, the differences and the similarities and their relationship with each other and the family.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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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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