Cover Image: It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This

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Member Reviews

I’m always up for some dysfunctional family drama and this one did not disappoint.  This is the story of 3 sisters and their own drama while they simultaneously deal with the loss of their mother.  I love books about relationships and deep character studies.  While each of the sisters wasn’t necessarily likeable, I did like how the author presented their life story and issues
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This was a very well written book.. I liked the whole premise of it and loved the sisters stories.  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher!
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I enjoyed this book and the characters.  The writing flowed easily but I did find the beginning a little slow.  It picked up and I couldn't put it down.
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I really enjoyed this book and definitely a new fan of this author. Loved the characters, I cared about the characters. 3 sisters and their relationships with each other and the baggage that they carry from their personal lives, and their mother who is dying. I especially enjoyed the return of the adult siblings to each other and their Mother. As a Mom of 4 adults, i definitely could identify.
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Three grown sisters, all with secrets, all with curveballs life has thrown them, navigate their way through their mother’s past wishes.  This is my first book by Ms. Fowler and I enjoyed it.  I read a snippet from her saying that all the characters in the book had secrets and we the readers were privy to them by the other characters were not.  I enjoyed the book more after that connection.  It was an enjoyable, slower moving, literary fiction novel.  Thank you NetGalley and St Marin’s Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS…

I was lucky enough to be granted access to an ARC copy of Theresa Anne Fowler’s newest book IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS (thanks Netgally and St. Martin’s Press!). 

There was every intention for me to read this book prior to it’s release date, but ironically as Beck, Claire, and Sophie were going through stressors of their own, I too was dealing with stress induced by heavy workload. Know what’s tough to do when stressed? Get your brain to focus on reading. 

Thanks to 2 layovers on the way to a much needed vacation, I was finally able to give this book the attention it deserved - and trust me, it deserves the attention! 

I had my reservations because the reviews I saw coming in were a bit of a mixed bag, but I actually quite enjoyed the story. Dealing with life in the aftermath of the passing of Marti, their mother, the three sisters take on the many additional curve balls life decided to throw there way (boy life can be messy and wonderful at the same time can’t it?). 

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS is already out on shelves, so make sure to pick up your copy!
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I usually stop reading books that I don’t enjoy but I read this book to the end.  While the story was interesting and full of likable characters, I had some problems with quite a few of the plot twists. Marti’s big secret, which in my opinion was not so monumental (I was expecting something bigger and more significant) that you would reveal it in the dramatic way it was revealed.  Sophie’s complicated life, with unnecessary details and rabbit holes that the reader is forced to go down (why do we care about the art scene at the apartments??).  The unrequited love interest that is not made believable.  The stories that intertwine and don’t connect.  What bothered me most was the coincidence of meeting up in Paris.  I just had a hard time with all of this. 
However, if you can ignore all of this and you want a fun beach read with concrete characters, this might be your book.  For all the flaws I saw in it, I still had trouble putting it down.  
Thank you Netgalley for a ARC.
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I liked this domestic drama book, but I didn’t love it. The book is character-driven and I did not connect well with any of the characters, so my rating is really a 3.5, but I rounded it up because I was able to sympathize with their dilemmas. At the beginning of the book, Marti Geller, the matriarch of the family, dies and one of her last wishes was that the cottage in Maine be sold with the profits distributed equally between her three daughters, Beck, Claire and Sophie. These three characters tell the story, going between the past and the current times. Beck wants to keep the cottage but the other two want to sell it as soon as possible. When a southerner shows up and makes an offer on the house, the conflict is really stirred up between the siblings. C.J. Reynolds is charming and disarmingly attractive, bringing secrets with him for why he actually wants the cottage. I would add a fourth important character to the story and that is the cottage itself which plays a vital role in the drama and is almost personified within the confines of the story. The plot was woven around the characters, developed but not the central focus. The relationship between the siblings is complex as they all have different talents and personalities. I did like Claire the best because even though she has accomplished a great deal as a physician, she lacks confidence and independence. Sophie is a free spirit, roaming social media at all hours, and Beck wants to be a writer. The reason Beck wants to keep the cottage is that she wants to use it as her writing retreat. Each woman’s past and future choices revolve around the setting of the cottage. The themes seemed to be a fear of change and the family ties that keep one grounded. This was a satisfactory read, not mesmerizing by any means, but easy to read and not controversial or nerve-inducing. I recommend it to anyone who just wants to escape into a book that entertains without a big circus act. Just drama, plodding along to the end. The conclusion was well written and wrapped up the story in a way that made me happy that I had read the book.
Disclaimer
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
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The Geller sisters, Beck, Claire, and Sophie, return to their family cottage home in Maine to put it up for sale after the death of their mother.
Each sister going through one life crisis or another, and each of them with big secrets.

I don't think I'll ever tire of messy, character driven family dramas. I love being dropped in the middle of a family whose members are grappling with something individually and together, and the ways familys tend to be either a landing or taking off point. I love being along for the ride.

It All Comes Down to This is a character study about sisterhood, loss, home, and how life can turn out differently than you once envisioned.

The characters and setting were so well written; I really enjoy Fowler's writing. Not much plot-wise to unpack but fantastic characterization.

Read this if you like Ann Patchett and Emma Straub.

Thanks St Martins Press and Netgalley for the advance e-copy!
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Marti Geller is a widow with three adult daughters. She doesn’t have much time left, so she is getting her affairs in order — explicitly stating that the family cottage in Maine must be sold and split equally between the three daughters. Beck, Claire, and Sophie, who are all in very different stages of their lives, must now come together. 

This one started with a lot of potential and I really wanted to love it — but it fell a little short for me. My interest was lost along the way at various times, but then the story would pull me back in. I enjoyed the growth that each of the sisters went through as they were facing different challenges. However, I personally didn’t connect to any of them. 

What I really liked were the family dynamics, secrets, and different relationships between all of the characters. [Three stars means that I liked the book, but I was left wanting a little more.]
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I love a family drama but something was missing in this one for me. I didn't feel as connected to the characters as I would have liked to.
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DNF. Unfortunately, this was a book I started multiple times but could just not get into. I appreciate having the opportunity to read this book, it was just not a good fit for me as a reader. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my gifted review copy.
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I was excited to dig into a family drama, especially one that dug into sisterhood and their relationships, but It All Comes Down to This fell so flat for me. Tropes and a totally predictable plotline that was wrapped up far too neatly at the end was all disappointing. I think there was so much more that Fowler could've done with this but I never felt attached to the characters or sympathetic to their plight. It all read....'white people problems' to me.
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I enjoyed the sisters aspect of this story, but ultimately, I did not love the ending. It felt very resolved (all the conflicts were tied up in a neat bow) and that's just not to my personal taste. If you like books with a clear resolution at the end, you'd probably enjoy this!
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The author does such a great job in portraying the main characters of her story in a way that makes me feel like I truly know them. They are real and raw, which makes the story all the more engaging.
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Therese Ann Fowler has a way of writing that evokes emotion and It All Comes Down to This is no exception. This is a story of sisterhood and family
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Sisters Beck, Claire, and Sophie, have a complicated relationship. Beck, who is the oldest, is a freelance journalist and is married to her high school sweetheart, although their marriage hasn’t been intimate for many years. Claire, the middle sister, is a pediatric cardiologist and is secretly in love with Beck’s husband, Paul (although he doesn’t know it). The youngest sister, Sophie, seems to be living a glamorous life, but she’s really struggling to survive. She’s maxed out all her credit cards in trying to keep up with her lifestyle of celebrities, travel, fashion and art and now finds herself in a financial bind. 

All three sisters come together after their mother, Marti, passes away. They need to agree on how to handle the sale of their family’s summer cottage on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Many things come to light as they work through this process and not everyone agrees on the sale of the property. To complicate matters, an ex-con named CJ Reynolds shows up in town and offers to buy the cottage, but a past relationship with one of the sisters complicates things.. Nothing is as it seems and many unexpected truths are about to come out.

This was the first book I’ve read by Therese Anne Fowler. The story didn’t keep my interest as much as I’d hoped it would, but there were some parts I enjoyed. Many thanks to #netgalley and #macmillanaudio for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book.
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As Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor are among my favorite places, I was excited to read this book.  I liked the premise of the plot, I liked all three of the Geller sisters and I adored CJ and Arlo.  I liked how all the characters were intertwined with one another and of course I liked the ending of the book.  However, my one complaint is that the book was a little long--I really didn't care about the art world enough to want a treatise on how people buy art and I kind of wish that the author had left off the "coda", but I would still recommend it--you don't even have to have visited MDI to enjoy it.
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Oh, deep sigh. I'm really sorry to say that I was so disappointed by It All Comes Down to This. A Good Neighborhood is one of my favorite books, so I had such high hopes for this one, but it was a letdown. I just couldn't get invested in these characters and I didn't find their stories compelling. I'll keep reading Fowler's work because I do enjoy some parts of it, but ultimately this was a miss for me.
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Beck, Claire, and Sophie find out that their mother is dying and will be going into hospice, or even palliative care. Before the girls can get to the mother's bedside, she passes away. In fact, their mother held back from telling them how seriously ill she was until it was too late. She didn't want the girls hovering about while she was dying. Her plan was for them to focus on their futures.

Each of the sisters grieve in their own way, all while navigating their own personal drama. Once they get together, there seems to be an unspoken bond between them - and that is to keep up appearances. Beck won't mention how unhappily married she is, Recently divorced Claire is a bit jaded when it comes to love and to men. Lastly, Sophie's life seems to be the most stable, and uses her social media presence to fund a rather glamorous life.

Whether seen or unseen, the sisters must push away their issues to deal with the loss of their mother, especially as they were unable to say goodbye to her. Between the three of them, they must decide what to do with the family cottage in Maine that was left to all of them. This is made especially hard as the sisters all have a strained relationship with each other. Can they get past secrets, lies and more in order to make a decision that will work for all of them?

In dramatic fashion, this story deals with emotions, both good and bad, decision making, with a smidge of romance thrown in. For further thoughts, please enjoy my YouTube video -

https://youtu.be/pRwyqB89QMU

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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