Cover Image: It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This

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One summer is enough to indelibly change the Geller family. Their motherโ€™s death brings the three sisters, Beck, Claire and Sophie, back together. Beck is boringly unhappy in her long marriage to Paul and paralyzed by procrastination in her lifelong desire to be a published author. Claire is a divorced pediatric cardiologist with a workload that prevents her from giving thought to what she really wants out of life. And beautiful, always Instagram ready Sophie is hiding almost insurmountable problems behind daily glamor shots. When their motherโ€™s will states that their Maine vacation house must be sold and the proceeds divided, the women have very different reactions. Add a somewhat charismatic ex-con to the mix, a former resident who wants to buy their house, and the result is a cataclysmic revelation of family secrets.

This character driven domestic drama by Therese Anne Fowler is beautifully written, slow and deliberately paced. All the sisters are hiding so much sadness from each other. This will be an excellent book club choice. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Therese Anne Fowler for this ARC.
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A family drama centered on the three Geller sisters in the wake of their mother's death. They each have their own real issues to deal with along with their grief. This book was a little slow -moving but well worth the effort for a satisfying conclusion. 
I received an advance reader copy of this book. The views and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.
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It All Comes Down to This by Therese Anne Fowler is the story of how three sister's lives take a turn following their mom's death.

I have read a couple of books by this author and this one felt very different to me.  It had a somewhat similar plot to new release The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner.

Gellar Sisters Beck, Claire, and Sophie are very different from one another so it was easy to keep their storylines straight.  They have been living very separate lives until the death of their mother brings them together.  Once they reconnect they discover the gritty parts of one another's lives.  They are also all on the cusp of making major life changes.

I found it hard to connect to any of the sisters.  Beck's was my favorite storyline to read while Sophie's was my least.  Claire didn't get too much attention except within a plot point that would be a spoiler.  Maybe the point of having three unstable characters was to prove that it's never too late to start over?

There are two major "secrets" within the plot.  The first is left on a video by Marti Gellar, the mom.  For what it's worth, after reading the entire book I had to go back to figure out what her big secret was. When I reread the chapter it just didn't seem like a huge deal to me.  

The second has to do with a character named C.J. who had just been released from prison.  For a while the reader isn't sure if he is friend or foe.  This could have been suspenseful but it ended up being pretty bland.

Overall this book was just ok for me.  Nothing particularly stood out and I left feeling a bit let down.
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๐ˆ๐“ ๐€๐‹๐‹ ๐‚๐Ž๐Œ๐„๐’ ๐ƒ๐Ž๐—ช๐ ๐“๐Ž ๐“๐‡๐ˆ๐’ by Therese Anne Fowler is the story of three adult sisters who have just lost their mom. As adults, the three arenโ€™t particularly close, but neither are they estranged in any way. They're just busy with their own lives and their own problems. All but one in their forties, none of their lives are going quite as planned. Their worlds are further upended by this fresh loss, by secrets their mother reveals after her death and by her strange request that they sell the family beach house in Maine.โฃ
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Now all that is well and good, and the reading was quick. I liked the women, but I also could see where this story was headed very early on and I didnโ€™t like that. Still, it might have been a four star book, but then there was the ending. I donโ€™t want to give anything away, so you might want to stop reading here if this book is on your TBR. Letโ€™s just say the ending was neat and tidy to the ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ! It ruined the book for me. So, if you like an unbelievably harmonious ending, then this is a book for you. For me, not so much. (๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ˆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜‹๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด releases on Tuesday.)โฃ 2.5 stars
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My thanks to @stmartinspress for an electronic copy of #ItAllComesDownToThis.
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I really loved Therese Ann Fowlers last book so I was super excited for this one. Unfortunately I found this one to just be ok. I enjoyed the sisters and their relationship and how it grows after their moms death, but I just wasnt as pulled in as I hoped to be.
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The Summer Cottage

The story of a dying mother making known her wishes in her will to sell the Summer Cottage in Maine. The three daughters involved Sophie, Beck and Claire. They each have different life styles and different views on the Cottage.

The book was not very interesting to me, I got bored with it real fast. It did start off good with C.J., but they the girls stories just did not interest me at all.

I plodded through the book, but I did have a hard time reading through and finishing it.

Thanks to Therese Ann Fowler for writing it, to St. Martin's Press for publishing it and to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review a copy. All words in the review are my own.
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Family relationships can be complicated, and the Geller family in Therese Anne Fowler's latest book proves to be just that. When the mother passes away from cancer, she leaves a video for her daughters that reveals her long-held secrets. Her three grown daughters are also keeping secrets from each other and reflecting on the directions of their lives. The family cabin in Maine plays a central role in the story. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I typically enjoy family dramas, but not ones that only contain selfish, unlikable characters which I found to be true of the Geller sisters (including Beck's husband). I think I would have liked C.J. from the little I read of him but I was not willing to sift through the other characters and I found the drama between the sisters to be a bit over-the-top and it just made my eyes roll. This may be more suited to readers who enjoy the drama of soap operas. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eArc. All thoughts expressed are my own.
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What's it about (in a nutshell):
It All Comes Down to This is a story about sisterhood, family, grief, and the many secrets we hold dear, even from loved ones. It uses dramatic irony effectively to tell a story of many twists, turns, and revelations.

Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):
I love that this book is written by an NC writer. The cover looks like a water painting of a coastal area complete with a sailboat, which attracts me as I love a setting with water. I noticed that the UK cover is different, which always intrigues me. The UK cover is more like a photo and depicts a mountain cabin on a lake. It's a very peaceful cover, while the US cover is a bit disjointed and requires study to figure out what you're looking at. This makes me uncertain about what to expect since the two covers are so different. From the blurb, I understand that the family's cottage in Maine is at the heart of the story and must be what's depicted on both covers. I imagine there will be dissent among the sisters as to what to do with the cottage and that it will play an essential role in their grief over their mom's passing and toward getting their own lives back on track.

Actual Reading Experience:
My actual reading experience was close to my initial expectations. What I did not expect, however, was my feelings about one of the earliest secrets revealed. This secret and the fact that it carried through the whole book left a bad taste in my mouth. Just imagining it in anything outside of a soap opera is too icky for me to stomach. I love dramatic irony, but not when it crosses that line where it begins to feel in too dark of a morally gray area. Other secrets were more relatable, though not as relatable as I expected. I would have loved for the house to play more of a role, but it sat calmly and quietly in the background for most of the story.

Now that I got all that off my chest, I want to look at what's good about this story.

The many secrets made the story flow and remain compelling from start to finish. How would they be revealed, and what would the consequences be kept me glued to the page. I loved the pace of the revelations as they came one after another at just the right time to hasten the pace.

The sisters lose their mother at the story's beginning, and I loved how their grief was handled. It felt very authentic. At first, I was doubtful, but as their grief progressed, I could more clearly see how each action and feeling is as genuine as any of us experience in such a situation.

I also loved that storytelling plays such a prominent role, especially in the writing and editing worlds. I always love a book about books, and stories play a much more central role than even the lake cabin in Maine. If that beautiful setting couldn't play a more prominent position, I'm glad storytelling had such an integral place.

Characters:
The characters are well-detailed and individualized. I loved that the three sisters are each so different. I can't say that I could relate to any at a level where I could feel empathy for their plight, but I was okay with that. I don't always have to have a character I like and/or can relate to if the story doesn't have room for such a character.

To Read or Not to Read:
If you love family stories about secrets and adore dramatic irony and soap opera-like revelations, It All Comes Down to This is a book you will want to consider this summer.
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The story is about 3 sisters who lose their matriarch to cancer. 
The story is also (supposed?) to be how C.J. Reynolds comes in and complicates things. But like, he doesn't even connect with them until the very end. He doesn't even complicate things for them, or anyone for that matter. 

The story flip-flops between C.J.'s story and the sisters. We get the background on all of them which leads up to the decisions they will make in the book. But they all seemed so....fake? C.J.'s story could have been more believable. From the first introduction to the last page, it was so far-fetched. 

And where the heck did the teacher go who was there for like 6 pages? Grr. So all over the place. 

The sister's seemed wildly self-absorbed. They barely talk to each other and then meet up and start sharing secrets? Also, the end of the story seemed so wrapped up in a perfect bow that it was truly, not believable.

There wasn't a likeable character. They were all self-absorbed. The more and more I think about this book, the more I dislike it. 

But, I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Therese Anne Fowler. I will let this one slide because I know her books are usually amazing but we need to go ahead and forget this one.
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This book was incredibly depressing from the start. I loved the cover and the idea of the book but the way it was presented it never gave me anything else other than a depressing story.
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THAT ENDING. I loved it. Iโ€™m such a sucker for narrators who address the reader. Such a guilty pleasure of mine, and this was no exception. SUCH A GOOD READ.
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Sophie, Beck, and Claire are three sisters whose lives are thrown for a loop when their mother dies of cancer. Each strong-willed and in the midst of their own personal struggles, their mother's death, and last wishes put everyone's life in upheaval. Not only will the girls split her estate, but they must also have one last girl's weekend at the family cottage in Mount Desert Island before they sell the property. 

As for the sisters, Sophie is a jet setter without a penny to her name. Moving from apartment to apartment, house to house, she has only designer possessions and a mountain of debt. 

Beck is living in a loveless marriage. Convinced her husband is gay, and still trying to find her own path, she constantly lives in a state of somewhat unhappiness as she tries to discover just who she really is. 

Claire is a pediatric cardiologist, recently divorced with high blood pressure. She needs time to relax, and people to help her find relaxation and happiness.

As their mother's hand inextricably weaves itself into the lives of each of the girls, It All Comes Down will be the family drama of the summer. Love, marriage, death, and family are all poignant themes as each of the women learns to live the life they want and deserve.
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It All Comes Down to This is the story of the three Geller sisters.  Their mother, Marti, is dying from cancer.  She has made her final arrangements and instructions for the sisters to sell the family beach house in Maine.  Marti also has made a video for the sisters that throws everything they thought they knew about their mother and her youth is wrong.  Beck, Claire and Sophie and each hiding secrets. The story weaves through the sisters lives and even touches on things that happened when they were growing up.  I found it hard to like the sisters.  My favorite characters were CJ and Arlo.  All in all, Iโ€™m glad that I read the book.  Things worked out for all three in the end
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4.5 stars.  
I love a story of family, and this one about the Geller sisters is a winner.  It begins with their mother Marti, and a secret she has held for all their lives.  It was never intended to be a bad thing, just something Marti didn't want to share with her late husband Leo, or anyone else.  Marti loses her battle with cancer, and the girls are left to grieve and settle her estate,whch includes the small the small house their parents had on Mount Dessert Island, Maine.  The name alone is picturesque and full of stories.  Beck, Claire and Sophie are split on what they should do, even though Marti left instructions to sell the house.  Beck would love to keep it and use it as her writing retreat.  
Naturally the secrets don't end with Marti's.  She reveals her past in her final papers and will, and we learn the sisters each have their own secrets, don't we all.  
I enjoyed this story so much. While I feel it was more about Beck, each sister had her own journey to face, and in the end they are able to open up more to each other.  The story seemed real to me and I didn't want to leave their lives.  
Therese Fowler has written Historical Fiction, more literary fiction and then this, a much lighter book full of drama and a few laughs and hope.  Therese has proven herself a multifaceted and talented author.  Her books are a must read for me, and I hope you'll consider picking up this book.  
I was sent a digital copy and audio advance copy from the publisher an also won an ARC from Goodreads. The audiobook was narrated by Barrie Kreinik, whose voice I recognized but had not known by name.  She is a very good vocal artist.
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BOOK REVIEW: It All Comes Down to This by Therese Anne Fowler
2022 Publication Date:  June 7

โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ

T.I.M.E. Best Books By Genre | Contemporary Fiction
T.I.M.E. Most Anticipated Books Of 2022

CONNECT WITH A BOOK | T.I.M.E. SIMPLE LIVING TIP
Make your choices with your eyes on tomorrow... Not just today... 

T.I.M.E. BOOK REVIEW:  Therese Anne Fowler's previous book, A Good Neighborhood, continues to be one of my T.I.M.E. Favorite Books.  It was also my first read of her work and completely stunning!... And I am happy to report that this author is that rare find that can truly shift gears and provide a fabulous read in multiple genres.  It All Comes Down To This is full of wit and delivers insight into who we are (and can be) via a 180 degree pivot in tone and perspective from her previous book... Keep an eye on Therese Anne Fowler... You just may have found an author that can satisfy your book craving for any genre... โœจ๐Ÿ˜Žโœจ

Pages:  352
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Sub-Genre:  Sisters Fiction
Time Period:  Present Day
Location:  Mount Desert Island, Maine

IF YOU LIKE THIS BOOK THEN TRYโ€ฆ
Book:  A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler 
Movie:  Sisters

--------------------

All my reviews can be seen at This Is My Everybody | Simple Living | Denise Wilbanks at www.thisismyeverybody.com 

โ™ก Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. I voluntarily chose to review it and the opinions contained within are my own.
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Maybe in a different time? I like the characters and thought I would really get into this one for that reason and also because I'm headed to Mount Desert Island in a few weeks, but the slow pace is not for the reader I am right now.

Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review
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It All Comes Down to This
Author, Therese Anne Fowler
Pub date: 6.7.22

Thank you, St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for my e- arc!  I read A Good Neighborhood when it was published and loved it, so I was very excited to read Fowler's latest novel. 

It All Comes Down to This is a character- driven family drama about sisterhood, family bonds, loyalty, and a few secrets. Written with insight, wisdom, and compassion, I appreciated the sister relationships and the unique layers and complexities of each of the women. 

The matriarch of the family, Marti Geller, is wrapping up her end-of-life wishes, ensuring that her three girls will sell the family's summer cottage in Maine, and figuring out how to tell her daughters a few secrets that she wants to unburden herself of after her imminent death. Beck, the eldest, is a freelance journalist, who has always wanted to write a novel, but feels a little intimidated to share her work with her editor husband, Paul, with whom she has an amicable marriage that feels more like a sibling relationship. Paul has a few secrets of his own. Beck really wants to keep the "camp" in Maine- it will allow her to pursue her writing dreams and maybe even allow her to live on her own. 

Claire, the middle Geller sister, is an accomplished pediatric cardiologist, who recently divorced and is struggling to raise their son David as a single mom and live with her own very big secret- the one that she just can't share and the one that caused the demise of her marriage. Meanwhile, the youngest Geller sister, Sophie, is living the Instagram- worthy lifestyle filled with glamour and luxury, but in fact, is completely broke and homeless. An expert house- sitter, free- spirit, and keeper of all secrets, who may just be the glue that binds them all together. 

A compulsively readable and entertaining work of fiction that has all the characteristics of a relatable drama that allows the characters to open their hearts to love, hope for second chances, and learn a lot more about themselves along the way.
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Therese Anne Fowler has become one of my must-read authors. I was so excited to get my hands on her newest novel as an ARC and it did not disappoint. Give me a nice, layered family drama any day. I had high expectations of this book after how much I loved Fowler's last novel and I was not disappointed at all. 

This story follows a family of 3 sisters after their mother's passing. The relationships between them is not what you would call close. They are as opposite as siblings can be, but they have to come together to deal with their mother's estate and final wishes. 

I enjoyed all three of the girls immensely and each one's storyline kept me hooked. It definitely did not end the way that I had expected, but I still loved the ending. Overall, one of my favorite reads of the year so far. 

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. The above opinions are all my own.
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I dropped totally and completely with joy into Therese Anne Fowler's IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS. When Marti Geller dies, she leaves behind three daughters and a clear directive to sell their family house on Mount Desert Island in Maine. What might be a straightforward request is complicated by old and new secrets held by Marti as well as her very different children. As longstanding assumptions, memories, emotional distance, and judgments are challenged and resolved, each woman struggles and ultimately resolves her own deep-seated issues and creates a new, more rewarding and honest path for herself. Somehow Fowler made each brilliantly drawn character relatable and imperfectly perfect so that I was cheering for everyone to succeed in facing their darkest, deepest demons and triumph. A young boy, an old lover, and memory add richness and depth to an exceptional novel. Her writing is sensual and so enjoyable, I stayed up way too late reading. I received an advance copy of this novel and these opinions are my own, unbiased thoughts.
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