Author: Jami Attenberg
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: October 22, 2019
Book Description: “If I know why they are the way they are, then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am,” says Alex Tuchman of her parents. Now that her father is on his deathbed, Alex—a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister–feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra.
As Barbra fends off Alex’s unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile Gary, Alex’s brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary’s wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drug stores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As each family member grapples with Victor’s history, they must figure out a way to move forward—with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children.
ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can tangle a family for generations and what it takes to—maybe, hopefully—break free. With her signature “sparkling prose” (Marie Claire) and incisive wit, Jami Attenberg deftly explores one of the most important subjects of our age.
Rating: 2 stars
Review: This hurts me say this but this was so underwhelming, considering all the hype that has surrounded this book. I am an Attenberg fan, so of course I pre-ordered this book and was just about as excited as anybody, but what a miss.
In theory, this should be 100% in my wheelhouse. A family drama and I am there. However, I personally need to feel a connection with at least one of the characters, and there just nothing there for me.
This story begins with the patriarch of the family, Victor, has a heart attack. Attenberg then attempts to weave a family narrative of some of the most disdainful people I have read about. There were two many point of views to keep up with, and I found that about two-thirds of the way in I just stopped even caring.
I know people will not feel the same as me on this one, but this was quite a slog for me and I think the author missed the boat on this one.