- Title: All The Best People
- Author: Sonja Yoerg
- Genre: Fiction
- Pages: 368
- Published: May 2017 – Berkley Trade
- Source: Publisher
Description: Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.
But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.
An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives. (Publisher)
My take: Carole remembers her mother before life changed. She remembers her happy family when she was a little girl. But things changed when her little sister was born. Was what Carole believed to be family history the complete truth? And is she destined to live the same life as her mother? All The Best People is the story of a family and what happens when the matriarch begins to feel life slipping out of her grasp.
Sonja Yoerg’s novel had me from the first page. My heart broke for Carole as she was going through the frightening realization that her life was changing and she couldn’t do anything about it. She was terrified of ending up like her mother. The book alternates between Carole in the 1970s and Carole’s mother in the 1920s and ’30s – a satisfying way to show how treatment changed through the decades.
Given the serious topic I didn’t expect to enjoy the novel as much as I did. I looked forward to picking it up each time – a credit to the author’s storytelling skill. Recommended for fans of the author and family dramas.
About the author:
Sonja Yoerg grew up in Stowe, Vermont, where she financed her college education by waitressing at the Trapp Family Lodge. She earned her Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, and studied learning in blue jays, kangaroo rats and spotted hyenas, among other species. Her non-fiction book about animal intelligence, Clever as a Fox (Bloomsbury USA) was published in 2001.
While her two daughters were young, Sonja taught in their schools in California. Now that they are in college, she writes full-time.
She currently lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband. Her novels, HOUSE BROKEN and MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE, are published by Penguin/NAL.
15 thoughts on “All The Best People by Sonja Yoerg”
Mary, take a look at Splinters of Light by Rachael Herron.
Thanks for the rec, Lloyd. I added it to my wish list because I’ve enjoyed a few of Herron’s novels.
Serious can be good at times
Yes, for sure.
Thank you for the review. I’m adding this one to my TBR.
It does sound intense and sad…but very interesting.
Mary, Great review! I’m certainly intrigued. Adding this title to my TBR list.Thank you!
Oh my, but does that sound good!
I downloaded this one last week, and I am eager to start reading it. I love this kind of story…and your review brought me right into the midst of it. Thanks for sharing.
This one hadn’t really grabbed me because of how serious and sad it sounded but your review has changed my mind. It sounds like it would be something I’d enjoy and like a worthwhile read. Great review!
Wonderful review, Mary. Beautifully done.
I have this book, but haven’t gotten to it yet.
Thanks for sharing.
I have this book on my radar, seems like it deals with an important medical issue. Hope to get to read it at some point.
I have this book, but have not read it yet. Your review might just be the push I need 🙂
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