All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin


Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

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You know it’s summer when you are reading an Emily Giffin novel! I had such a great time over the long weekend, reading All We Ever Wanted on a cottage deck. This novel is a bit more serious than Giffin’s previous novels as it deals with a teenage boy taking a revealing photo of a classmate.

I loved how the novel went into depth on both sides of the story. You got to hear from the boy’s mother, Nina, who is devastated by the events. She feels for the girl, but also doesn’t want to believe the worst in her son. Based on the events that happen, she realizes that her life may not be as perfect as it once seemed.

At the same time, you also hear from Tom, the girl’s father. I loved Tom. He has such a strong love for his daughter that he wouldn’t stop at anything to make sure that justice is served to those that have wronged his daughter.

And lastly, you learned about Lyla, the girl whose photo was taken. I think Giffin did a great job capturing Lyla and how conflicted she was about the whole situation.

I wished there was a bit more to this novel especially towards the end. I would of liked a longer ending and more of a resolution. Or a more in-depth resolution.

4 calculators out of a potential 5. If you are a fan of Giffin’s previous novels, you should enjoy this one! It makes for a perfect summer read!


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