It’s the spring of 1994 in Cooperstown, New York, and Joanie Cole, the beloved matriarch of the Obermeyer family, has unexpectedly died in her sleep. Now, for the first time, three generations are living together under one roof and are quickly encroaching on one another’s fragile orbits. Eighty-six-year-old Bob Cole is adrift in his daughter’s house without his wife. Anne Obermeyer is increasingly suspicious of her husband, Hugh’s, late nights and missed dinners, and Hugh, principal of the town’s preschool, is terrified that a scandal at school will erupt and devastate his life. Fifteen-year-old tennis-team hopeful Julia is caught in a love triangle with Sam and Carl, her would-be teammates and two best friends, while her brother, Teddy, the star pitcher of Cooperstown High, will soon catch sight of something that will change his family forever.
At the heart of the Obermeyers’ present-day tremors is the scandal of The Sex Cure, a thinly veiled roman à clef from the 1960s, which shook the small village of Cooperstown to the core. When Anne discovers a battered copy underneath her parents’ old mattress, the Obermeyers cannot escape the family secrets that come rushing to the surface. With its heartbreaking insight into the messy imperfections of family, love, and growing up, Love All is an irresistible comic story of coming-of-age—at any age. (from Netgalley)
I thought this was a very busy story as it weaves in and out of the lives of five main characters. The Obermeyers are one of those families whose lives look normal from the outside, but in all actuality, everything is falling apart.
I absolutely loved Julia, aka Jules. At fifteen, she is absolutely laugh out loud funny. She is right on the cusp of changing from sweet and innocent childhood to one where the realities of growing up are starting to appear. The time in life when we discover our parents are not infallible, a grandparent can be down right weird, and childhood friendships don’t always stay the same.
I must say that I ended up liking this story. While I had to read the very end twice to see if I missed something, the more I thought about it, the more I decided it was pretty smart.
This is a debut by Ms. Wright. I thought her writing was quite intriguing and she is someone that I would definitely like to read again.
My thanks to Henry Holt and Co., via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.
Publish date: June 25, 2013.