Everything We Ever Wanted

Everything We Ever Wanted

3.4 22
by Sara Shepard
     
 

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“Sara Shepard delivers the perfect read….A brilliant storyteller.”
—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine

“[Written] with unflinching honesty and unstinting compassion.”
—Jacquelyn Mitchard, author The Deep End of the Ocean

“This riveting,

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Overview

“Sara Shepard delivers the perfect read….A brilliant storyteller.”
—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine

“[Written] with unflinching honesty and unstinting compassion.”
—Jacquelyn Mitchard, author The Deep End of the Ocean

“This riveting, provocative and well-crafted family drama surprised and delivered at every turn. I could not put it down.”
—Sarah Mlynowski, author of Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)

Sara Shepard, the bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars, delivers a powerful novel of family dreams, lies, and delusions.  Everything We Ever Wanted begins with a phone call with allegations that rock an upper crust Philadelphia family to its very foundations, unlocking years of secrets and scandals that expose the serious flaws in outwardly perfect lives. A moving, intelligent, and unforgettable novel, Shepard’s Everything We Ever Wanted is exceptional contemporary women’s fiction that will be embraced by book clubs everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
YA author Shepard (Pretty Little Liars) aims for adult readers with this expertly rendered novel of family dysfunction set in moneyed Main Line Philadelphia. Recently widowed Sylvie Bates-McAllister runs the board of directors at Swithin School, a prestigious prep school founded by her grandfather. When Sylvie learns that her adopted adult son, Scott, may be responsible for the hazing death of a student he coached on the school’s wrestling team, she fears the worst and worries about how the scandal will affect her family name. Sylvie’s biological son, Charles—estranged from his brother since an ugly incident on the night of their high school graduation—is more concerned with his marital troubles than the hazing scandal. Now living in the suburbs, Charles frets over wife Joanna’s growing restlessness. Joanna, meanwhile, feels excluded from the neighborhood clique and Charles’s relationship with his mother, as well as disappointed by her marriage into this supposedly perfect upper-class family. As Shepard moves through time and shifts between the perspectives of her main characters, the inner lives of the Bates-McAllisters resonate more than the actual plot. Readers will respond as this family grapples with their many long-held secrets. (Oct.)
Closer (UK)
“Compelling and touching, this is a story with a difference—a real treat.”
Kirkus Reviews

A contemporary portrait of the stultified life of Philadelphia's Main Lineelite.

The plot revolves around a possible school hazing scandal, but really Shepard's subject is the smashing silence and conformity required of the well-mannered life. Sylvie Bates-McAllister lives in Roderick, the Main Linemansion she inherited from her beloved grandfather. Despite raising her two boys in the house, it remains largely unchanged since her grandfather lived in it—along with the prep school he founded, Swithin, a testament to his greatness. Sylvie serves on the board of Swithin and is called one night when a student is found dead, the apparent victim of suicide. The boy was on the wrestling team her 30-year-old son Scott coaches; there are rumors of student hazing and the complicity of the coach. Sylvie believes the worst. Scott, adopted as a toddler, is of mixed race and has a strained relationship with Sylvie and her older, biological son Charles. Charles, a prim and quiet aspiring journalist, is Sylvie's favorite, but her late husband James doted on Scott, found in him an outsider he could identify with. Now that James is dead, Scott is more of a mystery than ever—he has a defiant swagger and tattoos and low-slung jeans—and Sylvie is simply embarrassed by him. Swirling around the breaking scandal are a variety of subplots—Charles' new wife Joanna (who as a girl kept a society page scrapbook featuring the public appearances of the Bates-McAllister family) is beginning to think her marriage is a misplaced fantasy. Charles is set to interview his high-school sweetheart Bronwyn, who has become a sort of back-to-the-land hippie in rural Pennsylvania. Sylvie becomes increasingly obsessed with the affair she believes her husband had. The strings are so tightly laced around this family that they are bound to break—when they do, old secrets reap surprising results.

Though the plot sometimes wanders and the "scandal" never seems urgent, Shepard has crafted a fine character study on the repressed lives of the American elite.

Booklist
“Explor[ing] the complexity of family dynamics and heritage. . . . Shepard delves deeply into the differing emotions and moods aroused by family conflict.”
Adriana Trigiani
“Sara Shepard delivers the perfect read with Everything We Ever Wanted. This is a delicious story loaded with mysterious twists and turns and a vault of secrets, that when revealed, will keep you turning pages long into the night. Sara is a brilliant storyteller.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard
“With unflinching honesty and unstinting compassion, Sara Shepard tells the story of a proud family, with the best intentions, who must face the hypocrisy of the past or lose any hope for saving the future.”
Sarah Mlynowski
“This riveting, provocative and well-crafted family drama surprised and delivered at every turn. I could not put it down.”
4 stars (UK) - Closer
"Compelling and touching, this is a story with a difference—a real treat."
4 stars (UK) Closer
“Compelling and touching, this is a story with a difference—a real treat.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062080066
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/11/2011
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
454,085
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Sarah Mlynowski
“This riveting, provocative and well-crafted family drama surprised and delivered at every turn. I could not put it down.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard
“With unflinching honesty and unstinting compassion, Sara Shepard tells the story of a proud family, with the best intentions, who must face the hypocrisy of the past or lose any hope for saving the future.”

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