'Love All'

Friday, July 12, 2013

By Callie Wright. Henry Holt, 260 pp. $25

After the sudden death of his wife, Bob Cole must move in with his daughter and her family. In going through her mother's things, however, Anne Obermeyer finds a copy of an illicit book under her mother's side of the mattress, a book supposedly written about their small town when Anne was a little girl.

Anne's husband, Hugh, meanwhile, is having an affair with one of his students' mothers, and fears his wife is becoming more suspicious of his late nights. A principal at the town's prestigious preschool, the affair, and the accident that led to it, could devastate the school and Hugh's reputation.

Fifteen-year-old Julia should have made the tennis team alongside her two best friends, but she skipped the try-outs and now must watch her friends play the game from the sidelines. At the same time, she has fallen in love with one friend, and she fears the other one may have similar feelings for her.

Teddy, Julia's brother, has disciplined himself for baseball since he was little, and now that he nears college he begins to wonder if everything he'd done was worth it.

Callie Wright's "Love All" paints the portrait of a family, each hiding their own secrets and each struggling with how to handle the obstacles that appear in life.

I loved this book, from start to finish. Told from the perspective of each family member, the drive comes from the emotion flooding each chapter and storyline. For me, the most successful character and plot line was Julia; Wright's writing style and dialog wrapped tightly around the 15-year-old's story and soared with it.

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