Andrea reviews ALL WE EVER WANTED by Emily Giffin, Random House, 2018. In the days of the #METOO movement, how young is too young to be held accountable? How old is old enough to know better?
In this modern-day story of he said, she said, events unfold quickly and dramatically. Kirk and Nina are affluent, upper-crust Nashville residents who seem to be living the good life who question their purchases by “Do I want it?” Not “Do I need it?” Their son, Finch, is the golden child who has pleased them further by getting into Princeton. Nina knows his hard work earned him a spot but also realizes the hefty contribution Kirk made to the university didn’t hurt any.
Across town, Tom is a single dad to sophomore Lyla. He has always struggled, financially and emotionally, to raise Lyla on his own. It’s getting harder since she wants her independence and is rebelling against him more each day. Tom wishes his half-Brazilan daughter didn’t know she was so pretty like her exotic, but absent mother.
Finch and Lyla end up at a party together where the host’s parents are away so, of course, there’s underage drinking. Because she is so young, Lyla can’t handle her alcohol and passes out. Finch takes some most inappropriate pictures that he sends to social media.
Of course, there are consequences even though Lyla wants her dad not to pursue the course of action, Finch feels incredibly stupid, Tom is outraged, and Kirk wants to buy his son out of this situation. Nina is obviously embarrassed about her son’s insensitivity but is more mortified about her husband’s actions.
This is a poignant story by bestselling novelist, Emily Giffin, that reminds her readers every action will cause a reaction. It’s also worth noting that you’re never too young or too old to be held accountable.