All This Could Be Yours

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Type:
      eBook.
    • Abstract:
      From critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Jami Attenberg comes a novel of family secrets: think the drama of Big Little Lies set in the heat of a New Orleans summer. “If I know why they are the way they are, then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am,” says Alex Tuchman of her parents. Now that her father, Victor, is on his deathbed, Alex—a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister—feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tight-lipped mother, Barbra. As Barbra fends off Alex's unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile Gary, Alex's brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary's wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drugstores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As family members grapple with Victor's history, they must figure out a way to move forward—with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children.All This Could Be Yours is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can entangle a family for generations, and what it takes to—maybe, hopefully—break free. With her signature “sparkling prose” (Marie Claire) and incisive wit, Jami Attenberg deftly explores one of the most important subjects of our age.
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Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2019 September #1

*Starred Review* Adult siblings Alex and Gary respond to their father's impending death with opposing tacks. Alex hops the next plane to New Orleans, where Gary and their parents, Victor and Barbra, live; Gary. meanwhile, is in Los Angeles and can't seem to get himself to leave. His wife, Twyla, joins Alex and Barbra at Victor's bedside in his absence. Barbra wants Alex to make peace with her unconscious father, but Alex is dying to know something even more private: why Barbra, an unequivocally cool customer, has stayed with tyrannical Victor all these years. "Information! She wanted nothing more than that." Attenberg's (The Middlesteins, 2012; All Grown Up, 2017) seventh work of fiction is experienced mostly through Alex, Barbra, and Twyla, each one a terrifically nuanced character that's nearly impenetrable to the others yet intoxicatingly available to readers. As the story unfolds largely over a single day, memories are purged and bombshells dropped, not to mention the ever-curious matter of the vexing central character rendered mute for the duration. Attenberg writes with a deeply human understanding of her characters, and the fact that, when it comes to family, things are rarely well enough to leave alone. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2019 October

Victor Tuchman is the family patriarch in this whirling dervish of a novel. The story unfolds on the day he has a fatal heart attack. Victor was a criminal in his business life and a tyrant in his personal life. His wife Barbra, pacing the hospital halls, is counting her steps and recounting their dysfunctional life together. Daughter Alex, an attorney in Chicago, flies to New Orleans, not for a final goodbye but to cajole her mother into spilling the beans about her father's criminality. Gary, Victor's son, is in Los Angeles and deliberately misses his flight, unwilling to say goodbye,—which is understandable, as he rehashes his life with the abusive man lying in the hospital bed. Gary's wife, Twyla, does visit, her mind wandering through her Southern upbringing and a disastrous, shocking affair. Attenberg (All Grown Up) is a master of subtlety as she divulges everyone's thoughts, including the one-off characters such as the clerk at a CVS and the coroner. The unusual twist here is that readers learn all their stories while the characters do not. VERDICT Contemporary family sagas don't get much better than this novel, which should appeal to fans of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections or Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]—Stacy Alesi, Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Lib., Lynn Univ., Boca Raton, FL

Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2019 July #4

A patriarch's death strains a family's already fraught relationships in this dazzling novel from Attenberg (All Grown Up). Shady real estate developer Victor Tuchman suffers a heart attack in New Orleans and is rushed to the hospital. During his final, lingering day, his family mentally rehashes key moments of his life in hopes of understanding the man they are losing. His wife, Barbra, still annoyed about leaving their Connecticut mansion, occupies herself with obsessive walking while remembering Victor's quick transition from shy suitor to abusive tyrant. His daughter, Alex, flies in from Chicago, desperate to know the truth about Victor's criminal past, and begrudges her mother's insistence she let it go and make peace. Victor's son Gary, who is in Los Angeles to jump-start his career in the movies, avoids answering calls from the family and intentionally misses his flight. Gary's wife, Twyla, slips into a nervous breakdown during a cosmetic shopping spree, slowly revealing the true root of her distress. As Victor fades, the family's dysfunction comes to light and they make drastic choices about their future. Attenberg excels at revealing rich interior lives—not only for her main cast, but also for cameo characters—in direct, lucid prose. This is a delectable family saga. (Sept.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.