Review: All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin


Release date: June 26, 2018

Publisher: Ballantine

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.


I’m a huge fan of Emily Giffin, when she has a new book out I don’t hesitate to add to my TBR without reading the description, I always know I’ll like whatever she releases. While Something Borrowed and Something Blue will always be my firm favorites, AWEW has now landed itself a spot next to them, this was insanely good you guys!

This is told from several perspectives; Nina mother of Finch who is accused of snapping a wildly inappropriate picture of another narrator, Lyla and then you also hear from her father, Tom. I always admire an author who can not only write about timely, important issues in a relatable manner, but when they can give each character a strong and distinct voice, I’m seriously impressed. In a culture where sexual assault/harassment victims are banding together to be heard, the plot of this one could not be more relevant. I related the most to Nina, a mother who is just doing her best each and every single day who finds out that her best still may have not been enough to teach her son how to be the type of man she can be proud of.

Book clubs should go right ahead and make this your next choice, the discussion topics are endless and I would venture to guess that anyone could find at least one aspect they could relate to. Giffin explores parenthood, marriage, moral choices and how said choices can impact your life in extreme ways and so, so much more. This had a slightly darker edge than her previous work, but for me it made it all the better.

All We Ever Wanted in three words: Relevant, Thoughtful and Absorbing.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

10 thoughts on “Review: All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

  1. Theresa says:

    I agree on the book clubs. I have teen daughters and I want them to read this so we can discuss.

    I appreciated how Emily Giffin – who obviously has some money and success was able to say that’s not important, the status, the money, etc. is not important and being a good person is what matters.

    Liked by 1 person

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