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Publisher's Summary

When Paul Miller's pharmaceutical company goes public, making his family IPO millionaires, his wife, Janice, is sure this is the windfall she's been waiting years for - until she learns, via messengered letter, that her husband is divorcing her (for her tennis partner!) and cutting her out of the new fortune.

Meanwhile, 400 miles south in Los Angeles, the Millers' older daughter, Margaret, has been dumped by her newly famous actor boyfriend and left in the lurch by an investor who promised to revive her fledgling post-feminist magazine, Snatch. Sliding toward bankruptcy and dogged by creditors, she flees for home where her younger sister Lizzie, 14, is struggling with problems of her own. Formerly chubby, Lizzie has been enjoying her newfound popularity until some bathroom graffiti alerts her to the fact that she's become the school slut.

The three Miller women retreat behind the walls of their Georgian colonial to wage battle with divorce lawyers, debt collectors, drug-dealing pool boys, mean girls, country club ladies, evangelical neighbors, their own demons, and each other, and in the process they become achingly sympathetic characters we can't help but root for, even as the world they live in epitomizes everything wrong with the American Dream.

Exhilarating, addictive, and superbly accomplished, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything crackles with energy and intelligence and marks the debut of a knowing and very funny novelist, wise beyond her years.

©2008 Janelle Brown; (P)2008 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"Rarely does a first novelist write with such confidence and grace. All We Ever Wanted Was Everything is a marvelous book." (Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits)
"A razor-sharp critique of the absurd expectations that, these days, have come to stand for ambition, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything is wrenching, riveting, and still manages to be great fun. This is a wise, intimate chronicle of one family's struggle to take off their masks and live in the place they most feared: the real, imperfect world." (Meghan Daum, author of The Quality of Life Report)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Theresa
  • Gurnee, IL, United States
  • 12-28-08

The Perfect Life Ain't So Perfect

I really enjoyed this book. A moving story of how a Mom and her two daughters deal with their own personal issues as well as a family crisis. All three face what measures success and how other people's opinions truly shape our lives. This book makes one think about what is and isn't important in their life and the things we thought were, might not really be. Real life gone wrong and somehow made right again in a surprising way. You won't be disappointed!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Christine
  • Ramsey, NJ, United States
  • 03-31-10

pretty good, sort of sad

It was okay. It held my attention. I really liked the narrator, especially since she had to narrate the three different perspectives of Mom, older sister and younger sister.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

So disappointed, I wanted to like it...but dull

What was most disappointing about Janelle Brown’s story?

Full of cliches, could not warm up to any of the characters...no wonder her husband left the family. I was not the least intrigued and had to make myself finish.

How could the performance have been better?

Story was dull

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from All We Ever Wanted Was Everything?

I would have added, not taken away, as it was down right boring.

Any additional comments?

wish I had not wasted a credit. I was looking for a new author to follow, did not find it here.<br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Just O.K.

Held my attention, but just barely. The characters weren't easy to root for and it was too long. I finished it, but can't say that it stuck with me when it was over. It wasn't bad, but there are much better books out there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wasn't the great

The story line was tedious the mothers addiction went on and on so boring. The little girl Lizzys voice was just annoying sing song and like a 5yo.

  • Overall
  • S
  • new york, NY, United States
  • 10-06-08

Whine, whine, whine....

this book is about three whining, complaining, self-obsessed women who basically jump to conclusions, throw fits and argue for hours and hours on end. Storyline is a downer. It was like pulling teeth to get through this one.

6 of 12 people found this review helpful