Sunday, April 30, 2017

All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg ~ My Thoughts


All the Best People

All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg
Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: May 2nd 2017 by Berkley Books

An intricately crafted story of madness, magic and misfortune across three generations from the author of The Middle of Somewhere and House Broken...

Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.

But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.

An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.


(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"Carole was ten when her mother was committed to Underhill State Hospital. For a year, her father had said."

I just love Sonja's books and I know when I start one that I am going to take an emotional journey into a family's life and come out with a better understanding of an issue that is a big part of, not just that family, but a lot of other families as well. All of her books are like that. All the Best People deals with mental health issues, an issue that has touched my family, as I am sure it has others. 

This story is so beautiful as well as being so heartbreaking. Beautiful because we see how families and communities can support and love each other and heartbreaking because we get a glimpse of how mental issues were dealt with in the past. Oh, how far we have come. 

Sonja's stories are always filled with great characters. I have so much respect for Carole and admire her for being so strong, even with all she had been through in her life. Her sister, Janine however, not so much. And then there's Walt and Alison, Carole's husband and daughter. They are both so supportive and loving as Carole is struggling with her past and dealing with the present. She doesn't want to be like her mother, but what if she can't help it? 

All the Best People gives us a very personal look at those who are affected by mental health issues and brings the struggles to our attention to give us all a better understanding of what it is like when something like this touches families. Hopefully, we can all have a little more empathy going forward for those who are faced with these issues.

Thank you Sonja for another wonderful, emotional, touching story! 

About the author

I grew up in Stowe, Vermont, the daughter of a ski instructor. In my first incarnation, I was a animal behaviorist who studied learning in blue jays, hyenas and kangaroo rats. I wrote a book about that. Now I make stuff up.

My first two novels (House Broken and Middle of Somewhere) were published in 2015 by Penguin. My third, All the Best People, will be out in May 2017. I'm very excited about it, but then again, I get excited about a lot of things.

When I'm not writing or pretending to be writing, I run, garden, cook, eat, drink wine, then run some more. My husband and I live in central Virginia with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's quiet and pretty, like Vermont. 
Connect with Sonja


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  1. Love your review and the sound of this book so will definitely get to reading this author sooner rather than later.

  2. Hi Susan, looks like a good one! It would be great if you added your review to the Books You Loved: May collection over at Carole's Chatter. If you would like to join in the fun on a regular basis please schedule a reminder for the first Wednesday of each month (NZ time). Cheers!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Carole. I'll head over and add it now. Thanks for the reminder.


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