[A] winsome debut novel… Wright is a sure-handed writer who's at her strongest when describing the vicissitudes of marriage, which she does with great heart and originality… Love All is a study in intimacy—how we create it, how we bungle it; and, most of all, how we yearn for and require it, no matter how small or large our daily geography.
The problem with most first novels is that they read like first novels. Callie Wright’s debut, Love All, reads like the work of a writer in mid-career… [Wright] has a feel for life among the small-town gentry reminiscent of Updike.
[A] fetching debut novel.
A generation after a salacious roman à clef airs an entire town’s dirty laundry, the tell-all book resurfaces in the same house it originally wreaked havoc on, forcing one family to ask if history will repeat itself… [LOVE ALL’s] storyline will launch any kind of gossip session or book club discussion.
In this winning first novel, three generations of a Cooperstown, New York, clan find their lives upended by a long-buried copy of The Sex Cure—a real-life roman a clef from 1962 that scandalized town residents.
Three generations of a family in transition are at the center of Wright’s touching character-driven tale. Octogenarian grandfather Bob Cole is grieving the death of his wife.... But the Obermeyers have their own problems.... And The Sex Cure, a novel that was published in the 1960s—a thinly veiled expose of the town’s scandalous inhabitants—resurfaces, painfully connecting the generations. Wright’s greatest asset, her ability to switch voices as family members narrate in turn, is also the novel’s greatest weakness, skimming each story without gaining emotional resonance or tying together themes. But the prose is effortless, and the characters are accessible and genuine, making this a promising debut.
[T]hree generations of the same family see their settled lives begin to splinter. Sex, marriage vows and teenage angst seam Wright's first novel, set in the small community of Cooperstown, made famous in the 1960s when a notorious novel, The Sex Cure, exposed the thinly veiled affairs of its citizens.... Narrated from multiple perspectives, some more compelling than others, and larded with themes, Wright's novel is overfreighted yet capable and humane. Inhabiting an appealing if familiar scenario, this is a novel long on empathy but missing the spark of animation.
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