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Review THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER by Ann Brashares @AnnBrashares @DelacortePress

I received this book at no cost from the publisher or author.

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
ISBN: 0385736894
Published by Delacorte Press on April 25th 2017
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Family
Pages: 304
Goodreads
four-stars

Ann Brashares, beloved author of the bestselling The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, which has sold over 8.7 million copies in all formats, is back with another unforgettable story about fractured families, first love, and loss in her latest novel, THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER (Delacorte Press / on sale April 25, 2017 / $18.99), which carries a first printing of 100,000 copies. Readers will feel the sand between their toes and smell the salty air of Brashares’s Long Island beach town setting, which serves as the backdrop for Sasha and Ray’s unusual and budding relationship.

Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control . . . or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love. Booklist hailed THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER as “quintessential Brashares,” and fans of Brashares’s work as well as new readers will dive wholeheartedly into this original story that is a love letter to romance, summertime, and family—no matter how unconventional they may be.

 

Ann Brashares is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now,

3 Willows, The Last Summer (of You & Me), and My Name Is Memory. She lives in New York City with her family. Visit Ann’s website at AnnBrashares.com and follow on Twitter @AnnBrashares.

MY THOUGHTS

Two families share a beach house once connected by marriage, now separated by divorce and bitter feelings.  Two children connect even though they have never met.  Three older girls from one couple and two more children born almost at the same time that aren’t related except by a beach house.

This story grabbed me instantly, even though it was a bit confusing between several points of view of each sister and siblings.  It boils down to the relationship between Sasha and Ray, two people related by marriage who have never met but both know intimately the details of the other.  The two don’t share anything biologic between them but are related in ways that can not really be explained.  Growing up, they have shared a room and toys and now in their teens a summer job.  The parents have carefully arranged their lives so that they will never ever have a chance encounter right down to timing comings and goings at school events and holidays.  A bit intense but when people with money have bitter divorces they can afford to be a bit strange in their manipulations.

The parents have carefully arranged their lives so that they will never ever have a chance encounter right down to timing comings and goings at school events and holidays.  A bit intense but when people with money have bitter divorces they can afford to be a bit strange in their manipulations. All these little things made me want to scream at the parents to get over themselves and be civil since the children seem more mature and could probably handle the life events in a better way.  Even though Sasha and Ray are separated, they communicate through writing and could teach their parents a lot.  Their obsession with each other grows into a crescendo. Then tragedy strikes but all ends well.

 

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four-stars

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