Normally I try to only post positive reviews here, because who wants to be the person putting more negativity into the world, especially in the current moment? But I am way behind on reviews so I will say: I did not like this book. This is probably because I am a philistine. Roxane Gay loved it! So did NPR! And the New York Times!
Jami Attenberg’s All This Could Be Yours is the story of a family ruled by Victor Tuchman, a rich, awful man who suffers a heart attack early in the novel and spends most of its length lying unconscious in a New Orleans hospital room while his wife, children, grandchildren, and daughter-in-law attempt to deal with the wreckage he has caused in their lives.
I think the people who liked this book were interested in the idea of how Victor’s wife, children, and others in his orbit could love such an awful man, but I don’t think the book really answers this question (in part because other than his wife Barbra, they don’t actually seem to love him). Writing about love is hard – how can we really explain what makes any of us love another person? (This is one of the reasons I write mystery and not romance.) But I didn’t feel that I came away from the book with any better understanding of the complexities of love. Barbra seems drawn to Victor’s power and wealth, then trapped (as are her children) by his temper and the power his wealth and position give him.
I will say the book was well-written and kept me engaged throughout. The characters were believable, if often unpleasant. I did want to know what happened to them, even though I wouldn’t want to interact with any of them ever again.
In the future, I need to remind myself that no matter how well regarded they are, I have limited patience for books about the misery of rich a**holes.
Recommended for fans of: Succession, Fleishman is in Trouble, cottage cheese (this one might not strictly pan out but it’s another thing I hate so who knows?).