Book Title: All the Good Parts
Author: Loretta Nyhan
Series: None (but I’d totally be happy with a follow up book!!!)
Genres: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit
Date Read: 09/26/16
Pub Date: 09/20/16
At thirty-nine, Leona Accorsi is broke, single, back in school, and living in her sister Carly’s basement. She’s perfectly content being quirky Auntie Lee to Carly’s four children. That is, until Leona’s doctor tells her that if she wants to have a child, she’d better do it now.
Leona does want a baby. She always has, but the circumstances have never been right. Now she has a huge decision to make: face motherhood on her own or risk missing out on its rewards.
Unfortunately, she’s let her romantic life go stagnant. She barely even knows any single men. She has just a few prospects: a Vietnam vet and partial amputee, his intimidating son, the sweet but troubled man who tutors her niece, and a fellow nursing student she’s never actually met.
As Leona discovers more about each one, she realizes any of them could be the right man for the job. The more important question is, has she become the right woman?
What a gem of a book! I’m so glad author Emily Carpenter put this one on my radar as it was such a fabulous read. So often Women’s Fiction and Chick Lit gets a bad name, as it is written off as flakey, shallow, and unrealistic; it’s almost the equivalent of porn for women. This is what Women’s Fiction should consist of! Yes, it is unrealistic to expect a woman would ask relative strangers for a “donation” to conceive a child on her own, but is it? This book forced me to ask so many questions and rethink much of what I thought I knew involving women who choose to have a child on their own later in life. It’s not everyday you pick up a book that washes you with such a wide array of emotions; at times I was laughing, nervous, and even felt like tearing up from the positive and negative interactions that Leona was experiencing. After I turned the last page, I closed the book and stared at that gorgeous cover for a few minutes soaking it all in. While the book does give you closure, it would be completely reasonable (right Loretta?!) for a sequel to pick up right where All the Good Parts left off.
There are lots of smaller story lines going on throughout the book that, in the end, come together and make the big picture. I really enjoyed the way the author chose to write this story; there were email conversations between Darryl and Leona, along with alternating chapters that told her story with Jerry and Paul, Garrett, and her own family as well. I felt I was kept in suspense for a majority of the book until a few twists were revealed, and boy were there a few twists, which kept my thoughts engaged during the entire time I was reading. Without spoiling anything, one of the best parts of the story (IMO) was how it wasn’t solely dependent on Leona falling in love and finding this great romance. Sure there are romantic relationships and it is a factor, but this story stresses on the importance of finding yourself and being your own person before seeking out any type of relationship, whether that be romantic or otherwise. I enjoyed every single character in this book; while it ended exactly as I hoped (YAY!) and with whom I’d hoped (YAY!), it didn’t stop me from enjoying the experiences Leona had with the other characters on the journey to finding herself.
I cannot stress enough how much I love that cover! It’s bright, sunny, and all kinds of gorgeous. Lake Union has published a slew of books this summer that will stay with me for a long time to come, but All the Good Parts had something special, something I can’t quite explain or put my finger on. It drew me in, made me feel things I didn’t think possible as I clearly cannot personally relate to our main character’s struggle, and nestled in my brain and heart to the point I wanted to flip right back to the first page and reread this immediately. *Chants* SEQUEL! SEQUEL! SEQUEL! I need more of these characters Loretta! I’m sure you can see that I clearly recommend this one, and if you sacrifice your Starbuck’s coffee twice you’ll have paid for this book. Thank you Loretta for writing such a heartfelt, enjoyable, and emotional journey and sharing it with us.
*I’d like to thank the author and publisher for my copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.