Bethany House Publishing
All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin is a well-written book about relationships and the necessity of forgiveness. As Kathleen Seymour discovers the truth about the pasts of her mother and grandmother, she and her daughter Joelle begin to mend their torn relationship. Kathleen learns that when hard times occur, running away from them is not the best answer.
As Kathleen begins the repair with Joelle, she is prompted to revisit Riverside, the hometown she hasnít returned to in thirty-five years. During the long drive, Kathleen reveals to Joelle the childhood she tried so hard to forget. When they arrive in Riverside, Kathleen uncovers the difficult lives her mother and her grandmother had as young women, and she begins to understand the cause of her detested past. Kathleen realizes the importance of forgiving others just as she has been forgiven for her mistakes.
All She Ever Wanted gives the story of three generations of underprivileged women who want nothing more than wealth and love, but who look for them in all the wrong places. Lynn Austin does a wonderful job of making her characters realistic. As Kathleen tells her daughter about her past and learns about her motherís and grandmotherís experiences, the readers are left feeling sympathy for them all, as though they are watching the events unfold before their own eyes. The imperfect characters with imperfect lives make it easy for the readers to relate to them and allow the truth behind the story to be revealed: love and forgiveness can always be found in God.
In All She Ever Wanted, the stories of the daughter, mother, and grandmother combine to make a brilliant novel about love, forgiveness, suffering, and the importance of resisting the temptation to run away when things get tough. A bit of mystery is added to the plot to make it even more enjoyable. Not only is this book great entertainment, it also benefits the reader spiritually. The stories of these women reveal the need to trust in Jesus throughout life. This novel is perfect for women who have seen hard times and for mothers and daughters, especially those who struggle in their relationships together, but I recommend it to anyone. -- Andrea Burns, Christian Book Previews.com
Thirty-five years ago Kathleen fled her home, desperate to cast off weights of poverty and shame. But an unexpected invitation from her sister unwittingly draws her back to that sleepy New York town, her own daughter in tow.
A trip meant to salvage her relationship with her daughter changes course as Kathleen reexamines her own childhood. But even more enlightening are the stories of Eleanor, her once-vibrant mother, and Fiona, the grandmother she barely knew.
The more Kathleen learns, the more answers she seeks concerning her familyís mysterious past. Yet with the past exposed, Kathleen is torn between her need to forgive and the urge to forget.