Review: Giffin in new territory in ‘All We Ever Wanted’

Lincee Ray
Associated Press

Best-selling author Emily Giffin ventures into new territory in “All We Ever Wanted.” If you’re looking for a book about romance, single parenthood, race, gender injustice, lost love, or high-class privilege, this novel is for you.

Nina Browning married into wealth. She’s always worked hard to make sure her only son doesn’t take their good fortune for granted. Finch is on the brink of starting his life at an Ivy League college, just like his father dreamed. The world is at his feet. Unfortunately, he takes a cruel photo of a young girl passed out at a party and it spreads around the school. Suddenly, his future is in jeopardy.

Nina is mortified when her husband tries to throw money at the problem to make it go away. She doesn’t believe Finch’s behavior can be categorized as “bad judgment.” Moreover, there’s a young woman out there who’s crushed. Nina ignores her husband’s wishes and reaches out to the girl.

Lyla wants to forget what happened, but her father has other plans. The more Nina tries to set things right, the more she realizes that her marriage is broken and her elite community is a facade of real life.

“All We Ever Wanted” is an emotional journey that forces readers to think through certain scenarios. The novel analyzes the intricacies of parenthood and the pain of standing beside a child in need, no matter what — even if that child isn’t your own.

This cover image released by Ballantine shows "All We Ever Wanted," a novel by Emily Giffin.

‘All We Ever Wanted’

Emily Giffin

Ballantine Books