The Geller Sisters—Beck (44), Claire (40), and Sophie (36)—are orphans, having just lost their mother, Marti. But that’s not where the grieving ends. Marti made a video for the girls in which she reveals shocking truths about her life, leading the sisters to question the truths of their own lives. And Marti’s will gives strict instructions on the disposal of the family cabin on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine: it is to be updated and sold within a defined period of time, and the proceeds are to be split equally between the sisters.
The three, separated by geography and age, are forced together not only for the funeral but also for a weekend at the cabin where they struggle to accept Marti’s history and to figure out their own futures. Beck is a freelance long-form article writer who can’t bear the blandness of her marriage and craves an opportunity to write the novel she’s been shoving aside for years. Claire, a thriving pediatric surgeon in Duluth, is recovering from a divorce she triggered by a confession to her husband that her heart belongs to a man that she can’t have. Sophie is a high-profile Instagram personality, a rep for a trendy art gallery, and a glamorous global jetsetter whose life is quietly spiraling out of control. Enter the affable C. J. Reynolds, an artist with his own layered past, who is determined to make Mount Desert Island his home.
With a sympathetic hand, Fowler has written a story that will resonate with readers for its humanity and goodness. From family matters to discovering how to facilitate one’s best life, the core of the novel is rooted in the difficulties families face when it comes to cooperation and acceptance. The Geller Sisters are tasked with balancing longing and regret; questioning the status quo of relationships; and resolving the irritating “what ifs” we feel at different times in our own lives. Sure, there’s plenty of angst, doubt, and lies, but there also is an equal amount of humor, tenderness, and compassion. There is no way you can resist falling for the characters that live in this book.
The sisters’ lives are messy, the situations demand hand wringing and hope, and the outcome? Well, it’s not a spoiler to say it’s the right one. Written during the Covid-19 pandemic, Fowler states in her Acknowledgements that she had never attempted “this kind of big-hearted, upbeat tale” with her three previous novels. It’s a good thing she did because, to be honest, It All Comes Down to This is exactly the novel we need right now.
It All Comes Down to This published on June 7, 2022. Therese Anne Fowler lives and writes in North Carolina, and she is the author of three previous novels:
- A Good Neighborhood (2020)
- A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts (2018)
- Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (2013)
You can find out more about Therese on her web site.
Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with a digital ARC of this book.