All We Ever Wanted

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this riveting novel from the #1 bestselling author of Something Borrowed and First Comes Love, three very different people must choose between their families and their most deeply held values. . . .

“An unpredictable page-turner that unfolds in the voices of three superbly distinct characters.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution • “A gripping, thought-provoking journey.”—Jodi Picoult


Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. 

Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

Praise for All We Ever Wanted

“Page-turning . . . Timely and thought-provoking, it’s Giffin’s best yet.”People

“Giffin’s novel has style and substance . . . . Truly excellent."The Washington Post

“If you’re looking for a book club selection, All We Ever Wanted is bound to spark meaningful and meaty discussions.”The Augusta Chronicle

“A page-turning exploration of wealth and privilege.”Entertainment Weekly

All We Ever Wanted - Emily Giffin Summary

From the Outside is the second studio album by American pop rock band Hey Violet. It was released on June 16, 2017, by Hi or Hey Records and Capitol Records. It is their first album since their name change from Cherri Bomb to Hey Violet. It also serves as the group's first album without former lead singer Julia Pierce, and the first with new members Casey Moreta, and Iain Shipp. The album's sound has been described as "post-EDM pop rock". This is the group's final album to feature founding member Miranda Miller, who announced her departure from the band via social media on August 31, 2017...

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All We Ever Wanted - Emily Giffin Book Reviews (1,208)

Isabel Bekele

Loved4 star

Loved this book! The ending was a tad unsatisfying in a way, but besides that it was excellent 45


All We Ever Wanted5 star

This is an outstanding plot with real characters. It holds the readers interest, and does not follow the cliches of happily ever after stories. It draws in all walks of life, and has a wonderful way to remind the reader that people are people. 55


Don’t miss this5 star

What a great read... love how the story is told from the perspectives of different main characters and the growth they experience. A book that is very hard to put down as you cheer on each of the characters and are simply reminded that “people matter”- inspiring! An added bonus is the “Nashville” scene- fun to recognize some Nashville hotspots and local lingo if you’re an insider. 55

emily bju

Wonderful5 star

Beautifully written and touches on a topic that we all should be made aware of and fight for! 55


What we were5 star

Good Read 55


All I ever wanted3 star

I wanted romance and justice for the younger characters and a more satisfying ending. 35

Geri Wolf

All We Ever Wanted5 star

Sweet and not so sweet book. Couldn’t stop reading. Two hours late getting up right now. So “up to date” with life as it is in today’s world with women coming out of the dark and speaking out. But, with Finch getting off. 55

Lover of good deals

A quick read4 star

The book was a simple quick summer read. Nothing too riveting or exciting but it was good enough. 45


Good but dropped off4 star

I really liked the book. It covers a lot of common day issues relative to today’s world. I was disappointed how the story just ended abruptly and fast forwarded 25 years. 45


All We Ever Wanted2 star

This book is boring and cliche:( 25


Loved it5 star

I had never read a book by Emily Griffin until this one. I have, however, seen the movie Something Borrowed several times, which is based on one of her books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thank Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. The story starts by telling us about Nina and her family and all of the glitz and glamour they enjoy. And don’t forget the money, as one of her friends says they are ‘obscenely’ wealthy. But by the end of the first chapter, we find out that being rich doesn’t always matter. My interest was held when I read the last sentence of the first chapter…”Becuase at virtually that very moment, our son was across town making the worst decision in his life” If that doesnt make you want to continue reading, I’m not sure what will. The book addresses an issue that we have seen or heard about many inappropriate picture posted on social media. The story is told from several view points, which I liked beacuse the reader was able to see each character’s thoughts. It’s also a mystery to figure out who is REALLY telling the trust. It’s a story sthat addresses honesty, sexual assault, accountability, disappointment, racisim and I even think you could add redemption to the list. I completely enjoyed this book and will highly recommend it to all my friend. I will also be adding Emily Griffin to my list of authors to read and will check our some of her other books! 55


I am revitalized by the quality of this book.5 star

All We Ever Wanted was another winner for Emily Giffin. I was fascinated by the way the story continued to build, chapter after chapter. I also enjoyed the voices of the characters telling the suspenseful narrative. The ending was satisfying but not predictable. I appreciate that a great deal. Great book. 55


Good read4 star

This book touches on the use and abuse of personal privacy breaches and how it affects the lives of the victim(s). It is not a deep tome, and does not really address the devastation that this can and does to people, friends and families, in a true light. It is light reading for this subject. A good read. 45


Be careful what you wish for4 star

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin June 2018 Women’s fiction I received this digital ARC from NetGalley and Ballantine/Random House Publishing in exchange for an unbiased review. Interesting story about family values and finding authenticity in a crazy materialistic world. The story is narrated in alternate chapters by main characters: Nina Browning, Tom Volpe, Lyla Volpe. It begins with Nina Browning who is married to Kirk Browning, a very wealthy software executive. They had a luxurious lifestyle filled with charity events and fancy cars. Their only son Finch has never known any other life than the one he had at Windsor Academy. Nina was raised in a very modest Bristol neighborhood where her best friend Julie still lives and works as an attorney. In contrast, Tom Volpe is a single father raising Lyla, a high school sophomore at Windsor Academy. They have a very different lifestyle where Tom works hard as a carpenter to ensure his daughter gets a good education. Lyla is accustomed to the random visits from Beatriz, her estranged alcoholic mother. The story evolves after a house party at a senior Beau’s house while his parents were away. Needless to say, the party revs up with the heavy consumption of alcohol by the students. An incident occurs which stirs up Windsor Academy to the dismay of the headmaster, Walter Quarterman. Especially since the issue involves Finch Browning whose family provides financial support to the private school. Consequently, Tom receives an unexpected call from Grace, Lyla’s best friend with whom she was supposed to be studying. Grace desperately seeks his assistance when Lyla is found passed out at party. Stories begin to spiral out of control via social media when a picture of Lyla becomes topic of discussion. Lyla has had a crush on Finch for two years and is flattered by his attention although he was dating Polly. When differing explanations of the night emerge, it has Nina and Tom investigating the truth, although on differing sides of the story. Is it always important to reveal the truth even when the consequences are high? Does money make it acceptable to cover up mistakes? 45


Interesting read5 star

Emily Griffin’s newest novel All We Ever Wanted was an thought provoking, page turner. Parents dealing with teenagers and social media issues, was an interesting read. I loved it. 55


Brilliant!!5 star

All We Ever Wanted is a superbly written novel. Emily Giffin completely transported me into the story. I was so captivated that I stayed up reading late into the night just to finish it. I didn’t want to put it down. It’s an emotional book that tugged at my heart from the very first page. All We Ever Wanted also has a great message about girls and women standing up for themselves; and about abusers taking responsibility for their own actions. Nina Browning’s life changed drastically when her husband, Kirk, sold his business. She found herself suddenly ridiculously wealthy. For the first time in her life, anything that money could buy was at her fingertips. She enjoyed expensive vacations, clothes, jewelry and the elite status that was reserved for the wealthy. Her son Finch grew up privileged and was able to attend private schools from the kindergarten up. But, Nina’s life wasn’t all bliss. She, unfortunately, discovered that the old cliche about money and happiness was actually true. Nina’s heart ached. She had reasons to seriously question her husband’s fidelity. They were growing apart, and he spent more time on the road or flying than at home. But Nina’s heart didn’t truly break until it was her son, who was the one, in trouble. The mistake Finch would make would not only change his life but the entire family dynamic, forever. I thoroughly enjoyed All We Ever Wanted and highly recommend reading it. Thank you, Ballantine Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it! 55


A Coming-of-Age Story Within a Family Drama4 star

All we ever wanted was wealth, comfort, happiness, acceptance, and love. Emily Giffin’s latest novel, All We Ever Wanted is a coming-of-age story within a family drama. Ms. Giffin’s story outlines the evils of affluence. Her message that with money comes a sense of entitlement that allows one to believe they only have to answer to themselves is not subtle. Many of her key characters feel justified in any action if it secures them their rightful place in their socio-economic class. All We Ever Wanted is narrated from three points of view. After years of marriage, Nina Browning finally comes to the realization that her husband is a user and a liar. Worse yet, he is teaching their son, Finch, to be the same. She is a passive heroine. She is supportive of Lyla Volpe, who {allegedly} her son as publicly shamed, however, she makes no effort to push her son to own his misbehavior and accept the consequences of that admission. Single dad, Tom Volpe, tries his best to be a good role model and a protective father. He is not wholly successful, however, he is by far the only character who seems to be truly a good person. Lyla Volpe, the third narrator, is a typical teen. She is desperate to be noticed and to fit into with the cool kids at her posh private school. She makes serial bad choices, and she easily falls prey to the charms of Nina’s womanizing son and his friends. Lyla’s story, along with that of her classmate Polly, allows Ms. Giffin to show her readers the pitfalls of social media and underage drinking. The author also broaches the tough topic of teen suicide None of these topics are explored in depth, but the author does show how quickly the well-to-do circle their wagons when accusations are made. The story is well paced. There are a few likable characters, however, the only narrator I had empathy for was Tom Volpe. I liked the trajectory of Lyla’s life both in terms of her decision to tough out the rest of high school and later her happy and successful life. However, I was not completely satisfied with Tom, Nina and Finch’s story. The lack of justice is sadly realistic, but does result in an unsatisfying end. All We Ever Wanted is an excellent book for meaty book club discussions. 45

All We Ever Wanted Book Discussions

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