If you are a fan of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, then you are a fan of Ann Brashares! Here is a synopsis of her latest release The Whole Thing Together.
A beautifully written novel about love, class differences, and betrayal playing out over the course of a fractured American family’s Long Island summer from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares, author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.
“A gorgeously written novel on love, loss and family.” —NICOLA YOON, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything
Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.
Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.
The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control . . . or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.
Sounds so good right? It really was! In fact, I read it all in one sitting and had to read it a second time just to make sure I didn’t miss anything! Hope you enjoy my review and Happy Reading!
The Whole Thing Together is a beautifully written story about family, loss, and growing together as a family while bringing attention to the sensitive topic of race and prejudice. Ann Brashares never ceases to amaze me with her writing ability. If her words were a picture, she would capture each moment perfectly. There was family drama that was as big as the beach..maybe even bigger. The characters are fantastic and make you hopeful even when they are at their lowest points.
No family is perfect and this family does not try to pretend to be. The story focuses on the relationship between Sasha and Ray. They share just about everything everything except siblings. Things get more interesting because they have never met. Each of their respective families rotate on sharing a house, which doesn’t scream unity! Both 17 years old, these two have to deal with so many emotions while trying to finally bring their families together. Are these two mature enough to handle the hardships of a fractured family? The development and growth of both Ray and Sasha is a joy to read. They remind us all the importance of accepting others no matter the gender, race, or religious beliefs.
I applaud Ann Brashares for not being afraid to talk about the topic of race. Most of the characters in this family were White and some were of a different color/race. She portrayed a family who was not accepting of race and magnified the struggles to fit into your OWN family. What would you do if you felt separated by your own family? Would it affect the love you had for them?
No matter what obstacles these characters faced, they continued to be a family whether they wanted to admit it or not. Every family has their secrets, but owning up to them can really promote growth. This family goes through it all, but reading about their journey is nothing short of uplifting. This book makes you feel hopeful even after this family is shattered.
Head on over to Penguin Random House for all buy links and an exclusive excerpt.
Ann Brashares is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now, 3 Willows, The Last Summer (of You and Me), and My Name Is Memory. She lives in New York City with her family. Visit AnnBrashares.com and follow @AnnBrashares on Twitter.
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.