Monday, November 25, 2013

TLC Book Tours Book Reviews: The Whole Golden World

About The Whole Golden World

• Paperback: 448 pages

• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (November 5, 2013)

Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours

Kristina Riggle, the acclaimed author of Real Life & Liars, returns with a thought-provoking novel inspired by real-life events. Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: She chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. Quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.

But her mother, Dinah, wants justice. Dinah is a fighter, and she believes with all her heart and soul that TJ is a man who took advantage of her daughter. He is a criminal who should be brought to justice, no matter what the cost to his family.

Rain, TJ’s wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, respected husband has been accused of a terrible crime. But has her desperation to start a family closed her eyes to the fault lines in her marriage? And can she face the painful truths about herself and her husband? Told from the perspectives of these three remarkable women, The Whole Golden World navigates the precarious territory between childhood and adulthood, raising questions about love and manipulation, marriage and motherhood, consent and responsibility. It’s a novel both shocking and unforgettable in its power.

Review: Kristina Riggle is an author that delivers and emotional read every time. This time the hard hitting topic is a teacher having sex with a minor student. In Keepsake, she dealt with hoarding.

These aren't comfortable topics and to be honest, it wasn't a comfortable read.

The story is told from all sides of the story, Morgan, Rain, and Dinah. Each of them have issues that really need to be dealt with, over and under parenting, infertility, and being forced to be a co-parent to twins.

I have to admit, I feel sorry for Morgan. For a 17 year old, she had an awful lot on her plate, but no more so than the other characters Kristina brings to life in this novel. By the end of the novel I want to kill her, or at least beat her with a stick.

At times, it is hard to like any of them. Rain is so wishy washy about her relationship with TJ and Dinah just needs a good slap upside the head. The amount of parenting she foists off on her daughter is ridiculous. Her husband, Joe, isn't much better. As an assistant principal of the school Morgan attends, he's a barely there dad.

Everyone in this story is dysfunctional.

All the characters made me uncomfortable at one point of time or another, sometimes all of them.

It was a hard read for me, but a good one, mostly because of the subject matter, but I expected that, having read Keepsake. (Though this book really makes you sit back and think, more than Keepsake)

Not a light read by any means, but definitely a good one.

I have only one gripe. I wish it hadn't started off so slow. I think that had something to do with the multiple points of view in the novel and I wish Kristina would have got into the mind of TJ. I would have really loved to know his motivation for getting involved with a 17 year old that was his student.

Rating: 4 flowers


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