Wednesday, November 20, 2013

GIVEAWAY and Book Review: The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle


Title: The Whole Golden World
Author: Kristina Riggle
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Source: copy received for honest review through TLC Book Tours

Plot Summary from Goodreads:

To the outside Diana and Joe have a perfect family-three lovely children, a beautiful home, and a café that's finally taking off. But their world is rocked when it's discovered that their oldest daughter, 17-year-old Morgan is having an affair with her married teacher, TJ Hill.

Their town rocks with the scandal. When the case goes to trial, the family is torn further apart when Morgan sides not with her parents-as a manipulated teenage girl; but with TJ himself-as a woman who loves a 30-year-old man.

Told from the perspectives of Morgan, Diana, and TJ's wife, Rain, this is an unforgettable story that fully explores the surprising, even shocking, events that change the lives of two families.


My Review:

Who's ready for a doozy of a family drama?  Cuz I loooooved this one.

Obviously, the subject matter in The Whole Golden World is rather scandalous, so I was originally drawn in by my curiosity-killed-the-cat mentality.  However, the best thing about this novel is the way that the author is able to successfully weave a tale told by three very different narrators.  Morgan's POV was a perfect portrayal of a 17-year-old high school senior: headstrong, naive, thinks she knows everything and needs no one...until she doesn't.  Her personality is inherently contradictory, and Riggle handles this complexity so very well.  Dinah (Morgan's mother) battles between being an overly involved "helicopter mom" and letting her kids be kids.  And Rain (TJ's wife) must decide how far she's willing to take the idea of "for better or worse".

Flat characters?  I HAZ NONE.  Each of these narrators has some aspect of their personality that they are struggling with, and Riggle does an amazing job depicting those struggles without making the characters seem confusing or inconsistent.

I will say that, for the first 2/3 of the novel, I was confused about why the author chose Rain as the third narrator, rather than TJ.  TJ is much more intimately involved in the central problem of the plot, and I was often left wondering about his motives--thus, his POV would have been helpful.  However, once I got to the last third of the book, it became clear why Rain was in the POV "driver's seat", if you will, rather than TJ.  And despite the lack of narration from him, by the end, I had a pretty good idea of what his intentions were anyway.

Fans of Jodi Picoult, Anita Shreve, etc will definitely be into this one.  Yes, it's full of family drama, but there's more than that--it's also beautifully written, and the story is spliced together in a way that constantly leaves you wanting more.  Every chapter ending will leave you with enough questions that you'll have a hard time putting it down, all the way until the (rather satisfying) conclusion.  This was my first experience with Kristina Riggle's work, but methinks it's time to go back and check out her past novels as well!

As always, much thanks to Trish and TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour!
Check out the other blogs on this book tour HERE.  And connect with Kristina Riggle on her websiteFacebook, and Twitter.


GIVEAWAY TIME!
The publisher sent me an extra copy of The Whole Golden World, and I have decided to gift it to one lucky blog reader.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter!  Entries are for US/Canada residents only and contest closes 11/27.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

31 comments:

  1. I feel like I've seen this one everywhere lately and I have yet to see a bad review! I'm totally interested and can't wait to read it.

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    1. Would love to hear what you think if you do end up reading it! All the other reviews I've seen have been positive as well.

  2. Oh my goodness. I so want to read this book. Today. I agree with Shannon's comment above, every review seems to be positive! Plus, it just looks like a great book to read during Winter. :)

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    Replies
    1. agreed! The cover is especially "wintery". :)

  3. This one looks so good! I have Riggle's other book, Keepsake, on my list too.

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    1. I recently added that to my TBR as well. I hadn't heard of Riggle before this one, but now I definitely want to try her other stuff.

  4. I am so drawn to books about student/teacher affairs. I swear it's unsettling, but they always are so intriguing! Keeping my fingers crossed for this book. It sounds awesome.

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    1. I would agree. I think that explains why I am morbidly curious about that book Tampa that everyone has been talking about...

  5. This sounds so good! Just added it to my ever-expanding "to-read" list! Thanks for the giveaway :-)

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  6. Wonderful giveaway. Thanks for this chance. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  7. I read Kristina Riggle's Keepsake and really enjoyed it. I keep meaning to read more from her but I haven't gotten to any of her previous books yet. Maybe a new release will give me the push I need.

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    1. I'm looking forward to Keepsake, I wasn't even aware of it until I read this one.

  8. I would love to read this book and going to follow you on your blog. Thanks.

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  9. This sounds like such a good book! I've really enjoyed books with some interpersonal drama lately and I'm always impressed when an author manages to give different characters distinct voice. THanks for the giveaway :)

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    1. Oh yes, she's very good at doing that. All of the characters overlap in the story, but there's no mistaking one from the other!

  10. I am a Jodi Picoult fan so I know I would like this book.

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  11. Well you know my love for Jodi so I am totally down with winning this book!!! :)

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  12. Oh, bring on someone who writes like Anita Shreve and I'm there. This sounds fascinating and well written. Rafflecopter, pleeeeeeease pick me!

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    1. Agreed, I am always looking for books that are similar to Shreve's...love her stuff.

  13. It sounds like an interesting story.


    Bonnie

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  14. sounds like a good one! thanks for the giveaway Emma ehc16e at yahoo dot com

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  15. Hi! I'm in the middle of this now for TLC book tour and not loving it as much as you did. Stay tuned for my review on Dec 2nd!

    Reply
    Replies
    1. Ah, sorry to hear it! Looking forward to reading your review though. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  16. I really want to read this book!

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  17. Catching up on old posts, I'm gonna have to look into this one, sounds like something my book club would love.

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    Replies
    1. It is definitely a great book club book...so much to discuss!!

  18. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

    Reply

 
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