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The Resource Everything we ever wanted : a novel, Sara Shepard

Everything we ever wanted : a novel, Sara Shepard

Label
Everything we ever wanted : a novel
Title
Everything we ever wanted
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Sara Shepard
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Sylvie Bates-McAllister finds her life upended by a late-night phone call from the headmaster of the prestigious private school where her adopted son Scott teaches. Allegations of Scott's involvement in a hazing scandal cause a ripple effect, throwing the entire family into chaos. For Charles, Sylvie's biological son, it dredges up a ghost from the past who is suddenly painfully present
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Shepard, author of the bestselling teen series, Pretty Little Liars, offers a second adult novel, following The Visibles (2009), that explores the complexity of family dynamics and heritage. Widowed, affluent matriarch Sylvie Bates-McAllister, a board member of the private school founded by her beloved grandfather, is devastated when she learns that her adopted son, Scott, a coach at the school, may be indirectly connected to the hazing death of a student. Further complicating matters is the tenuous relationship between Scott and Sylvie’s biological son, Charles. Scott’s predicament reinforces Charles’ lifelong resentment of his brother and propels him to reflect on his life, especially his distant relationship with his father and the troubling secrets surrounding his break-up with his first love. Scott, on the other hand, appears ambivalent about his situation and the family’s turmoil. Meanwhile, Charles’ wife, Joanna, becomes increasingly dissatisfied with her life in suburban Philadelphia and, as Charles grows more distant, more intrigued by Scott. Shepard delves deeply into the differing emotions and moods aroused by family conflict. -- Strauss, Leah (Reviewed 09-15-2011) (Booklist, vol 108, number 2, p24)
  • YA author Shepard (Pretty Little Liars) aims for adult readers with this expertly rendered novel of family dysfunction set in moneyed Main Line Philadelphia. Recently widowed Sylvie Bates-McAllister runs the board of directors at Swithin School, a prestigious prep school founded by her grandfather. When Sylvie learns that her adopted adult son, Scott, may be responsible for the hazing death of a student he coached on the school’s wrestling team, she fears the worst and worries about how the scandal will affect her family name. Sylvie’s biological son, Charles—estranged from his brother since an ugly incident on the night of their high school graduation—is more concerned with his marital troubles than the hazing scandal. Now living in the suburbs, Charles frets over wife Joanna’s growing restlessness. Joanna, meanwhile, feels excluded from the neighborhood clique and Charles’s relationship with his mother, as well as disappointed by her marriage into this supposedly perfect upper-class family. As Shepard moves through time and shifts between the perspectives of her main characters, the inner lives of the Bates-McAllisters resonate more than the actual plot. Readers will respond as this family grapples with their many long-held secrets. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed August 29, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 35, p)
  • A contemporary portrait of the stultified life of Philadelphia's Main Line elite. The plot revolves around a possible school hazing scandal, but really Shepard's subject is the smashing silence and conformity required of the well-mannered life. Sylvie Bates-McAllister lives in Roderick, the Main Line mansion she inherited from her beloved grandfather. Despite raising her two boys in the house, it remains largely unchanged since her grandfather lived in it—along with the prep school he founded, Swithin, a testament to his greatness. Sylvie serves on the board of Swithin and is called one night when a student is found dead, the apparent victim of suicide. The boy was on the wrestling team her 30-year-old son Scott coaches; there are rumors of student hazing and the complicity of the coach. Sylvie believes the worst. Scott, adopted as a toddler, is of mixed race and has a strained relationship with Sylvie and her older, biological son Charles. Charles, a prim and quiet aspiring journalist, is Sylvie's favorite, but her late husband James doted on Scott, found in him an outsider he could identify with. Now that James is dead, Scott is more of a mystery than ever—he has a defiant swagger and tattoos and low-slung jeans—and Sylvie is simply embarrassed by him. Swirling around the breaking scandal are a variety of subplots—Charles' new wife Joanna (who as a girl kept a society page scrapbook featuring the public appearances of the Bates-McAllister family) is beginning to think her marriage is a misplaced fantasy. Charles is set to interview his high-school sweetheart Bronwyn, who has become a sort of back-to-the-land hippie in rural Pennsylvania. Sylvie becomes increasingly obsessed with the affair she believes her husband had. The strings are so tightly laced around this family that they are bound to break—when they do, old secrets reap surprising results. Though the plot sometimes wanders and the "scandal" never seems urgent, Shepard has crafted a fine character study on the repressed lives of the American elite.(Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2011)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10022854
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1977-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Shepard, Sara
Index
no index present
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Family secrets
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)
Label
Everything we ever wanted : a novel, Sara Shepard
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
836621
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
340 pages
Isbn
9780062080066
Lccn
2011007464
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780062080066
  • (OCoLC)704907852
Label
Everything we ever wanted : a novel, Sara Shepard
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
836621
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
340 pages
Isbn
9780062080066
Lccn
2011007464
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780062080066
  • (OCoLC)704907852

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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