What We Wanted

all we ever wanted

This popular fiction release starts out quite promisingly and at a fast pace.   The premise is an interesting one:  Janice Miller has lived with her business world husband for years and raised two daughters and, it appears, will finally live to see the fruits of her and her husband’s labors as an IPO makes them multi-millionaires.   But on the same day as she learns she’s incredibly rich, she also learns that her husband is leaving her for her thought-to-be-best friend.   The set up is great, but then the story starts to stumble.

Janelle Brown decides to add to the tale by focusing on the troubles of an at-home daughter, and of a daughter who returns to the nest from a not-so-successful life as a new age-pop magazine editor.   So the story of Janice’s freedom and presumed transformation changes into one, instead, of mother and daughter relationships that run less than smoothly.

In addition to the change in the storyline, the author has problems with scenes involving sex; they’re not detailed enough to be disturbing but not interesting enough to explain (or justify) their inclusion.   It would have been better to have left them out.   This is a fictional story that had great potential – potential that simply goes unfulfilled.

Joseph Arellano

Spiegel & Grau, $14.00, 434 pages

Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.

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