Entertainment » Books

Love All

by Daniel Scheffler
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Aug 2, 2013
Love All

It's the minimalist 90s, but emotions and feelings know no such place. The slight upstate holding of Cooperstown acts as the perfect setting for three generations of family to fray, tangle and cascade in "Love All." This is a debut novel from Vanity Fair contributor Brooklynite Callie Wright and she finds that the small town intimacy, creep and ultimate escape from strangle are the best laid plans this summer.

As grandma Obermeyer drifts off in her sleep, her less than innocent husband Bob comes to live with his attorney daughter Ann (plus completely well-intentioned but screwed up family) - the perfect surround for the rationalization of death's aftermath. Every character falls down a rabbit hole of complications, sorrows and felicity as their interactions with each other spark love, hate, frustration, jubilation and the inevitable confusion of all of them mixed together as the brown mess of life. There is also some interesting tennis influence - from stroke to court that complicate things so perfectly.

Wright finds the seemingly universal frustration for city folk to look upon the small towners with great ease. The small town thinking, meets the small town living and comes up in your throat as that sour (extra sour) taste in passages like, "Normally, Hugh happily stopped to talk to every person he met. His wife and children's irritants - busybody neighbors and the absence of fast food, respectively - were Hugh's raisons d'etre." But somehow the small towns never fail to impress with their own scandal and bubbling action of delights. The innocents are never so, the guilty are always more so.

The innocents are never so, the guilty are always more so.

Let's not overlook object of sex in the novel. From some inappropriate behavior all the way to shame and scandal sex plays the protagonist character in Wright's book and feels more than just a hidden copy of licentious information hidden underneath a mattress somewhere. The very real sex scandal, flowered by the publication of 1962's tell-all "The Sex Cure," of course infiltrates and stains the pages of "Love All." But expectedly the novel hands out a contraceptive for the reader to wear (or not to wear) and that is almost comforting, if anything.

High summer just became a whole lot more intriguing, thanks to the first of many (hopefully) Wright novels. Bring on the hanky-panky please.

"Love All"
Callie Wright
Henry Holt & Co.
$17.84

Based between New York and Cape Town, Daniel Scheffler writes about socio political and travel matters and is working on a memoir. Follow him on Twitter @danielscheffler.


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