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Here is a little review on All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve. All of my reviews come complete with a one to five star rating, and I am giving this novel 2 out of 5 stars...and so, without further ado:

Having always had a good opinion of Anita Shreve's writing style (if not all of her stories--for instance, I loved A Wedding in December and Fortune's Rocks but was only mildly pleased by Sea Glass), I thought that this novel looked extremely promising. Unfortunately, I simply could not get into this story. Not one of the characters was likeable and everything was so predictable that I was ready to give up on finishing this book before I reached the halfway point.

The one redeeming quality of this novel--and the reason I gave it two stars instead of one--is how well Ms. Shreve was able to write from the perspective of a man, particularly a man such as Nicholas Van Tassel--stuffy, priggish, and a bit of a monster in the end.

If you are a Shreve fan, I would say to give this one a try--but if not, the novels I mentioned above are a bit more accessible and entertaining than this one was.

A good quote from this novel: "'The heart may love, but the mind does not,' I said fatuously. "The heart has no mind, and the mind has no heart. They are two separate organs, often at war with each other.'"

I also like expanding my vocabulary through reading, and one word that stuck out that I actually looked up in order to better understand was "prurient: marked by or arousing an immoderate or unwholesome interest or desire; especially marked by, arousing, or appealing to sexual desire."


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