Thursday, May 9, 2013

All You Could Ask For - Mike Greenberg

Last month I reviewed Mike Greenberg's debut novel for Shelf Awareness. I also interviewed Mike. You can see the interview here, and I'm reposting the review below with Shelf Awareness' permission. Also Shelf Awareness' present contest is for a signed copy of Mike's book. You can enter with the widget at the very bottom of my blog...sorry, you have to scroll down a ways. You can also enter at the Shelf Awareness website. While it isn't a crime novel, I've recommended this book several times already. It's a great read, might also make a nice Mother's Day gift for Sunday!

First line: "Whose ass is this?"

The king of sports talk radio has written his debut novel. There are no all-pro linemen, hall-of-fame pitchers or towering centers. There are women. Three of them. Brooke is a happily married, stay-at-home mom of twins in her late thirties who was raised to be a “proper” lady. Samantha is a newlywed in her late twenties who discovers during her honeymoon that her husband is cheating on her. And Katherine is a powerful businesswoman on Wall Street. She’s celebrating her fortieth birthday and trying to figure out what makes life worth living.

The three women are living completely separate lives until a mutual life-changing event crashes down on each of them. Greenberg alternates deftly between each of their perspectives giving readers a birds-eye view into their unique thoughts and rationales. Their voices are authentic and strong.

At times the prose seems to be the characters’ internal thoughts and at other times a character seems to be talking directly to the reader, using “you” pronouns. The second person point of view can feel awkward, though, as there’s no indication why the character would be aware of the reader. That perspective oddity aside, the book takes on a very personal tone that draws the reader into the inner circle of the women’s lives.

All You Could Ask For IS all you could ask for in a reading experience. Greenberg balances humor with heartbreak. He surprises and inspires; deals out hope and despair. Throw away all your pre-conceived notions about what “woman’s fiction” is supposed to be. Mike Greenberg just broke the mold.

All You Could Ask For is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9780062220752) from William Morrow. There is also an unabridged audio (ISBN: 9780062239815) version from Harper Audio, narrated by Tavia Gilbert.


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