My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Traveling Sisters Group Read Review by Brenda, Norma, Lindsay, Susanne, and JanB
All The Best People by Sonja Yoerg is an intriguing, easy flowing and multi-layered story that is beautifully written that explores family, hope, and acceptance surrounding mental illness through three generations. The story also explores the relationships between mothers and daughters.
Sonja Yoerg does a fantastic job compassionately creating , realistic, conflicted, and complex characters here as we were really able to feel the emotions of all the characters allowing us to open our hearts and drawing us right into their fears, pain, and heartache. She gave us understanding, insight, and compassion into mental illness for families of loved ones as she shines light in the dark far corners of mental illness for all the characters. She gracefully shows us how fast and difficult life can sometimes be. Her descriptions are vivid, insightful and moving.
The story combines four different perspectives which are told in three generations from one family in two timelines from the past of 1926 and present day of 1972. As we first meet Carol we start to see signs of her illness and we were all drawn into her mind and we could hear her thoughts and feel her fears. We meet Solange when she is young and learn her backstory and events leading up to her being committed to an asylum and see how younger Carol deals with the absence of her mother. We learn of past treatment, shedding light on stigma and the treatments given. We also hear from 11-year-old Alison as we see her start to lose her mother when she needs her the most. She tugged and captured our hearts. We admired her strength and perseverance.
We can’t leave this review without mentioning Walt as a few of us had such a book crush on this sweet and genuine character.
We felt a strong connection to some of the characters and it brought quite a bit of insight and personal experiences into our discussions as we were reading this book. We could see a bit of ourselves within this story which for some of us was at times a little emotional and heartfelt. With love, hope, compassion and understanding that shined through within this book and our discussions we could see who All The Best People are.
Thank you, NetGalley, Berkley Publishing and Sonja Yoerg for a copy to read and review.