Throwback Thursday: All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg

Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee, Its Book Talk to share some of our old favorites as well as books that we’ve finally got around to reading that were published over a year ago.

Norma and I are joining in on this meme to share some favorites from some of our Traveling Sisters Group reads.  It’s been over a year ago we started our group and this one was one of our first group reads and a favorite of ours.


All the Best PeopleGoodreads Description

An intricately crafted story of madness, magic and misfortune across three generations from the author of The Middle of Somewhere and House Broken…

Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.

But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.

An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.
Traveling Sisters Group Read Review by Brenda, Norma, with Lindsay, Susanne, and Jan’s thoughts

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 a light in the dark far corners of mental illness for all the characters.  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. When 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 in this book and our discussions, we could see who All The Best People are.

Have you read this one or would you like to read this one?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you.

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