Title: All The Good Parts
Author: Loretta Nyhan
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre(s): fiction, women’s literature, some romance
Part of a Series: No
Why I read it: It was my second book with Once Upon a
Summary: Leona Accursi is just floating through life. She
lives with her sister and her family, helping to take care of her four nieces
and nephews, while working toward getting a nursing degree. Leona also works as
a home health aide and has a few regulars throughout the week. However, she is
given a jolt when her doctor informs her that she is on the fast track to
menopause and if Lee wants a child naturally, she’s going to have to get
pregnant soon. She starts debating whether or not to get pregnant and who to ask
to be the baby’s father: an anonymous donor, one of her clients, his son, the
man tutoring her niece or her mysterious classmate?
Review: I absolutely devoured this book. I think it was
the quickest I had read a book in a long, long time. I had a trip to Chicago,
which helped, but I finished it on the flight over there—leaving me to read
something else while in Chicago and while returning.
Lee is easy to identify with. She’s almost an everywoman,
in that sense. Readers have been Lee at some point—we’ve all been faced with a
major decision that could change their life completely. In her case, it’s
choosing to become a mother despite not being in a stable career yet and not
being in a relationship at all. She has to weigh all her options and figure it
out for herself, especially with her sister advocating all the reasons why she
shouldn’t. While I could tell that Carly loves her children, I couldn’t tell if
she hated motherhood or if she was jealous that Lee was able to make the
decision to become pregnant while it was shoved onto Carly.
Carly has a lot of issues, actually, with her sister that
I don’t think are fully addressed by the author. In the story, Lee agrees to
keep a secret from her sister though she makes her brother-in-law swear to tell
Carly. He doesn’t and Carly finds out. She then publicly humiliates her sister
at a baby shower and then refuses to talk to her. The first part of the
punishment seemed too much. Carly seemed a bit immature at that moment. We know
she had a family when she was young and I wonder if maybe she hadn’t done all
her growing up yet.
Another major character is Carly’s eldest daughter and
Lee’s niece, Maura. Maura is thirteen and like most teens, wants to grow up
fast. She even spends most of the book bemoaning the fact she hasn’t gotten her
period yet and I kept yelling that she can wait for that monthly annoyance. Her
rush to grow up also puts her in danger and it is her aunt, who is her greatest
confidant, who helps her through her insecurities. Maura and Lee have a great
relationship and it’s wonderful to see it throughout the novel.
Lee’s potential fathers do keep the reader guessing. For
me, I was able to eliminate one early on. But that still left three others. It
was interesting to see where Lee was pulled toward and there was also an
excellent twist toward the end. Personally, I would’ve loved to see where the
relationship with the eventual father went, but maybe we’ll get a sequel.
Bottom line: A very good coming of age that shows it’s
not just for teenagers.
Sex: None. Just some mentions.
Have you ever been about to make a big decision?