All He Ever Wanted

All He Ever Wanted

A Novel

Book - 2003
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A man escaping from a hotel fire approaches a woman standing beneath a tree and sets in motion a series of events that will change his life forever. Years later, traveling from New England to Florida by train, he reflects back on his obsession with this unknown and ultimately unknowable woman--his courtship of her, his marriage to her, and the unforgivable act that ripped their family apart. Spanning three decades from 1899 to 1933, this is a tale of marriage, betrayal and the search for redemption.
Publisher: Boston : Little, Brown, c2003
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780316782265
0316782262
Branch Call Number: FIC Shrev 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 310 p

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GLNovak
Feb 12, 2013

All he ever wanted was a beautiful wife, a nice family and a comfortable life. Nicholas van Tassel got all that but the true love of his wife eluded him. Etna Bliss said yes to his marriage proposal but was frank about not loving him. Their lives are unremarkable, spanning the turn of the century and the changes that took place over that time. He is a successful professor at a small college and she is a wife, mother, and volunteer at a charity centre. She does have a secret that is revealed at the end of the story. Throughout, the tone is calm. Seemingly, nothing ruffles many feathers, and even the reveal seems subdued. Shreve's stories, for me, all seem to have that same swimmy quality where things happen but the edges are blunted, where emotions and reactions are toned down. Those who like her stories will find this one even more muted than usual.

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