River City Reading

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Love All: A Novel - Callie Wright The small village of Cooperstown, New York was abuzz with rumors during the 1960's following the publication of a novel called The Sex Cure, which reportedly exposed the neighborhood's secret exploits behind slightly altered character names. Three decades later, the impact of The Sex Cure is still being felt in the Obermeyer family, as a copy is discovered when Anne Obermeyer is packing up to care for her father following the unexpected death of her mother. Family secrets begin to unwind between the three generations, past and present, eventually "coming-of-age at any age".

Despite its automatic filing into the over saturated "Modern Family Drama" category, Callie Wright's Love All has the benefit of an interesting central plot device: The Sex Cure. This real novel, which takes a surprisingly long time to appear in Wright's book, holds Love All together and helps solidify its theme.

It takes Wright some time to find her voice in the novel. While seeing the story's events from each family member's perspective is necessary, the jumping from first to third person feels a bit misplaced, particularly when compared to the brilliant chapter written in the style of a will by Anne Obermeyer. Each line of Wright's prose shines through Anne, leaving the third person chapters feeling flat in comparison.

Still, Callie Wright's ability to create dynamic, realistic characters is clear. Love All is a strong debut novel, able to stand out among the crowded stacks of family dramas.

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