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BOOK OF THE MONTH
MY LIFE IN FULL
Indra K. Nooyi
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An intimate and powerful memoir by the trailblazing former CEO of PepsiCo

For...(+)

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Anuradha Roy is the author of An Atlas of Impossible Longing, The Folded Earth and Sleeping ...(+)

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All He Ever Wanted
Anita Shreve

Classification : General & Literary Fiction
Pub Date : Dec 04, 2003
Imprint : Abacus
Page Extent : 352
Binding : PB
ISBN : 9780349116297
Price : 425

About the book
A man escaping from a hotel fire sees a woman standing beneath a tree. He approaches her and sets in motion a series of events that will change his life forever. Years later, travelling 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, All He Ever Wanted gives us a tale of marriage, betrayal and the search for redemption. It has the unmatched attention to details of character, place and emotion that have made Anita Shreve one of the world's best-loved and bestselling novelists.
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Read Review   Want to write a review?
*'A painful tale of obsession . . . impeccably done' SUNDAY TIMES

'Shreve is prolific, polished, unputdownable. Above all, she delivers serious topics with a readable touch' GUARDIAN

'Fluent and purposeful in its portrayal of the despair and claustrophobia seething beneath an ordered surface' SUNDAY TIMES

'Etna is a woman operating under rigorous and agonising self-discipline. Volcanic passions exist beneath her submissive façade' JOANNE HARRIS

Anita Shrieve's bitter novel All He Ever Wanted is a fascinating demonstration of the theory that old stories give new stories the bones from which they derive their power. There is a sense in which this is a reverse Bluebeard narrative--the quietly monstrous narrator Van Tassel is obsessed with taking possession of all the secret rooms in the heart of the woman he loves and cannot understand why secrets might be a good thing. Van Tassel is one of the best characters Shrieve has created--a fussy, pedantic man with a real capacity for passion and some genuine grievances with life, but lacking in some crucial ingredients of his moral compass. His love for his wife, Etna, and with the petty politics of the college where he is teaching, turn him steadily rancid, and it is only within the framing narrative that an older Van Tassel seems to be approaching a capacity for redemption. Part of the strength of the book is that Shrieve has understood the beginnings of the 20th century, not merely in terms of the surface details, but in the permissions the ideas of the time give those with small amounts of domestic power to behave badly. In the end, though, Van Tassel loses almost everything--if there is a weakness here, it is that Shrieve is so optimistic that, out of his reach and knowledge, Etna finds a contentment that Van Tassel's narrative cannot show us.' Roz Kaveney, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW

'Anita Shreve's assured, subtle writing makes this more than a typical tale of Victorian marital oppression' TELEGRAPH
*'A painful tale of obsession . . . impeccably done' SUNDAY TIMES

'Shreve is prolific, polished, unputdownable. Above all, she delivers serious topics with a readable touch' GUARDIAN

'Fluent and purposeful in its portrayal of the despair and claustrophobia seething beneath an ordered surface' SUNDAY TIMES

'Etna is a woman operating under rigorous and agonising self-discipline. Volcanic passions exist beneath her submissive façade' JOANNE HARRIS

Anita Shrieve's bitter novel All He Ever Wanted is a fascinating demonstration of the theory that old stories give new stories the bones from which they derive their power. There is a sense in which this is a reverse Bluebeard narrative--the quietly monstrous narrator Van Tassel is obsessed with taking possession of all the secret rooms in the heart of the woman he loves and cannot understand why secrets might be a good thing. Van Tassel is one of the best characters Shrieve has created--a fussy, pedantic man with a real capacity for passion and some genuine grievances with life, but lacking in some crucial ingredients of his moral compass. His love for his wife, Etna, and with the petty politics of the college where he is teaching, turn him steadily rancid, and it is only within the framing narrative that an older Van Tassel seems to be approaching a capacity for redemption. Part of the strength of the book is that Shrieve has understood the beginnings of the 20th century, not merely in terms of the surface details, but in the permissions the ideas of the time give those with small amounts of domestic power to behave badly. In the end, though, Van Tassel loses almost everything--if there is a weakness here, it is that Shrieve is so optimistic that, out of his reach and knowledge, Etna finds a contentment that Van Tassel's narrative cannot show us.' Roz Kaveney, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW

'Anita Shreve's assured, subtle writing makes this more than a typical tale of Victorian marital oppression' TELEGRAPH
*‘A painful tale of obsession . . . impeccably done’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘Shreve is prolific, polished, unputdownable. Above all, she delivers serious topics with a readable touch’ GUARDIAN

‘Fluent and purposeful in its portrayal of the despair and claustrophobia seething beneath an ordered surface’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘Etna is a woman operating under rigorous and agonising self-discipline. Volcanic passions exist beneath her submissive façade’ JOANNE HARRIS

Anita Shrieve's bitter novel All He Ever Wanted is a fascinating demonstration of the theory that old stories give new stories the bones from which they derive their power. There is a sense in which this is a reverse Bluebeard narrative--the quietly monstrous narrator Van Tassel is obsessed with taking possession of all the secret rooms in the heart of the woman he loves and cannot understand why secrets might be a good thing. Van Tassel is one of the best characters Shrieve has created--a fussy, pedantic man with a real capacity for passion and some genuine grievances with life, but lacking in some crucial ingredients of his moral compass. His love for his wife, Etna, and with the petty politics of the college where he is teaching, turn him steadily rancid, and it is only within the framing narrative that an older Van Tassel seems to be approaching a capacity for redemption. Part of the strength of the book is that Shrieve has understood the beginnings of the 20th century, not merely in terms of the surface details, but in the permissions the ideas of the time give those with small amounts of domestic power to behave badly. In the end, though, Van Tassel loses almost everything--if there is a weakness here, it is that Shrieve is so optimistic that, out of his reach and knowledge, Etna finds a contentment that Van Tassel's narrative cannot show us.' Roz Kaveney, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW

'Anita Shreve’s assured, subtle writing makes this more than a typical tale of Victorian marital oppression' TELEGRAPH
*‘A painful tale of obsession . . . impeccably done’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘Shreve is prolific, polished, unputdownable. Above all, she delivers serious topics with a readable touch’ GUARDIAN

‘Fluent and purposeful in its portrayal of the despair and claustrophobia seething beneath an ordered surface’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘Etna is a woman operating under rigorous and agonising self-discipline. Volcanic passions exist beneath her submissive façade’ JOANNE HARRIS

Anita Shrieve's bitter novel All He Ever Wanted is a fascinating demonstration of the theory that old stories give new stories the bones from which they derive their power. There is a sense in which this is a reverse Bluebeard narrative--the quietly monstrous narrator Van Tassel is obsessed with taking possession of all the secret rooms in the heart of the woman he loves and cannot understand why secrets might be a good thing. Van Tassel is one of the best characters Shrieve has created--a fussy, pedantic man with a real capacity for passion and some genuine grievances with life, but lacking in some crucial ingredients of his moral compass. His love for his wife, Etna, and with the petty politics of the college where he is teaching, turn him steadily rancid, and it is only within the framing narrative that an older Van Tassel seems to be approaching a capacity for redemption. Part of the strength of the book is that Shrieve has understood the beginnings of the 20th century, not merely in terms of the surface details, but in the permissions the ideas of the time give those with small amounts of domestic power to behave badly. In the end, though, Van Tassel loses almost everything--if there is a weakness here, it is that Shrieve is so optimistic that, out of his reach and knowledge, Etna finds a contentment that Van Tassel's narrative cannot show us.' Roz Kaveney, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW

'Anita Shreve’s assured, subtle writing makes this more than a typical tale of Victorian marital oppression' TELEGRAPH
     
Anita Shreve
Anita Shreve is the author of nine other critically acclaimed and bestselling novels, all published in Abacus paperback
Books by Anita Shreve
A Change in Altitude (PB)
A Change In Altitude (PB)
A Change In Altitude (HB)
A Change In Altitude (PB)
A Wedding In December (PB)
A Wedding In December (HB)
A Wedding in December (PB)
All He Ever Wanted (PB)
All He Ever Wanted (PB)
All He Ever Wanted (PB)
Body Surfing (HB)
Body Surfing (AC)
Body Surfing (PB)
Body Surfing (PB)
Eden Close (PB)
Fortune's Rocks (PB)
Fortune's Rocks (PB)
Light on Snow (PB)
Light On Snow (HB)
Light On Snow (AC)
Light On Snow (PB)
Rescue (PB)
Rescue (PB)
Rescue (AC)
Rescue (PB)
Rescue (HB)
Resistance (PB)
Sea Glass (PB)
Sea Glass (PB)
Sea Glass (HB)
Strange Fits of Passion (PB)
Testimony (AC)
Testimony (PB)
Testimony (PB)
Testimony (HB)
Testimony (PB)
The Last Time They Met (PB)
The Pilot's Wife (PB)
The Weight of Water (PB)
Where Or When (AB)
Where or When? (PB)