I was given a copy of All the Time in the World by Holt Paperbacks in exchange for an honest review.
A jilted composer in New York City, Charlotte takes a temporary position as a nanny to two little boys. However, as her love for the family grows, her temporary position begins to feel permanent. Then, when a death in the family changes the family dynamic forever, Charlotte is forced to choose between her still-promising career as a composer and the well-being of the family she has come to love.
Typically, stories about grief don't interest me. I find there is very little new territory down the avenue of death and dying, so when a story is solely about a death in a family and how the people left behind react, I tend to shy away. All the Time in the World, however, caught my attention. (I think it was the beautiful cover, and I'm not at all ashamed to admit that. Who actually listens to the old saying and doesn't judge a book by it's cover?)
If I'm being honest, All the Time in the World wasn't the most riveting plot I've ever encountered. The death was announced on the first page, so most of Part 1 was spent waiting for the other shoe to drop--for the character to actually die. Then, the rest of the story was devoted to the aftermath of the death. The timeline jumped around--which I do think added an interesting element to the story--but even it was labelled in terms of before and after the death.
This plot, in the hands of a less skilled writer, could have easily been summed up by, "someone dies, the family mourns, and then they try to carry on." In which case, it would have been entirely forgettable. However, Caroline Angell's enchanting characters and witty narration kept me turning the page. Though there weren't too many surprises throughout the story, I still cared deeply about these characters. I wanted Georgie to find his stuffed animal and for Matt to begin to deal with his grief. I wanted Scotty to be a good father and for Patrick to let go of his playboy ways. Most of all, I wanted Charlotte to take care of herself for once. I felt a connection to these characters that kept me wondering, long after I finished the book, "what are they doing now?"
Overall, All the Time in the World was incredibly readable and deeply heartfelt. Caroline Angell's debut novel has labelled her as an author to watch out for, and that's exactly what I intend to do.
All the Time in the World was published on July 12th. Go to www.CarolineAngell.com to read more about Caroline Angell and buy a copy of the book.