The Whole Golden World
by Kristina Riggle
Why did you choose this book? I read Keepsake by the same author
When did you read this book? November 2013
Who should read this book? readers who enjoy comtemporary fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: She chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. Quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.
But her mother, Dinah, wants justice. Dinah is a fighter, and she believes with all her heart and soul that TJ is a man who took advantage of her daughter. He is a criminal who should be brought to justice, no matter what the cost to his family.
Rain, TJ’s wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, respected husband has been accused of a terrible crime. But has her desperation to start a family closed her eyes to the fault lines in her marriage? And can she face the painful truths about herself and her husband?
Told from the perspectives of these three remarkable women, The Whole Golden World navigates the precarious territory between childhood and adulthood, raising questions about love and manipulation, marriage and motherhood, consent and responsibility. It’s a novel both shocking and unforgettable in its power.
Wow! I picked this one up because I’d previously read Keepsake by the same author. And of course, the beautiful cover didn’t hurt! Keepsake was a good story but...this one is sooo much better! Once I picked it up, I could hardly put it down. If those silly things like laundry, breakfast, and grocery shopping had not interrupted, I’m sure I would have finished this in one sitting!
There is quite a list of characters in this book, and all are flawed. There is Dinah, the over-protective mother of a seventeen year old daughter and 14 year old twin sons. The twins were preemies and their survival was in doubt, which leads Dinah to step in every time they have a rough time. Dinah’s husband, Joe, is a high school assistant principal who feels overworked and under appreciated by Dinah. Their daughter, Morgan, is a talented musician and straight A student who feels neglected because she always takes the back burner to the twins. Her geometry teacher, TJ, is insecure in his new position as a high school math teacher. He and his wife’s, Rain, are trying to start a family and their feritlity problems are causing him additional stress. He is also incredibly jealous of his older brother, whom ‘mom always liked better’. Despite all these problems, for the most part these are very likeable characters. And with the exception of TJ, they all show growth through the story.
The trouble comes when Morgan and TJ become involved in a relationship. TJ is charged with sexual misconduct. There is a lot of blame being thrown around and a lot of discussion of who is the victim, and what, if any crime has been committed. Did TJ actually have an affair with Morgan, or is this all part of her vivid imagination? Will Rain stand by her man? Will Dinah and Joe get the justice they feel is deserved?
The story starts with the trial, with flashbacks from the various character points of view. This is a character driven story and a really enjoyed following the growth of the characters as the stroy progresses. This will made a fantastic book club selection! It is topical and there so many things to discuss. I highly recommend this one!
Kristina Riggle is a former newspaper reporter now pursuing her first love, writing fiction. Her character-driven novels have been honored by independent booksellers in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, and her debut, Real Life & Liars, was a Target “Breakout” pick. She finds people of all walks of life fascinating, as in the old A&E “Biography” slogan, “Every life has a story.” She’s the co-editor for fiction for the e-zine Literary Mama, and has published short stories at Literary Mama, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere. When not writing, she can be found taking care of her two kids and dog, and squeezing in time to read whenever she can.
Find out more about Kristina at her website, follow her on Twitter, and connect with her on Facebook.
My Rating: ★★★★1/2 4-1/2 Stars
Kristina’s TLC Book Tour Stops
Tuesday, November 5th: Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, November 7th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, November 11th: she treads softly
Tuesday, November 12th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, November 13th: A Novel Review
Thursday, November 14th: Lectus
Monday, November 18th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Tuesday, November 19th: Girls Just Reading
Wednesday, November 20th: The Well-Read Redhead
Monday, November 25th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, November 27th: Book-alicious Mama
Thursday, November 28th: Time 2 Read
Monday, December 2nd: Read Lately
Tuesday, December 3rd: Books in the Burbs
Wednesday, December 4th: Tina’s Book Reviews
Thursday, December 5th: The Little Reader Library
Monday, December 9th: Sweet Southern Home