Book Reviews

Book Review: All That Is Mine I Carry With Me

By William Landay

Publication Date: March 7, 2023

336 Pages

This promised to be a tense, emotionally-driven novel.  It focuses on an upper-middle class family after the disappearance of wife and mother, Jane Larkin in 1975.  Her husband, Dan, is the prime suspect but the police aren’t able to uncover any evidence.  It’s as if she walked out the door and vanished.

For decades, her family is left with only questions. The doubt and anger eventually tear them apart, with some of the children believing their father had a hand in her disappearance, and another sibling staunchly defending him.  It begs the question, how much strain can one family withstand before they splinter for good?  

The author did a good job of showing the family dealing with this tragedy, primarily in the aftermath of Jane’s disappearance as the case goes cold and cracks surface in their loyalty to their father.  He also adeptly portrayed the devastation caused by not having closure that was inflicted on the two youngest children.  Especially Miranda.  I really felt for Miranda. 

“All That Is Mine I Carry With Me” interpreted by Wombo Dream

However, I wanted a lot more from this book and I think the structure didn’t work in the story’s favor.  The book is divided up into several sections, each hopping around in time and told from a different narrator’s perspective.  But the narrators simply told the story, they weren’t directly involved in it.  Even in the section that was supposedly told from the missing mother’s point of view, she didn’t seem to feel anything.  She might as well have been stating facts from old police reports.  Since there was a dearth of emotions, there was also a lack of tension.  And since no one else really seemed to care about what was happening on the page, I found it hard to care as well.

Until the last five pages or so.  Then I cared – a lot.  But the author chose to leave the story unfinished just a minute or two before the actual ending.  I’ll admit, THAT felt like closure for Miranda, assuming she did what I think she did. And I loved it.  I just wish the rest of the book had lit me up like that.

This one had a ton of promise but didn’t keep me interested.  

3/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine for providing the ARC ebook.  I’ve left my review honestly and voluntarily.

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

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