This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
All That She Brings by Toby Brookes focuses on the life of Matthew Banks, an insurance agent in Connecticut. Matthew's optimism for the future is shattered when his wife Julia dies in a car accident. He discovers that she had been cheating on him and Matthew is consumed by grief for several months until he seeks help from his therapist, Madeleine Batiste. During their sessions, Matthew opens up about his troubled childhood, with an alcoholic mother and an absent father, which led him to find solace in his marriage. Despite his attempts to seek revenge on Julia's lover, he realizes that he has developed romantic feelings for Batiste. This escalates into problematic territory for a man who already has a thousand little issues on his plate, especially after returning home to California.
Toby Brookes does an exceptional job of showing readers that the “she” in the title All That She Brings is really the title version of a composite character. There are many women in Matthew's life, as there are in most of ours, and they do shape us whether we like it or not. Matthew's mother gave him life but it was skewed through a kaleidoscope of addiction and toxic motherhood. Matthew's deceased wife brings heartache yet her toxic demise does not skewer his perspective but actually sets it straight. It's painful and hard, but growth is rarely anything else. Madeleine brings an element of healing, but from the point of view of Matthew's character arc, what she really brings is a full circle back to life. Finally, there is another “she” who trumps them all. I loved this intelligently written novel for its wit, its creativity, and the heaps of fully fleshed-out characters that bring it all to life. Very highly recommended.