It All Comes Back to You

A Book Club Recommendation!

Fiction - Womens
300 Pages
Reviewed on 10/24/2018
Buy on Amazon

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.

Author Biography

Beth Duke is the recipient of short story awards on two continents and is eyeing the other five.
Her novels DELANEY'S PEOPLE, DON'T SHOOT YOUR MULE, and IT ALL COMES BACK TO YOU have earned much critical praise, including 'Beth Duke is a wordsmith of the best kind and her stories rank with the best in classic Southern fiction' from Dan Brown, Author of Reunion. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and literary digests.
Beth lives in the mountains of her native Alabama with her husband, one real dog, one ornamental dog, and a flock of fluffy pet chickens. Baking is a hobby, with semi-pro cupcakes and amateur macarons a specialty. And puns--she is a proud punslinger. Travel is her other favorite thing, along with joining book clubs for discussion.
Please visit bethduke.com for more information and photos of the most beautiful readers in the world.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite

It All Comes Back to You by Beth Duke is a deceptively simple story about Ronni Johnson, a licensed practical nurse and aspiring writer, who meets Violet, a glamorous and vivacious elderly resident at Fairfield Springs, an Assisted Living residence. Violet, who captivates audiences just by entering a room, certainly does not need any assistance, unlike some of the other members of the facility who require Ronni’s time and attention. Ronni considers herself plain, unloved, and unlovable, and she has weight issues. None of which disturbs Halle Berry, her cat, whose affections are alternately torn between the tasty treats Ronni feeds her and Ronni herself. When Violet dies in unusual circumstances, her will is the most surprising thing of all. Violet had encouraged Ronni to persevere with her writing and put her money where her mouth is (was) – literally. Ronni is to write Violet’s biography, has a year to do it, and if she completes the task gets a handsome bequest on top of the sum she received right away. If the book is not completed, she loses the big payout. From the 1940s to the 2000s, Violet has led an apparently glittering, wealthy existence. But Ronni must dig deeper to uncover the secrets, lies, heartbreak, deceptions, relationships, and drama that constitute Violet’s unconventional life. Ronni must also juggle her own emotional issues, make decisions about what to include in her writing, and decide if she’ll jump into a new relationship with a gorgeous man who, for some unknown reason, persists in finding her attractive and wants to date her.

This is, as I said, a deceptively simple story that unfolds at a slow southern pace and charms as it goes along. Author Beth Duke knows people, personalities, social issues, and true-life dramas. She must because she has included layer upon layer of ‘life’ as many people live it. Life stripped bare of glamour and glitz on the surface, honed down to the very bones of existence in all its grittiness. Marital abuse, pregnancy out of wedlock, abandonment of children, drugs and alcohol issues, foster homes, long-held destructive secrets, relationships and affairs - this is what people do behind closed doors and what they hide from the outside world. But make no mistake, this is not a book that shoves this in the reader’s face. All these elements slowly surface and are the result of the characters’ decisions and foolishness. And somehow the threads and the characters’ relationships all come together in a believable and poignant way.

I laughed a lot, I also cried in places, I felt an affinity for the characters – and there are many – and their sorrows. I loved Violet and how she took the lemons life had given her and made a lot of lemonade for others who had nothing. I loved Ronni and her wonderful, dry, self-deprecating humor. This warm, funny book will surprise you a lot. It did me because I was expecting a simple, charming story about a nurse who has to write a book about her benefactor’s life. Yes, it’s about that, but so much more. Please don’t miss out on this wonderful story. I was sad when it ended.