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All the Best PeopleAll the Best People by Sonja Yoerg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BLURB:  Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.

But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.

An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.

I highly recommend this lovely book. Sonja Yoerg is an author that changes with each novel and is always great. This beautifully written book deals with the effects of social status and mental illness on three generations of women. Solange was a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who fell in love with an ambitious young lawyer from one of the best families in Burlington. Her husband loved her, but when she expressed her opinion on his work, he didn’t let her forget where she came from. Osborne’s attitude has long-term effects on his wife, his daughter, and his grand-daughter.

Sonja Yoerg handles the changes in how mental illness was treated when Solange was committed in the 1930’s with the conveniently vague diagnosis of “Hysteria” and how Carole is assisted when she starts to hear voices in the 1970’s. Yoerg obviously did extensive research and wove her knowledge seamlessly into the story.

Thank you to Berkley Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this novel.

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