Review: All I Have in This World by Michael Parker


Title: All I Have in this World

Author: Michael Parker

Published: Algonquin Books March 2014

Status: Read from March 13 to 16, 2014 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher/netgalley}

My Thoughts:

I’m left fairly underwhelmed by this novel which takes almost half the book to get to the point where it reflects the precis provided by the blurb.

The narrative shifts between 1994 and 2004 revealing the protagonists defining life moments. For Maria this is fleeing her hometown at seventeen after an abortion and the subsequent suicide of her boyfriend. For Marcus it is the failure of his dream, forcing him into bankruptcy and robbing his sister of her rightful inheritance. They are strangers when they meet in a car yard (nearly halfway through the book) and inexplicably decide to jointly purchase a sky blue, low slung Buick Electra.

The main themes of the novel explore regret, forgiveness and redemption but I had trouble maintaining my interest in two such introspective characters. Their angst about their individual circumstances seemed repetitive at times and the streams of consciousness were tiring. One sentence ran over three pages (p220-224) and it was not the only one.

I did like the vignettes that shared the history of the car and its previous owners and I would have liked more of these to provide additional interest.

All I Have In The World is the sort of novel that will likely gain praise for its literary style and I have to admit the imagery is often wonderful but it didn’t really work for me, in retrospect I probably should have put it aside instead of pushing through.

All I Have in This World is available to purchase from

 AmazonUS I BookDepository I Indie Bound


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