Set amid the manicured lawns, glossy Porsche four-wheel drives, and country club whispers of the Silicon Valley nouveau riche, ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING chronicles one particularly eventful summer in the life of the Miller family.
Three very different women, each poised for success, find themselves failing spectacularly: Janice, a devoted mother and housewife who's approaching fifty finds herself abandoned by her husband just as his lucrative IPO goes public; her adult daughter Margaret, a post-feminist magazine editor is left in the lurch by an investor who had promised to rescue her flagging publication; and her younger teenage daughter Lizzie, an endearingly na?ve fourteen-year-old struggling to understand the sexual politics and popularity contests that dominate high school, is humiliated by the boys whose affections she had so unquestioningly embraced.
We follow the three of them over the course of one summer as at first they hide their crises - addiction, teenage promiscuity, bankruptcy - from one another, but then find their secrets exposed as the curtain-twitching world they inhabit begins to intrude. The Miller women cloister themselves in their suburban home for the summer and do battle with debt collectors, divorce lawyers, drug-dealing pool boys, and each other.
ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING is a thoughtful and clever study of three very different women trying to keep afloat; a wonderfully entertaining exploration of how our notions of failure, success, and personal fulfillment are complicated by the expectations of family, culture, and an increasingly money-obsessed society.
First published 2008.