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From the author of A Place at the Table and A Soft Place to Land an “intense complex and wholly immersive” Joshilyn Jackson New York Times bestselling author multigenerational novel that explores the complex relationship between two very different women and the secrets they beueath to their daughtersEve Whalen privileged child of an old money Atlanta family meets Daniella Gold in the fall of 1962 on their first day at Belmont College Paired as roommates the two become fast friends Daniella raised in Georgetown by a Jewish father and a Methodist mother has always felt caught between two worlds But at Belmont her bond with Eve allows her to finally experience a sense of belonging That is until the girls’ expanding awareness of the South’s systematic injustice forces them to uestion everything they thought they knew about the world and their places in it Eve veers toward radicalism—a choice pragmatic Daniella cannot fathom After a tragedy Eve returns to Daniella for help in beginning anew hoping to shed her past But the past isn’t so easily buried as Daniella and Eve discover when their daughters are endangered by secrets meant to stay hidden Spanning than thirty years of American history from the twilight of Kennedy’s Camelot to the beginning of Bill Clinton’s presidency We Are All Good People Here is “a captivatingmeaningful resonant story” Emily Giffin author of All We Ever Wanted about two flawed but well meaning women clinging to a lifelong friendship that is tested by the rushing waters of history and their own good intentions

10 thoughts on “We Are All Good People Here

  1. says:

    35 rounded upSocial injustices racism antisemitism anti war sentiment of US involvement in Vietnam are some of the issues that are front and center in this story of two young women who forge a friendship in college in the early 1960’s Eve is from a well to do elite family in Atlanta steeped in tradition and their beliefs that the war is fine as long as it’s not their son who has to go but the son of their black maid “somebody has to go” They also believe that their benevolence to their black maid and Eve’s nanny by simply giving her a job absolves them of any idea that they are racist Their idealistic and impetuous daughter thinks differently and she rebels through her path of radical activism Daniella whose father is Jewish comes from a completely different background and her path is a tempered one of humanitarian activism They become best friends thinking at first that they think and feel very much the same both with good intentions but their different responses and actions impact their relationship and it is not until years later that they come together Eve needs Daniella’s help to get her out the messy dangerous circumstances she finds herself in after leading a life of radicalismI wasn’t immediately taken with the story but as it progressed I became interested thinking about the different ways that people respond to social injustice and ineuality It was also stunning to think of how some of the issues particularly with regard to racism and anti semitism are still here today I was warned about an unnecessarily gruesome scene involving animal abuse In all honesty when I got to it I skipped through it I don’t understand why it was there Overall I thought it was worth reading and I also enjoyed the continuation of the story through the lives of Eve’s and Daniella’s daughters It was an excellent portrayal of the times spanning the 1960’s 1980’s civil rights Kennedy’s assassination Vietnam It’s also an excellent character study that had me thinking about the women’s motivations at various times in the novelThis ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  2. says:

    We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca White is a 2019 Atria publicationA familiar theme but still a compelling thought provoking story The story begins just at the onset of the turbulent sixties where two girls from differing backgrounds meet and bond not over boys or clothes or parties but over social injustices they’ve experienced first hand or were a witness to Evelyn Elliot Whalen comes from a wealthy family while Daniella Gold is from a middle income family and whose father happens to be Jewish The two girls are college roommates and become fast friends However their responses to the social injustices they are awakening to are entirely different While the work with CORE is commendable there are lines drawn and sometimes those lines are very blurred Can change really occur if we color inside those lines? How does well meaning activism morph into dangerous radicalization? “We’re all good people here all trying to muddle through this the best we can The ladies take two different paths each critical of the other’s choices at times However their lives converge once again as they raise families of their own But when the past comes calling the decisions they made will affect the next generation and shape them in ways that could solidify their uniue familial patterns or break it The monumental changes over a thirty year span of time is highlighted through the two main characters who cope in different ways giving the reader plenty of food for thought What makes the book even complex is the southern setting where certain values and ideals are so deeply embedded it is hard for even the most enlightened progressive thinker to cast them off While the author addresses racism and anti Semitism she also highlights the polarization of the Vietnam war and drugs as well But we also see the many challenges women faced in the workforce A woman having a career may be tolerated to a certain extent but once she had children her career should stop and forget about advancement or eual pay just to name a few examplesThe only drawback for me was the disconnect with the characters It often felt as though I was reading someone’s journal rather than a fictional drama that plumbs the depths of one’s emotions The only feelings I could summon were ones of frustration brought on by some of the choices the characters madeThere is also a rather gruesome scene involving an animal the imagery of which I could have done without This story is one that might not immediately grab you but as the book progresses I think the look back on the painful wounds in our country and various ways people sought to heal those wounds and bring about change is what makes the story so compelling Certain factions or fringes always spring up in times of turmoil and can often lure in the gentle idealist who has become frustrated by the political climate and the constant cogs in the wheels of change Because these are the groups that make the headlines often times activism of any kind is euated with extremism This story is most definitely a cautionary tale and I must concur non violence and a proper prospective is a mustBut in truth the majority of activists and I consider myself to be one for several important causes work within the proper guidelines to progress and forge an atmosphere in which we can all play a part work side by side and make a difference It isn’t always perfect and there have been colossal blunders but ultimately great strides have been taken although they were often very slow in coming Activism is still important still powerful and unfortunately still very necessary While this book is primarily the study of the two women who chose different paths made different choices and then must cope with the conseuences or results of their decisions it is also a story about friendship one that endures despite periods of dormancy and their frustrations and differences Although this one failed to push my emotional buttons and it is a bit slow and uneven at times I still think that overall the author reached the goal she set out to accomplish35 rounded up

  3. says:

    “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” –Bob DylanThat is of course until you think you do I’m getting ahead of myself This novel begins in 1962 with the well worn trope of two girls from different backgrounds thrown together as college roommates at Belmont and become fast friends The writing is initially simplistic which I found off putting Due to an unsettling event the girls transfer to Barnard and the writing becomes sophisticated as the girls lose some of their naiveté Nice device Both girls become involved in the civil rights movement during the seething sixties One becomes a member of a radical left wing terror organization and the other chooses a different path Throughout three decades the themes of racism political unrest faith and culturalsocietal norms are explored Sound familiar? The voices of the main characters and their daughters are singular and realistic Suffice it to say that good people with good intentions can put into motion events that have catastrophic outcomes

  4. says:

    No spoilers about the storytelling no specifics about the wonderful storytellingMore about how I feltplenty to give a flavor of what readers are in store to readI LOVED ITBelmont Roanoke Virginia 1962I was excited to read Susan Rebecca White’s novel the minute I read the blurb The eye catching book cover didn’t hurt to piue my interest eitherbut when I ‘knew’ for sure that I was in great hands by a new author to me was when I read this only 2% into this novel “Oh I’m so excited to meet you I don’t mean to be such a spaz but I’ve been looking forward to this moment all summerWowRebecca Susan White took me back about 50 years For some of us old farts we remember using the term “you spaz”nothing politically correct about the slang wordSo I don’t mean to be a ‘spaz’ eitherwhen I saythis novel kept getting betterand betterDaniella wore “a kelly green sleeveless shirtdress and a pair of Keds printed with watermelon halves”“KELLY GREEN” a “SHIRTDRESS” and “KEDS”My goodness did the author find these clothes in my old teenage closet? Daniella’s shoulder length blond hair was teased flipped at the ends and of course a barrette Oh my I feel like I’m 16 years old again smiling down memory land before the internetThis book is MUCH MORE than Hersheys chocolate over vanilla ice cream vanilla wafers hot cocoa tweed dresses Peter Pan collars Capri pants cashmere sweater sets and saddle oxfordsAMERICAN HISTORY WAS CHANGINGMy heart mind and soul were activated reawakening feelings in me that had been dormant I mostly just want to say ‘amen’ to this luminous book as a calling to us allThe memories kept on flooding page after page As Bob Dylan sang to the worldTimes are a 'changin'in American HistorySusan Rebecca White captures visuals smells sounds language BUMMERSEXIST PIG DIG IT? music hygiene style families education injustice racism discrimination black ineuality casualties of war Vietnam smoking joints long hair hippies McGovern buttons spanning history from President Kennedy’s assassination to president Bill ClintonI felt the anger sick over violence sadness and the confusion of the characters resistance to change especially the privilegedThe lies of the bourgeoisie were disturbingI felt like I WAS IN MISSISSIPPI during the civil rights movement The right to vote came with worriesWe look at morality political choices love sex free love friendship marriages babies divorce deaths and struggles of the times through the most wonderful intimate storytelling imaginable stunningly brilliantI actually cried from so much pride and enjoyment Literally my entire body felt the impact I couldn’t resist I downloading Bob Dylan’s 1964 hit release to “The Times They are changin” With little tears in my eyes I listened For my generation Life was never confusing chaotic and politically brutalthan this period of history Feelings of MelancholyA message I took away eually true today “Change would not happen without women who held power in the workforce”Thank you Atria Books Netgalley and Susan Rebecca White

  5. says:

    Three point five completely deserved to be rounded up to four because I had great time travel between 60’s and 80’s and enjoyed well developed genuine character driven story about two women’s friendship throughout the years which warmed my heart starsThis story centered around two protagonists who are different from each other like night and day cold and hot Eve and Daniella Eve comes from wealthy Southern family self confident passionate activist idealist character When it comes to Daniella she has a Jewish family consisted of Academicians attentive deliberate appreciable girl who doesn’t want to take unnecessary risks in her life Their opposite characters bring out conflicts which test their friendship but their unconditional remaining bond is never untied by the struggles they’d gotten through It is educational read especially about white upper class Southern culture a different approach to Vietnam War and extreme left groups’ propaganda strategies Kennedy’s assassination It was vivid and fast reading made me wish I had pages of this book and read about those characters’ stories and political religious racial societal turmoil of those times Especially second half moved so fast that I just looked at the pages and thought somebody stole some parts because it ended sooner than I expected I was about to write a letter to the writer for kindly reuesting additional pages because I loved her characters and I preferred to spend time with them I know they’re fictional I already told my shrink too who insisted to see me than 2 times a week I told him I already spent his fees for my books Evil laugh againI liked the satisfying ending This book was a nice and smooth escape for me after reading too many thrillers It relaxed me and kept my heart warm with the beautiful profound poignant friendship story and additional amazing history lessonThank you to Atria Books and Netgalley to give me the opportunity for reading this ARC COPY in exchange my honest review

  6. says:

    We Are All Good People Here is the story of Eve Whalen and Daniella Gold who meet in college at Belmont in the early 1960s The girls are from contrasting backgrounds and the college experience is eye opening for both of them as social injustices and political events are revealed changing their perspectives After college Eve joins the radical movement and Daniella attends law school The story follows Eve and Daniella through their various paths in life over the years with the final part of the book focusing on each of their daughters Anna and Sarah I ended up enjoying We Are All Good People Here than I thought I initially would The beginning was ok the middle became boring for me but then fortunately the final part picked up Recognizing there was a lot going on in the US during the decades of this story I did feel like the book tried to touch on too many subjects instead of selecting 1 2 to give greater detailed focus The topics were relevant for the time period of the story yet I couldn’t help but think “What else will be thrown in next?” While there are many themes and takeaways We Are All Good People Here reinforces that some ideas are subjective it’s easy to judge others and there are multiple ways to partake in the act of doing good Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  7. says:

    I seem to be on a roll reading historical fiction especially books about the 1960s We Are All Good People Here starts in the 1960s and moves forward tracking two women that meet as college freshmen Despite opposite backgrounds they bond So much of this brought memories flooding back to me White totally captures the times the racial ineuities the sexism the politics At first I worried that this was going to be women’s lit fluff and the characters would be caricatures But White surprised me There are some hard core scenes here one of which caused me to lose all respect for Eve A respect I never did retrieve especially as she seems to move from just following one man or another Flip side I found Daniella to be totally relatable as she seeks to fight first the sexism and then the racism of the day The story drags in the middle as we veer from one generation to the next To be honest I never uite regained my interest in the book after we move into the third decade It came across as just trying to tick off the hot issues date rape acceptance of gays the rise of conservative religious beliefs I’m thinking this is a case of the author trying to do too much I can’t help but wonder if I would have liked the book if it had just stayed focused on Eve and Daniella and their earlier years My thanks to netgalley and Atria Books for an advance copy of this book

  8. says:

    ”We can never be gods after all—but we can become something less than human with frightening ease” — N K JemisinBeginning in the year 1962 this story centers around two young women girls really entering their first year of college Set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Roanoke Virginia Belmont College prides itself in the beauty and brains their young women have The first of these two to arrive was Evelyn Eve who embraces Daniella in a welcoming hug when she arrives with her parents Eve manages to uickly bond with Daniella’s mother over Eve’s tea set the pattern being the same as the set Daniella’s Mother Scott left her Her mother insists that the two girls are bound to be “a match made in heaven” I loved the references to the clothing the music the shoes the decorations even the colour schemes that were included all of that had me smiling even while I wondered when we were going to get to the 1960’s those revolutionary years that birthed so many changes some good some not so good regardless of the original intent It didn’t take long for this to really pick up the pace once a cause that hits home to Eve has less than positive results There were some fairly iconic events during that time the War in Vietnam the Freedom Rides were just beginning MLK became a household name sit ins for desegregation and then later for anti war protests clothing changed hairstyles changed and families who once were friendly stopped sharing their opinions JFK was shot and then Bobby Kennedy and MLK The Beatles brought a change in music and music changed beyond that Music became a way to voice anger frustration distrust of the government protest and also love as a solution On the other side were people who had been perfectly happy with life before desegregation who thought the war was a good thing and protested the changes the attempts at changes in a volatile way and soon so did the other side Turbulent times tend to polarize people and the further one of them goes in one direction the other one tends to go in the opposite one Their friendship becomes if not strained then perhaps less substantial at times over the decades this story covers in part because they are no longer living near each other White manages to take these two very different women their families and bring them along with three decades of history to life in this mesmerizing story that was occasionally disturbing entertaining and yet retained a realistic and empathetic sense of the complexity of these relationships Pub Date 06 Aug 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by my Book Angel

  9. says:

    Although the time period is authentically portrayed I am ending at 40% Can't deal with that cat scene not only can't but won't Don't feel the story would have been any less had that been left out

  10. says:

    4 stars Definitely a solid read for meI definitely liked this than I thought I would I also really enjoyed the period it covered 60s 80s as it was timely lots to compare to today’s headlines and also educational for this child of the early 80s Eve Whalen and Daniella Gold become fast friends when they are assigned as each other's roommates in their prestigious women's college in Atlanta during the early 1960's They bond over shared indignation that the maids all colored live in the basement and are reuired to live with the students they care for around the clock during the week Eve also stands by her new best friend when Daniella is shunned from joining the sororities on campus because she is Jewish As we move through the tumultuous times of the Vietnam era and beyond both of their lives take a vastly different turn It is much later they reconnect and follow their lives and that of each daughter through the late 1980s I'm not sure if I had a better reaction to this because I didn't live through this time period so a lot of it is new? My parents who came of age during the Vietnam era and are about the same age as our main characters in the book didn't share a lot of their experiences during this time in their life with me All I really know is that they were against the war vehemently and that's about it So reading everything through the experience of Eve who joined a radical alt left group fighting against the US government was entirely new Also extremely interesting and terrifying I also liked the earlier part of the book that took place during their college years because it gave a lot of perspective of the white upper middle class South of which I haven't read too much of It piued the little sociologist in me to read about something so foreignWhere I found I was frustrated with the first half I was thankful for in the second which is weird how that worked out I felt like I was kept at arms length from Eve and Daniella because so much is found out through the other person's perspective and time jumps rather uickly I wanted to learn about what they went through each day and maybe spend time in this part of the book However in the second half I didn't mind that as much maybe because I was used to it at that point and also because I appreciated it as the story wound down The book would have been well over 400 pages if everything was told at lengthOverall I felt the writing was very good I learned a lot of new things and I was never bored At a little over 250 pages this was a great read and one I definitely enjoyedThank you to Netgalley Atria Books and Susan Rebecca White for the opportunity to read this and provide an honest reviewReview Date 81319Publication Date 8619