We're All in This Together

We're All in This Together

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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Winner of Northern Lit Award

Finalist for the Leacock Medal for Humour

Quill & Quire "Books of the Year 2016"

Globe & Mail "Best Canadian Fiction of 2016"


A woman goes over a waterfall, a video goes viral, a family goes into meltdown -- life is about to get a lot more complicated for the Parker family.


Like all families, the Parkers of Thunder Bay have had their share of complications. But when matriarch Kate Parker miraculously survives plummeting over a waterfall in a barrel -- a feat captured on a video that goes viral -- it's Kate's family who tumbles into chaos under the spotlight. Her prodigal daughter returns to town. Her 16-year-old granddaughter gets caught up in an online relationship with a man she has never met. Her husband sifts through their marriage to search for what sent his wife over the falls. Her adopted son fears losing the only family he's ever known. Then there is Kate, who once made a life-changing choice and now fears her advancing dementia will rob her of memories from when she was most herself. Set over the course of four calamitous days, Amy Jones's big-hearted first novel follows the Parkers' misadventures as catastrophe forces them to do something they never thought possible -- act like a family.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2016.
ISBN: 9780771050640
Characteristics: 417 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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Winning title for Red Deer Reads 2017!


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j
JanandAlex01
Jul 15, 2017

I really enjoyed this book. It has a good story line, it's interesting, the characters are real and it's very well written.
I've recommended it to several people and plan on reading it again.

WPLBookClub Jun 11, 2017

The Whistler Public Library and Armchair Books book club read "We're All in This Together" in November 2016. We read some pretty heavy/serious books in 2016, so this title was chosen specifically to provide some levity. Of course, upon inspection, there's plenty of serious subject matter in this novel - it's more of a dramedy than a straight-up comedy. Several members of our group hail from Ontario, and they thought the depiction of life in Thunder Bay felt very authentic (and those of us who have never visited TB got a great feel for its character). We also appreciated that each narrator (and there are a bunch) has a truly unique voice, which doesn't always come across in these "multiple perspectives" novels.

We enjoyed discussing:
- How aging was depicted in this story: how grandma Kate's waning memory is affecting her judgement and behaviour; how twin sisters Finn and Nicki have both grown up but neither has matured enough to let go of the past; how teenage London feels like she's wise beyond her years, but her actions betray her naivety
- The Anna Karenina Principle: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. The Parkers certainly life up to this adage!
- The importance of in-laws: we were all so glad that Katrina got to tell her story, which encompasses so many important issues (esp. that mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes, but also, the awkwardness of marrying into a big, weird family)

ontherideau May 18, 2017

Family drama, cyber bullying, dementia and intense sibling rivalry. If all the F*** words were removed the book would be several pages shorter.

p
pohpoh
Dec 23, 2016

The plot didn't interest me at first, but I thought I'd give it a try due to the rave review in Toronto Star. What a gem this book turns out to be! Beautifully written, emotionally charged and a page turner. I definitely like it even more than The Nest.

Amy_MarkhamPL Dec 15, 2016

I'm a bit surprised this book hasn't received more attention. An elderly woman, suffering through the early stages of dementia, purposely sends herself over Thunder Bay's Kakabeka Falls (the "Niagara of the North") in a whiskey barrel and miraculously survives. Her "drop, bang, flip" is recorded, uploaded to youtube, and goes viral. The family gathers, as families do. The family fights, as families do. Each character is believable, fully realized, relatable, and experiencing some sort of personal crisis. Their struggles are both timeless and contemporary. We're All in This Together is an exciting debut novel from a hugely talented young writer. It's reminiscent of Franzen's The Corrections and well-crafted tv dramedies like Six Feet Under.

KateHillier Jul 28, 2016

All families are crazy and chaotic in their own special ways, this one is just exacerbated by a video of matriarch Kate going over Thunder Bay's Kakabeka Falls in a barrel and the video of going viral. Finn, living in Mississauga goes back to Thunder Bay once she gets word that not only has this happened but her mother is in a coma. Finn left on far than ideal terms so meeting up with her angry twin sister, well meaning father, adopted brother, and her nieces and nephews (including a very betrayed oldest niece London) is just a recipe for disaster.

Lots of family drama gets revisited and unearthed with Finn's return, some of it old and some of it new, and everyone just needs to come together as a family to protect their mother - who usually doesn't need it.

It's heartwarming, heart wrenching, funny, and you'll probably see some bit of your own family here too.

r
ronandlynda
Jun 28, 2016

A Hamilton Spectator's Must Read Books of the Summer 2016: Books for the Beach pick

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