All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve
A Novel (Shreve, Anita)

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"A marriage is always two intersecting stories." This realization comes perhaps too late to the husband of Etna Bliss-a man whose obsession with his young wife begins at the moment of their first meeting, as he helps Etna and her companions escape from a fire in a hotel restaurant, and culminates in a marriage doomed by secrets and betrayal. Written with the intelligence and grace that are the hallmarks of Anita Shreve's bestselling novels, this gripping tale of desire, jealousy, and loss is peopled by unforgettable characters as real as the emotions that bring them together.

About Anita Shreve

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Anita Shreve is the acclaimed author of 16 previous novels, including Rescue, A Change in Altitude; Testimony; The Pilot's Wife, which was a selection of Oprah's Book Club; and The Weight of Water, which was a finalist for England's Orange prize. She lives in Massachusetts.
Published April 1, 2003 by Little, Brown and Company. 384 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for All He Ever Wanted

Kirkus Reviews

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in the way that a wife must love a husband.” (Their sex life, in fact, proves a disaster.) We already know through Nicholas’s framing narration, from September 1933, that this marriage has turned out badly—but the story’s central section, from fall 1914 through spring 1915, reveals just how badly...

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The Guardian

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In Trollope's He Knew He Was Right, a respectable husband becomes so suspicious of his spirited wife that it makes him physically sick, the real problem being that their marriage is founded on his own sexual needs and social pride, rather than on mutual love.

Jun 21 2003 | Read Full Review of All He Ever Wanted: A Novel (...

Publishers Weekly

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Credit the author for making the point that Etna and her sisters had too little autonomy even to tell their own stories, but filtering Etna's experience through Nicholas's sensibility deprives the novel of intimacy and immediacy.

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Book Reporter

Now in his senior years, Nicholas Van Tassel travels on a train from New England to Florida for the burial of his sister, while writing the memoirs of his ruined life.

Jan 20 2011 | Read Full Review of All He Ever Wanted: A Novel (...

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The Bookbag

Shreve walks a fine line between empathy with Nicolas and feeling removed from him, which perfectly parallels the story itself - as Nicolas's feelings for Etna grow, her aloofness develops as well.

Nov 25 2012 | Read Full Review of All He Ever Wanted: A Novel (...

Reviewing the Evidence

Nicholas Van Tassel is a professor in the small New England college town of Thrupp.

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