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What We All Want

Berry, Michelle

50 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0753817608 / ISBN 13: 9780753817605
Published by Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ), 2004
Used Condition: Very Good
From Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: What We All Want

Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )

Publication Date: 2004

Book Condition:Very Good

About this title


A brilliant, original, dark and funny novel about three grown-up siblings dealing with the death of their alcoholic mother, Becka. Becka's daughter Hilary has nursed her through liver cancer; Hilary's brothers, Thomas and Billy, have been away for years, unable to cope with their mother. But they come back to bury her. Becka insists that she wants to bury her in the back garden where she can keep an eye on her. As the three siblings quarrel over the details, Dick Mortimer the mortician intervenes. Can love flourish among the embalming fluids and solid oak coffins...? Uniquely comic with a tragic edge, WHAT WE ALL WANT renders an incisive yet tender portrait of the strangeness of families and the universal desire for acceptance.

From the Back Cover:

"In Berry's hand ordinary circumstances are rendered as extraordinary" — Toronto Star

“[A] well-paced novel…” — Globe and Mail

“This book has all the makings of a Peter Sellers movie with a little angst thrown in for good measure. This book is a good read that delivers more than unremittingly grim social commentary. Its cynicism is infused with hope; social realism butts up against the grotesque, making the fiction vital and playful.” — Calgary Straight

“In the end, What We All Want is a satisfying portrait of a family, a town, a society in crisis. What we want is for the Mounts to succeed, to live good lives. The same things we want for ourselves and our own brothers and sisters and daughters and sons.”— Edmonton Journal

“Berry is a writer of disciplined restraint, one who always seems as though she’s about to speak the unspeakable before she rears back, keeping things on this side of the credible, the recognizable. In the end, against all odds, she achieves a fine balance.” —Andrew Pyper, Quill & Quire

“By setting the novel in a generic suburb, Berry implies that strangeness can be found anywhere, be it Transcona, Mississauga or Surrey. She shows that the needs of people with phobias, addictions and eccentricities are the same as “what we all want” — to be loved.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“Oddly spellbinding…Berry…has one of the drollest, most cunning sensibilities in Canadian fiction. A spiritual child of novelist Barbara Gowdy, she creates characters who are so profoundly isolated they seem to live in separate universes.” — Maclean’s

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