Monday, June 21, 2021

All Together Now: Summery Fun with a Twist

Matthew Norman just keeps getting better. All Together Now, his fourth novel, is my favorite of his — and I've loved all of his other three. 

All Together Now is an endearing, funny, summery novel about a group of high school friends now in their mid-30s who assemble at a beach mansion for a reunion weekend. But there's a twist — one of them, a mysterious billionaire, is dying. Hilarity ensues? 

Well, yeah, believe it or not, it does. But also, plenty that's definitely not hilarious. Not counting the dude who's dying — that dude's problems are a whole different level of severe — each of the other three friends has his or her own issues: A failing marriage, a failed career, and just general failing. But there is nothing like old friends to get yourself back on the right track, is there? Norman excels here in rendering these relationships, lumps and all. 

So this novel ends up being a little bit Friends, a pinch of American Pie 2 (the one with the summer beach house and big party at the end), but mostly Norman's own unique thing. 

Fans of Nickolas Butler's Shotgun Lovesongs or Jonathan Tropper's This Is Where I Leave You or Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings will love this book. Need a beach read this summer? This is it.

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