All That We Are by Mariah Stewart

EXCERPT: . . . then she reached the fourth drawer, the one marked RECEIPTS in Harry’s awkward uppercase print.

There were files for almost every purchase he’d ever made – cars, appliances, furniture, clothing. Reading through them was like watching a quick movie reel of their life together. There was the receipt for the car Harry’d bought Emma the year their son, and only child, Christopher was born. A silver baby’s cup Harry’d ordered to mark the birth of his sister Prudence’s first child. A new chimney liner. The first guitar they’d bought Chris. Her eyes lingered over this one as she recalled how Harry had later ‘rued the day’ he’d ‘opened that can of worms.’

Emma dropped that receipt on the desk; Chris might get a kick out of it.

There was a file containing personal purchases Harry had made for himself. A three piece charcoal suit and a lightweight summer sports coat. Three white dress shirts and a bill for monograming the cuffs. A receipt from a jeweller in Boston for an eight inch gold bracelet, and a . . .

‘Wait. What?’

She held up the receipt and scrutinised the fine print. ‘One eight inch fancy link bracelet – 14K gold. The price was staggering.

Confused, she reread the receipt several times. Was she losing her mind? Had he bought her such a thing and she’d forgotten? Sure, we all lose a little as we age, and forgetting some things now and then is normal. But could she have forgotten such a wonderful and expensive a gift? No, she was sure she’d have remembered that. She’d have worn it every day. She’d probably be wearing it right then.

No, Harry’d never given her a gold bracelet, and since he’d never worn any jewelry other than his wedding ring and cufflinks, she knew it wasn’t for him.

And then she noticed the print at the bottom of the receipt: Add gold disk charm, front engrave: CJD 2-14-2012. Back engrave ‘My heart’.

ABOUT ‘ALL THAT WE ARE’: In the decade since Emma Dean’s husband died, she’s maintained a peaceful and organized life in her hometown of Wyndham Beach—until she finds evidence of her husband’s longtime affair. How, Emma wonders, can a man who’s been gone for ten years still break her heart?

Still reeling from the betrayal, Emma must focus on the group of artists she’s invited to take up residence at the art center she founded, one of whom is secretly seeking refuge from her abusive ex. Toss in a charming businessman who’s returned to town with eyes for only Emma, and it’s becoming a most interesting summer.

And the biggest surprise of all is about to ring Emma’s doorbell and turn her life completely upside down yet again.

As Emma struggles between what was and what is, she discovers that the life she really wants—however unexpected—is just within reach, if she’s willing to fight for it.

MY THOUGHTS: The standout attraction of this series for me is the fabulous and very real characters. I love the relationships between the three women – Liddy, Maggie and Emma – friends since their schooldays, they are not backwards with telling each other what they think, but they are also very supportive of one another. I would love a group of friends like this.

There are a few different threads to this story, which is centred around Emma, who has been a widow for the past ten years. A secret is uncovered which leaves her both devastated and angry. Then a knock on the door turns her and her family’s lives upside down.

All That We Are is a heartwrenching story that, despite a few slow spots, held me captivated until the very end. I just have to say that I finished this read with a wobbly bottom lip and tears pooling in my eyes. It is an emotional rollercoaster of a read that had me chuckling at times, sometimes angry at the actions of some of the characters (just see if you don’t get angry with Owen too!) , crying – sometimes sad tears, sometimes happy ones – but mostly hopeful that things were going to work out for everyone.

All That We Are is the second book I have read in this series. Although they can be read as stand-alones, I really recommend that you start the series from the beginning to get the entire backstory and relationship history. I am certain planning on going back to read the first, and I am hoping that there will be more books to come.


#AllThatWeAre #NetGalley

I: @mariah_stewart_books @amazonpublishing

T: @AmazonPub

#contemporaryfiction #familydrama #friendship #mystery #romance #smalltownfiction #womensfiction

THE AUTHOR: Mariah Stewart considers herself one lucky son of a gun to have landed the best job in the world: getting paid for making up stories. At home. In sweats and J. Crew flip flops. Could life be sweeter?

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Montlake via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of All That We Are by Mariah Stewart for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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