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Kristina Riggle, the acclaimed author of Real Life & Liars, returns with a thought-provoking novel inspired by real-life events
Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: She chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. Quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.
But her mother, Dinah, wants justice. Dinah is a fighter, and she believes with all her heart and soul that TJ is a man who took advantage of her daughter. He is a criminal who should be brought to justice, no matter what the cost to his family.
Rain, TJ's wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, respected husband has been accused of a terrible crime. But has her desperation to start a family closed her eyes to the fault lines in her marriage? And can she face the painful truths about herself and her husband?
Told from the perspectives of these three remarkable women, The Whole Golden World navigates the precarious territory between childhood and adulthood, raising questions about love and manipulation, marriage and motherhood, consent and responsibility. It's a novel both shocking and unforgettable in its power.
In her latest novel, Kristina Riggle explores that most complicated of relationships, as two sisters deal with the very different paths their lives have taken
Trish isn't perfect. She's divorced, raising two kids-of course her house isn't pristine. So she doesn't always get around to putting away the laundry, or cleaning up the kitchen. She's got everything under control, just like her mother did. Until the day her son gets hurt, Child Protective Services comes calling, and Trish's precarious world finally begins to tip over.
The last thing Trish wants-or expects-is her sister Mary's help. Mary, whose house is spotless and perfectly arranged. Mary, who walked away from their mother to live somewhere else-just like Trish's oldest child has done. Mary, who shampoos her carpet to deal with a single speck of mud. Working together to get Trish's home into liveable shape, the sisters are soon uncovering more than just junk as years of secrets, pain, and obsessions are brought to light.
What goes unsaid can sometimes speak the loudest . . .
What makes up a family? For Casey it's sharing a house with her fiancÉ, Michael, and his three children, whom she intends to nurture more than she ever took care of herself. But Casey's plans have come undone. Michael's silences have grown unfathomable and deep. His daughter Angel seethes as only a teenage girl can, while the wide-eyed youngest, Jewel, quietly takes it all in.
Then Michael's son, Dylan, runs off, and the kids' mother, a woman never afraid to say what she thinks, noisily barges into the home. That's when Casey decides that the silences can no longer continue. She must begin speaking the words no one else can say. She'll have to dig up secrets—including her own—uncovering the hurts, and begin the healing that is long overdue. And it all starts with just a few tentative words. . . .
Is the life you're living all you imagined?
Have you ever asked yourself, "What if??" Here, four women face the decisions of their lifetimes in this stirring and unforgettable novel of love, loss, friendship, and family.
Anna Geneva, a Chicago attorney coping with the death of a cherished friend, returns to her "speck on the map" hometown of Haven to finally come to terms with her mother, the man she left behind, and the road she did not take.
Cami Drayton, Anna's dearest friend from high school, is coming home too, forced by circumstance to move in with her alcoholic father . . . and to confront a dark family secret.
Maeve, Anna's mother, never left Haven, firmly rooted there by her sadness over her abandonment by the husband she desperately loved and the hope that someday he will return to her.
And Amy Rickart—thin, beautiful, and striving for perfection—faces a future with the perfect man . . . but is haunted by the memory of what she used to be.
Kristina Riggle's The Life You've Imagined takes a provocative look at the choices we make—and the courage we must have to change.