Review: All the Time in the World by Caroline Angell
Synopsis for All the Time in the World
When a devastating accident befalls the family she nannies for, a young composer faces a choice between her promising career and the well-being of the two little boys she has come to love
Charlotte, a gifted and superbly-trained young musician, has been blindsided by a shocking betrayal in her promising career when she takes a babysitting job with the McLeans, a glamorous Upper East Side Manhattan family. At first, the nanny gig is just a way of tiding herself over until she has licked her wounds and figured out her next move as a composer in New York; she doesn’t mean to stay with the family for long. But, as the reader quickly becomes aware, Charlotte is naturally gifted with children and as deeply fond of the two little boys as they are of her. When an unthinkable tragedy leaves the McLeans bereft, Charlotte is not the only one who realizes that she’s the key to holding little George and Matty’s world together. She finds herself facing an impossible choice between her lifelong dreams and a torn-apart family she’s come to love as her own. By turns funny, sexy, and heartrending, Caroline Angell’s generous and unforgettable debut is the story of a young woman’s discovery of the things that matter most.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book in any way.
I knew All the Time in the World was going to hit me in the feels just from reading the synopsis. I was not expecting the opening paragraph to be so captivating! It was a punch in the gut and, indeed, confirmed that this book was going to cause a world of emotional pain.
All the Time in the World starts before tragedy hits the McLeans. I got to see how Charlotte entered the family and how she became such an important person to the family. I really enjoyed reading about the two little boys Charlotte babysits, George and Matthew. They reminded me of my own children, especially when reading George talk as only a toddler can. I instantly fell in love with the children. Caroline Angell wrote her characters so well I completely understood why Charlotte stuck around after tragedy hit.
One thing I did not like about the book, though, was that after the tragedy occurred the book began to hop around the timeline of events; it started to get confusing.
The sections after the tragedy hit were the hardest to read and where the emotional roller coaster began. I really felt for the whole family, especially the children. I couldn’t imagine being in Charlotte’s predicament, either; she ends up holding the family together, and doing work that Scotty, the father, should have done. In fact, I was dumbfounded with some of his actions.
I also felt for Charlotte because she ends up losing herself. She tries so hard to stay true to herself, but also stay connected with the McLeans – and that’s a recipe for a major identity crisis. She’s admirable in her role with the McLeans, especially with the children. I was so happy the children had her, and so upset at Scotty for leaving it all up to Charlotte.
The tragedy the McLeans faced was heart wrenching. I wasn’t expecting a happily ever after so I wasn’t surprised when there wasn’t one, but it did leave me hopeful. I was left feeling that while they may never be the same, they may at least find peace.
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