All the things we don't talk about

Amy Feltman

Book - 2022

"Morgan Flowers has spent their adolescence following all the rules. Raised by their neuro-divergent father Julian and recently deceased grandmother, nonbinary Morgan grew up painfully aware of all they needed to do to stay out of trouble and maintain their scholarship, and of their mother Zoe's absence. Dazzling, dangerous, and increasingly alcoholic Zoe, who fled to Europe on a trust fund, believed that Julian and his mother would raise Morgan better than she could've. And she&#...039;s right, in a sense. Julian has raised Morgan with care, but now at seventeen, Morgan is struggling with gender and trauma, while falling in love with the only other scholarship kid at school, in ways Julian can't quite understand. When Zoe reappears in New York on a bender after her ex kicks her out of their Lisbon apartment, she upends each of their lives. Through it all, Zoe's ex Brigid has been an unlikely pen-pal for Julian, whose autism keeps him at an arm's length from everyone besides Morgan-but Brigid understands what it's like to love and lose Zoe, and their secrets feel safe with each other. And when Zoe's return propels Morgan into a dizzying series of mistakes, Brigid might be the link that can pull them back from the edge. A story of betrayal, addiction, and angst alongside queer love, joy, and acceptance, ALL THE THINGS WE DON'T TALK ABOUT is as a celebration of and a reckoning with the power and unintentional pain of a modern family"--

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FICTION/Feltman Amy
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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Feltman Amy (NEW SHELF) Due Jul 13, 2022
Subjects
Published
New York : Grand Central Publishing 2022.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
307 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN
9781538704721
1538704722
Main Author
Amy Feltman (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Feltman's (Willa & Hesper, 2019) second novel is a 2022-appropriate take on the classic family saga. Everyone's looking for someone to love, including Morgan, an aspiring filmmaker and nonbinary teenager. When they begin dating Sadie, things seem too good to be true. Morgan's fear comes to fruition when their mom, Zoe, an alcoholic, comes back into their life and brings a tornado of chaos along with her. In the process, Zoe's partner Brigid gets pulled into the fray, and Morgan's dad, Julian, who is neurodivergent, struggles to find common ground with his child. Characters' experiences are central to who they are: Julian's as an autistic person, Zoe's history with addiction, Brigid's experience dating a younger person, and Morgan's journey through gender identity. Feltman's writing succeeds in depicting each of these characters with nuance and grace, though the book can sometimes fall flat at the intersection of their important experiences. This is far from a deterrent, though, as readers are sure to find characters to root for and identify with. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Feltman (Willa & Hesper) crafts a nuanced portrait of a nonbinary teen's coming-of-age amid intense family dynamics. Growing up just north of New York City, 17-year-old Morgan is trying to navigate gender identity and their first romance without much of a road map. Morgan's father, Julian, is neurodivergent, and their mother, Zoe, has been largely absent from their life after fleeing to Europe on their first birthday. Then, following a breakup with her longtime partner, Brigid, Zoe spectacularly crashes back onto the scene, trailing chaos in her wake and promising glamour and adventure, but only succeeding in undermining Morgan's fragile sense of trust. Julian and Morgan's relationship, meanwhile, is portrayed thoughtfully and, at times, poignantly, such as their work together on a 5,000-piece puzzle and their shared PB&Js. Morgan is authentically awkward in their exploration of gender expression, such as a scene in an airport ("They stood in front of the two bathroom choices and, defeated, went into the choice that meant they were invisible"). Not all of this works; a thread involving social media doxing nearly tips into unbelievability, and Zoe and Brigid's outsize but murky wealth too frequently advances the plot. In the end, though, Feltman brings empathy and moments of grace to her characters. This is worth a look. Agent: Stephanie Delman,Trellis Literary Management. (May) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Raised by their neurodivergent father, a nonbinary teenager grapples with the sudden reappearance of his dazzling and destructive mother, Zoe, who abandoned them and fled to Europe on their first birthday. 25,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A “big-hearted, lively, and expansive portrait of a family” that follows a neurodivergent father, his nonbinary teenager, and the sudden, catastrophic reappearance of the woman who abandoned them (Claire Lombardo, New York Times bestselling author).Morgan Flowers just wants to hide. Raised by their neurodivergent father, Morgan has grown up haunted by the absence of their mysterious mother Zoe, especially now, as they navigate their gender identity and the turmoil of first love. Their father Julian has raised Morgan with care, but he can’t quite fill the gap left by the dazzling and destructive Zoe, who fled to Europe on Morgan’s first birthday. And when Zoe is dumped by her girlfriend Brigid, she suddenly comes crashing back into Morgan and Julian’s lives, poised to disrupt the fragile peace they have so carefully cultivated.Through it all, Julian and Brigid have become unlikely pen-pals and friends, united by the knowledge of what it’s like to love and lose Zoe; they both know that she hasn’t changed. Despite the red flags, Morgan is swiftly drawn into Zoe’s glittering orbit and into a series of harmful missteps, and Brigid may be the only link that can pull them back from the edge. A story of betrayal and trauma alongside queer love and resilience, ALL THE THINGS WE DON’T TALK ABOUT is a celebration of and a reckoning with the power and unintentional pain of a thoroughly modern family.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A “big-hearted, lively, and expansive portrait of a family” that follows a neurodivergent father, his nonbinary teenager, and the sudden, catastrophic reappearance of the woman who abandoned them (Claire Lombardo, New York Times bestselling author).Morgan Flowers just wants to hide. Raised by their neurodivergent father, Morgan has grown up haunted by the absence of their mysterious mother Zoe, especially now, as they navigate their gender identity and the turmoil of first love. Their father Julian has raised Morgan with care, but he can’t quite fill the gap left by the dazzling and destructive Zoe, who fled to Europe on Morgan’s first birthday. And when Zoe is dumped by her girlfriend Brigid, she suddenly comes crashing back into Morgan and Julian’s lives, poised to disrupt the fragile peace they have so carefully cultivated.Through it all, Julian and Brigid have become unlikely pen-pals and friends, united by the knowledge of what it’s like to love and lose Zoe; they both know that she hasn’t changed. Despite the red flags, Morgan is swiftly drawn into Zoe’s glittering orbit and into a series of harmful missteps, and Brigid may be the only link that can pull them back from the edge. A story of betrayal and trauma alongside queer love and resilience, ALL THE THINGS WE DON’T TALK ABOUT is a celebration of and a reckoning with the power and unintentional pain of a thoroughly modern family.