Review: The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle

The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle
Expected Publication: November 5, 2013
Format: E-ARC provided via NetGalley
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Rating: 5/5

To the outside Diana and Joe have a perfect family-three lovely children, a beautiful home, and a café that's finally taking off. But their world is rocked when it's discovered that their oldest daughter, 17-year-old Morgan is having an affair with her married teacher, TJ Hill.

Their town rocks with the scandal. When the case goes to trial, the family is torn further apart when Morgan sides not with her parents-as a manipulated teenage girl; but with TJ himself-as a woman who loves a 30-year-old man.

Told from the perspectives of Morgan, Diana, and TJ's wife, Rain, this is an unforgettable story that fully explores the surprising, even shocking, events that change the lives of two families.

My Thoughts
We start off at the trial of TJ Hill then gradually go back in time to reveal the reason why. Teenager Morgan is an average girl who is having problems that she refuses to share with anyone. She feels she can’t confine in her parents or even her friends so one day she feels that trust in her teacher Mr. Hill.

While it all starts out innocent enough it soon starts to cross the line. TJ meanwhile is having problems of his own back home. His wife is desperate to have a child and his jealousy towards his brother is mind blowing. He takes out his frustrations about his life towards his wife who loves him despite everything.

Although this story of teacher/student seduction has been told time and time again this one had a different feel to it. The characters were all very rich and although it’s easy to hate TJ, he has a menacing vibe to him that’s almost genius. He is one who has issues yet you can see how easily he can flip from victim to martyr in a split second. While he is an adult and should know better you also see how calculating Morgan’s moves can be. She sets her plan in motion and is determine to not let anything stand in her way.

However my favorite character was Rain, TJ’s wife. While some might see her as a delicate shrinking flower I saw her as a strong woman who simply hadn’t yet to find her inner voice. She stayed with a man who had many problems because she loved him. Was that wrong? Maybe. I think she saw him as a person who needed help…he needed her. She thought she could fix him. All signs showed he didn’t love her, in fact all he looked after was himself, and anything that could help him he went after. And in the end Rain finally realized that and did the only thing she could, for once she did what was best for herself and no one else. I love how we get to see all angles in this twisted tell.

In the end it’s a great story of justice and in a way of learning who you are and becoming stronger like you never knew you could. We all learn from our mistakes even if they hurt us to the core. This is for anyone who loves a story of redemption and frankly just a well written read from an awesome storyteller.

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