Synopses & Reviews
"What sort of place was this, anyway? A lithe and lovely woman, blown up from nowhere, had just asked him to test-drive a car for her. It happened to be the car he wanted for himself. Where, in America, could you not walk into a used-car lot and purchase without impediment what looked to Marcus to be at least a twenty-year-old Buick?"
Two strangers meet over the hood of a used car in Texas: Marcus, who is fleeing both his financial and personal failures; and Maria, who after years of dodging her mistakes has returned to her hometown to make amends. One looking forward, the other looking back, they face off over the car they both want and think they need: a low-slung sky-blue 1984 Buick Electra.
The car, too, has seen its share of failures. Each dent and ripped seam represents a pivotal moment in the lives of others: from the boy who assembled it at an Indiana plant to all its ensuing owners — a God-fearing man who sells it when he sees a sexy girl sprawled across its hood, a doctor who can't dissociate it from his son's fate, and a rancher's wife who'd much rather live without it for all the history it carries.
After knowing each other for less than an hour, Marcus and Maria decide to buy the Buick together. As this surprising novel follows the rocky paths of the Electra and its owners — both past and present — these two strangers form an unexpected and ultimately resilient alliance.
All I Have in This World is a different kind of love story about the power of friendship and the ways we must learn to forgive ourselves if we are ever to move on.
"Parker deftly captures his characters' uncertainties and hesitations as they struggle to move away from regret and toward the absolution they so desire." Booklist
"Parker is an assured and emotionally sensitive writer." Kirkus Reviews
"[Parker] brings together a pair of unlikely but likeable protagonists....Engaging." Publishers Weekly
"This is a very funny, very moving novel about being lost and then found, about that rarest gift — shared sensibility — and about being saved....I love this book." Antonya Nelson, author of Bound
"Michael Parker's best novel yet. In front seats and back seats we conjure love and contemplate ruin, as do the wonderful characters in All I Have in This World. Parker again extends his geographical and emotional ranges here in this layered and nuanced story of heartbroken, debt-ridden and atonement-seeking creatures much like many of us. So get in and drive on." Mark Richard, author of House of Prayer No. 2
About the Author
Michael Parker is the author of seven works of fiction, most recently the critically acclaimed novel The Watery Part of the World. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and many other magazines. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, and three lifetime achievement awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature. He teaches in the MFA writing program at UNC–Greensboro and lives in North Carolina and Texas.