Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Riggle's latest (after last year's Keepsake) follows high school senior Morgan Monetti's affair with her married calculus teacher, T.J. Hill, and how it impacts several lives in the small town of Arbor Valley, Mich. Raised by emotionally absent high school principal Joe and his overbearing wife, Dinah (whose control issues stem from living with the fear of losing her now teenage special-needs twins), 17-year-old Morgan has always been treated as though she were older than she actually is. Feeling stifled by the idea of having to spend her college years near her family and hurt by being recently rejected by both her ex-boyfriend and a crush who turns out to be gay, Morgan begins confiding in her young, popular math teacher, whose insecurities have been exacerbated by his inability to conceive with his wife. Riggle shows how the inner turmoil of her characters eventually creates the situation at the heart of this novel. Dinah remains likable, despite frequently making excuses for her kids and always being ready for a fight. Though the author falters with the character of T.J., who comes off as a flat antagonist, the novel remains an entertaining read." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Love, loyalty and the murky nature of the truth, are at the fracturing heart of this astonishing novel about culpability, desire, and the ways we choose to see our world. Just breathtakingly good.” Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow
“Kristina Riggle evokes characters so real that they are unforgettable in this compelling and absorbing story about predators, victims, and survival.” Priscille Sibley, author of The Promise of Stardust
“Kristina Riggle writes womens fiction with soul.” Tiffany Baker, New York Times bestselling author
“THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD is an engrossing coming-of-age story-- a complex portrayal of the hazy line between youth and adulthood, vulnerability and strength. It is a captivating story from start to finish.” Rebecca Coleman, author of THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD
“In The Whole Golden World, Kristina Riggle sets complex characters on a heart-wrenching collision course--the result is an engrossing and unflinching story about the ways our choices affect individuals, families, and entire communities.” Meg Donohue, author of ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS
“A stunning, ripped-from-the-headlines tale of the intersecting lives of three very different women. THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD showcases Riggles masterful ability to raise important questions about fidelity, deception, and truth - and make us question our own answers to them.” Sarah Pekkanen, internationally bestselling author of THE BEST OF US
“Told from the viewpoints of these three strong women, this work is an intriguing look at an issue that strikes fear in the hearts of many parents. It is sure to attract fans of Jodi Picoults “ripped from the headlines” novels.” Library Journal
“Riggle masterfully unfolds the families stories with just the right pace, tone, and drama, uncovering plenty of family secrets and emotional struggles without making it a soap opera. Fans of Jodi Picoult and Barbara Delinsky will devour this story.” Booklist
About the Author
Kristina Riggle is a published short story writer and coeditor for fiction at the e-zine Literary Mama. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, two kids, and dog.