BOOK CLUB: All We Have is Now

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All We Have is Now by Kaneana May is an entertaining and moving story of three women facing the kinds of challenges and complications that many people will come across in their lives. It is generally realistic and grounded while taking an optimistic view of life, despite the vivid portrayal of grief.

Elsie, Bree and Olive have just opened Healing Hands, their dream business. Working out of a converted home, Healing Hands is a wellness centre designed to help people physically and emotionally. The three of them are good at their jobs, and the centre is soon flourishing.

However, each woman is facing a different set of problems, all of which have the potential to upend their lives.
For Bree, it’s the return of her wayward sister that disrupts her easy life of casual sex and good relationships with family and neighbours. Olive has a secret that she doesn’t want her friends to find out about, and is increasingly preoccupied with her mother’s failing health. And Elsie longs for a baby of her own while navigating life as a stepmother and her husband’s fractious ex.

Most people are likely to have experienced at least one of these problems, or something very close to it. May explores the situations with sensitivity, drawing the reader into her characters’ heads and making you care about them. You may not endorse their choices, but you’ll understand them.

May’s first novel, “The One”, took a lighter approach, but still had something serious to say. Here May has written something closer to a drama. It is not a difficult read despite the more serious approach, and I found much of it absorbing. The writing is well-paced and draws the reader along easily.

About halfway through the novel, a character experiences a significant event (I’m trying not to include spoilers: I think you’ll know when you get to it). This generated my one problem with the novel: the way she is treated in hospital and later by other people is unrealistic.

Despite this, emotions and actions throughout the novel are generally credible and described with considerable empathy, for all the characters. This is one of the strengths of this novel.

Apart from that one incident, I enjoyed this novel immensely. It is a little tough to read in places, given the emotional impact of some of what the characters go through. However, it’s well worth it. May’s approach is broadly optimistic and the novel is extremely satisfying.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading All We Have Is Now by Kaneana May. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

ISBN: 978-1-8672-0836-5
Copy courtesy of Head of Zeus

14 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: All We Have is Now

  1. Thank you to Beauty & Lace and Harlequin Enterprises for the opportunity to read All We Have is Now by Kaneana May.

    I was so excited to be selected to read and review this book! I really enjoyed The One and had high expectations that this book would be just as good. I was not disappointed!

    I laughed, I cried. I will definitely read again!

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book,

    Thouroughly enjoyed it, a nice easy read about 3 friendships formed when they met at a wellness camp & then planned to one day open something together. working together their freindship became stronger. A lovely story getting to know each of their families. Laughter & tears throughout.

    A great read

  3. Thank you to Beauty & Lace for choosing me as one of the reviewers for this book. I’ve not read any Kaneana May books yet but have heard a lot about one of her other books, The One.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It took me on a rollercoaster of emotions, as I traveled with the realistic characters through their complicated issues. Olive, Elsie and Bree were so well written that I actually felt a friendship with each of them, as I laughed and then sobbed my way through life with them. I
    I loved this book and will be chasing up her other book, The One. I can’t see anyone not liking this read….and I would tell everyone to read alongside a box of tissues

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