“Equal parts wry comedy and touching family drama, it’s ultimately a heartbreaker that’ll stay with you long after you’re done.” —Marie Claire
“Glass of chilled rosé, check. Comfy chair, check. Box of tissues, check. You Me Everything is everything you need for a moving, funny, heartbreaking, and ultimately joyous read.” Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Map of the Heart
Set in the French countryside on an idyllic summer vacation, a delicious, tender novel about finding joy and love even in the most unexpected places.
Jess and her ten-year-old son William set off to spend the summer at Château de Roussignol, deep in the rich, sunlit hills of the Dordogne. There, Jess’s ex-boyfriend—and William’s father—Adam, runs a beautiful hotel in a restored castle. Lush gardens, a gorgeous pool, delectable French food, and a seemingly never-ending wine list—what’s not to like? Jess is bowled over by what Adam has accomplished, but she’s in France for a much more urgent reason: to make Adam fall in love with his own son.
But Adam has other ideas, and another girlfriend—and he doesn’t seem inclined to change the habits of a lifetime just because Jess and William have appeared on the scene. Jess isn’t surprised, but William—who has quickly come to idolize his father—wants nothing more than to spend time with him. But Jess can’t allow Adam to let their son down—because she is tormented by a secret of her own, one that nobody—especially William—must discover.
By turns heartwrenching and hopeful, You Me Everything is a novel about one woman's fierce determination to grab hold of the family she has and never let go, and a romantic story as heady as a crisp Sancerre on a summer day.
|Publisher:||Gale, A Cengage Company|
|Edition description:||Large Prin|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
You Me Everything is Catherine Isaac's American debut. She lives in Liverpool, England, with her husband and three sons.
Read an Excerpt
***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof*** Copyright © 2018 Catherine Isaac
Stone steps lead us up to the heavy set of doors and into a cool reception hall tiled in weathered stone.
Excerpted from "You Me Everything"
Copyright © 2018 Catherine Isaac.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Reading Group Guide
1. Isaac has described You Me Everything as a “love story in the widest definition of the term.” The novel explores the relationships between two lovers who went their separate ways, a mother and her ten-year-old, a distant father and the son he hardly knows, and a sick mother and her grown-up daughter. Which of these relationships did you feel were portrayed most effectively? Which did you enjoy reading about most?
2. We learn halfway through You Me Everything that Jess had a major choice to make in her life: whether or not to take a genetic test that would determine her own future. Would you have taken the test? Or could you have lived without knowing?
3. “The labyrinthine streets of Sarlat hold a timeless fascination that, in the height of the summer, everyone seems to want to discover. The medieval town buzzes with activity, its caramel courtyards and elegant central square filled with the scent of freshly baked bread, potent cheeses and thick black coffee” (page 63). The novel is filled with lavish descriptions of the Dordogne, of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of a glorious French summer. Was this an aspect of the book that you enjoyed? Did the author successfully transport you to France as you were reading?
4. Isaac has said she hopes the book will raise awareness of Huntington’s disease, the condition Jess’s mother is living with. Had you known much, if anything, about the disease before reading this book? What do you think of how the author handled this difficult subject?
5. Near the end of the book, there is a new revelation about the night of William’s birth. Did you work out what had happened before Jess did?
6. “Sometimes it takes darkness to see how we shine” (page 350). Do you think it’s true that challenges in life can make a person stronger?
7. One of the themes explored in the novel is the idea of living life in the moment, not dwelling on fears about the future. Why do you think so many of us find that difficult to do?
8. You Me Everything handles some serious topics, but has moments of humor, too. What made you laugh in the book? How did you think this was balanced by other, more serious, aspects of the story?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
For ten years now, Jess has believed the worst of Adam, her son William’s father, absent at the best of times, disconnected always, and decidedly unreliable, she’s in Adam’s hotel for a summer stay with her son, for them to spend quality time together. Jess isn’t particularly enamored of this idea, but her mother’s determination and pushing her to rely on someone to be there for young William is just too much to ignore. But she still sees Adam as the unfaithful, immature and often closed off man that he was when they were in university. Even still, she can’t help but being unsettled in his presence, and wondering, somewhat idealistically, what might have been. Far from being a second chance at romance story, the serious topics brought into this story show the need for hope and the need for love and support in this life. Jess’ mother was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease shortly after William’s birth, and the past years have shown the disease has no mercy as Jess’ mother is wasting away before her and her father’s eyes. Her father’s constant and obvious love for her mother – and the struggles they endured with his alcoholism. Jess’ best friends Natasha and Becky who are there to sort out their own issues, sibling rivalry, bullying, and Adam’s girlfriend, a twenty-something employee. Getting out of her comfort zone, standing up for William and pushing Adam into spending time with him, discovering a flirtation with a neighboring vacationer who, while not stirring sparks, is obviously attracted to her, a situation that Jess is determined to keep light and breezy as she can’t see herself as attractive with the specter of Huntington’s hanging over her head, as she expects every stumble or forgetful moment to be the signal that she will soon not be able to be the mother she wants to be. Throughout the story, Jess is faced with challenges that she handles with varying degrees of grace and determination, all while second-guessing her every choice and wanting to be back in England with her mother and father. Secrets uncovered, the reality of parenting (single and otherwise) clash with the fantasy of how it should be, the simple pleasures of a sunset or new vista contrasting with the worries that everything in a vacation is meant to be a fantasy and not quite ‘real’….. Throughout the many frustrating moments with Jess (several) and Adam (also several) they brought the story forward, pushing revelations and unlocking fears allowing the story to move forward. Particularly with Jess’ parent’s relationships: from the flashbacks to the heights of her father’s alcoholism and his determination to make the marriage work, to his understated yet constant presence at his wife’s side: feeding, talking and even just being there for her as the disease takes over. Finally, it takes a series of revelations and truths for Jess to soften her prejudices where Adam is concerned, and see that at the core of all of her friendships, her parent’s marriage, and even her connection with Adam is love. And while it may not conquer all, it certainly makes one hopeful for the next day. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Easy read, summer romances, secrets kept too long, perils of parenthood.
You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac is a well-written summer read that will hold the reader's attention without being overly sentimental. Jess and her 10-year-old son William leave England to spend the summer in the Dordogne. They are staying at Chateau Roussignol which is owned by Adam, Jess' former lover and William's father. The purpose of the trip is to bring together father and son in the hope that they can get acquainted and maybe form a lasting bond. Jess has a secret reason for bringing them together which she does not want to share with either of them. Many unplanned events will occur during the summer in the French countryside. I highly recommend You Me Everything to anyone who enjoy an unpredictable love story. Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A Good Read. I was a First Read Winner of this book, and found it a lovely somewhat sad read yet also uplifting with a good message. Not actually the kind of book I am currently attracted too, since I am a caregiver and love to escape my challenges and not add to them, yet I manage to devour the book in no time at all. Though I was expecting a bit of a different book. I would have enjoyed more interaction between Adam, Jess and William, since the friends really didn't add to the storyline, especially since I did not care very much for Adam in the beginning. The book had some flaws but overall it was a good read, and I think the Author has a bright future in front of her.