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We're All in This Together

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,353 ratings  ·  214 reviews
A woman goes over a waterfall, a video goes viral, a family goes into meltdown -- life is about to get a lot more complicated for the Parker family.

Like all families, the Parkers of Thunder Bay have had their share of complications. But when matriarch Kate Parker miraculously survives plummeting over a waterfall in a barrel -- a feat captured on a video that goes viral --
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by McClelland & Stewart (first published April 5th 2016)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  1,353 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian-author
I won this novel from a GR Give Away in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this story of the Parker family. They are a mess but they are the kind of mess that every family can relate to. They are real; they make mistakes but they are connected as family.

This story has a lot of elements in it: many family members, all with their own "issues"; the ecosystem, marine life, living abroad, health and courage. Mix it together and there's a lot going on.

For me, some of these elements were weak an
Jennifer Blair
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway, and I'm so glad it has a permanent place in my collection. We're All In This Together is the type of book you can read at different times in your life and get something totally different from it each time. I've been the callow teenager and the lost housewife and the woman afraid to live--all characters that Jones portrays with brutal honesty, humor, and love. This family is all families--perfectly imperfect, messy, and hard to like. But there ar ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
many thanks to mclelland & stewart (PRHC) for the ARC edition of this book -- i have been keenly anticipating this read in 2016.

3 ½ stars, if we could.

the parker family is one hot mess. but aren't all families in at least one way or another? jones has created an interesting cast of characters in her novel, and i particularly loved how each character had their own warning sign included in a legend. each chapter is headed by one the ten signs. i feel like jones got into some really interesting res
Teresa Reid
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. In the end, every family is fucked up, right? That's the overriding theme of this novel set in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I've never been to Thunder Bay, but to me it sounds a lot like a bigger version of Ladner - always overshdowed by Toronto, people either desperate to get out or happy to stay. And in the middle is the Parker family. Estranged family member Finn comes back to deal with the aftermath over her mother going over Niagra Falls in a barrel, becoming an overnight YouTube sensat ...more
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! A quirky family drama that takes place in Thunder Bay, this book was everything I could have hoped for. Lots of Lake Superior and Minnesota mentions, which saddened me since I was supposed to embark on a 10 day trip to Minnesota / Lake Superior this summer which I've had to cancel. However, I got to experience it via this book!

The POV changes with each chapter, so you get to read the story from different character's points of view. Some of these characters we only get their PO
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
actual rating: 2.5/5

i don't know. i thought i was really going to like this book. the premise seemed really interesting - and the execution completely ruined it. this 417 page book could have easily been reduced to about 200 pages without missing anything at all important.

it dragged, it jumped all over the place, and not much happened plot-wise. there were too many storylines, and half of them didn't even get closure at the end. i'm not a quitter; i had to grit my teeth and take the painful tru
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-author
What a crazy-mixed up family - or was it?
Each of the main family members had their good and bad qualities. At first they seemed to be choosing sides, but in the end, they all came together to be supportive of one another.

The story lines of Kate heading off to London, Paris and back home to Walter was well written and intriguing. I enjoyed the back and forth between Fin, Nicki and Shawn especially, it seemed. their own feelings being their number one priority. London and Katriina were interestin
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canada
This is the kind of book that slowly grows on you. I found it hard to get into at first, but chapter by chapter, the characters emerged and began to matter to me. I ached for Shawn and Katriina, wanting things to be good for them. I wanted Nicki and Finn to come together again. All of this was in the time when they had to face the increasing dementia of their mother Kate. The book reached deep into the heart of family and what it means. I was deeply moved by the story.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty good, sonewhere between a 3 and a 4. Definitely great to relive some Thunder Bay memories.
Ryley (Ryley Reads)
Thanks so much to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Going into this book, I had no really idea what to expect. I knew it was about a family of which the matriarch, mother, wife, etc. goes over a waterfall in a barrel. That and the author is Canadian and the book was set in Canada. At it's bare bones, I suppose that is what this book is about, but their is also so much more to the story.

There are quite a few
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this as a monthly reading with my book club. It was my selection, actually, and to be honest, I enjoyed it! However small this complaint may be, the hazard symbols corresponding with the characters should not have been placed at the end of the book. I didn't come to notice it until over half-way through. Prior to that, I often had to flip back to remind myself who was speaking. Once I realized the symbols had a purpose though, it was great!

Now, onto the story. It was funny, a little far-f
Ashley Corbett
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked this up on a whim and because I liked the cover but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It tells the story through 8 different people's views and there's an adorable legend at the back to keep track of everyone. This book focuses on themes of bravery, courage, forgiveness, family and love and it's actually quite deep despite the hilarious storyline of a woman deciding to go over a waterfall in a barrel. Very touching and very insightful into the world of dementia. ...more
Karen Rivers
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this quirky, fun book and the deeply human cast of characters that populate it. The alternating voices were all strikingly honest and the ending made me cry and cry. One of my favourite books of this year, so far. <3
Sue Pretty
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read, I didn't want it to end. Ever. ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story of a dysfunctional Canadian family begins with the matriarch going viral on You Tube by going over a falls in a barrel. I knew right away that here is a family that could rival mine in lunacy, and I bet a lot of readers feel the same. As the characters tell their stories, we get a sense of what the family dynamic is, and how isolated and unsupported they all feel. The story is in the reconnect, and is more interesting the farther into the back story we know. Amusing, well written and ...more
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it
While I didn’t love the constant premise “if this were a movie...” I did love the rest of the plot twists and characters who were managing the crises of their lives. I especially loved that the author wrote from each character’s perspectives and how they viewed one another really helped develop the story.
Mandy Burkhart
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
There were parts of this book that were a little difficult to slog through, but it ended on such a sweet, heartbreaking note... I really loved the scene at the very end.

I, too, had a mother who loved to play Scrabble with me. ❤️
Anne Barlas
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in Ontario, Canada, this story chronicles the Parker family and the immediate aftermath of the matriarch going over a waterfall in a barrel. I really connected with the protagonist Finn and the humor that came from an outsider looking in, almost like something you laugh about years later. The undertone of the story was much deeper when the real reason for Finn’s mother’s desperation comes forth and as Finn and her twin sister confront issues that have harbored for years. While some character ...more
Jill Lucht
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book full of strange characters who are also perfectly normal somehow. Helped me think about the meaning and purpose of family when they are far from ideal. The author may have captured what dementia feels like for people struggling with it, and for the people who love them. The end of the book is quite profound.
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Now THAT is one messed up family, but they will make you laugh! A quick and enjoyable read all around. Nothing too heavy.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a fantastic read. You won’t regret reading this one. It will be a permanent fixture in my library and I look forward to reading it again!
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
2nd time reading this book and picked up more Thunder Bayisms this time. Very well written. Awesome job Amy
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At first the multiple characters seemed daunting, but I too got caught up in the rich tapestry that is weaved through the characters, setting and story. Also, Canada.
We need more stories like this one!
Melinda Worfolk
4.5 stars. Well written, with complex and surprisingly sympathetic characters. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and the large cast of characters and multiple intersecting plot lines made me want to keep reading. The author has a naturalistic style that makes even the oddest situations believable.

(I felt the most sympathy for Katriina, and my favourite part was when we find out what happened to Kate in Europe. But really, in this book, everyone is doing the best they can.)
Jun 20, 2016 added it
Barrelling over falls brings family together

Amy Jones’ debut novel We’re All in This Together is a whirlwind ride, blazing through four days in Thunder Bay, Ont. in a tale narrated by 10 characters connected to a single family.

At the book’s core is Serafina (Finn)Parker, working hard to live an unremarkable solitary life in a nondescript suburb of Toronto. Finn is called back to a complicated family situation she fled years earlier in Thunder Bay when her mother, Kate, goes over goes over Kakabe
Michelle (FabBookReviews)
Thank you Penguin Canada and First Reads!

4.5 stars

We're All in This Together is one of those reads that (excuse the shark nod), you will delight in sinking your teeth into. Award-winning Canadian writer Amy Jones has crafted, rather masterfully, an all-at-once funny, heartbreaking, and wonderfully plotted novel about a family you will not soon forget.

The novel begins with an introduction to Finn Parker, who is forced back to her hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario, upon hearing that her mother is
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a story full of eccentric characters, many of whom you might recognize in your your family or amongst your friends. The story takes place in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and the author happens to be from there as well. Very interesting! Everyone in the story has problems and issues, most of which are internalized; and to top it off, Kate Parker, the mom and grandma to the Parker clan has gone over a waterfall in a barrel. What?? Yes, quirky, full of humor and snide remarks. You really get to kn ...more
Penny McGill
I can't remember why I found this one - some list somewhere? - but when it arrived on the holds shelf I felt like I was extra lucky because just look at that shark! He is tossing a barrel on his sharky snout. Terrifying. There is an underlying feeling of unease in the reading of this book because it is about family and no family life is perfect. There are sharks everywhere. Amy Jones has written something beautiful here and I've shelved it in my 'book club favourites' shelf because I think it wo ...more
Ashley Glovasky
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
In a nutshell:A video goes viral after a woman goes over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a book about a humour-filled dysfunctional family, this could be the book for you!

I picked this up in the first place because I was attracted to the cover. It has a shark on it so how could I just ignore it? Then I read the description and saw that it was about a dysfunctional family, which is totally my jam for books to be honest. This was pretty entertaining.

“She wasn’t
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone from Thunder Bay
LOVED THIS BOOK. It evokes Thunder Bay quite accurately reminding me of many aspects of my childhood and part of my adult life there.

Jones' characters are well-drawn, quirky and interesting. This story is a great example of how tragedy brings all the issues and problems in a family to the surface at the same time. It takes all the pieces of the family jigsaw puzzle tosses them all over and you need to find a way to bring it all back together again into the new reality. The Parkers are a family t
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The GoodBook Club : August Book Club Pick - We're All In This Together 50 135 Aug 22, 2016 08:56AM  

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AMY JONES won the 2006 CBC Literary Prize for Short Fiction and was a finalist for the 2005 Bronwen Wallace Award. She is a graduate of the Optional Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at UBC, and her fiction has appeared in Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Stories. Her debut collection of stories, What Boys Like, was the winner of the 2008 Metcalf-Rooke Award and a finalist for t ...more

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