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We're All in This Together

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  736 Ratings  ·  139 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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Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it
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
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
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 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
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
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
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.
Sue Pretty
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read, I didn't want it to end. Ever.
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. ❤
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
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.
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
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!
Melinda Worfolk
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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 f
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
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
All families are crazy and chaotic in their own special ways, this one is just exacerbated by a video of matriarch Kate going over Thunder Bay's Kakabeka Falls in a barrel and the video of going viral. Finn, living in Mississauga goes back to Thunder Bay once she gets word that not only has this happened but her mother is in a coma. Finn left on far than ideal terms so meeting up with her angry twin sister, well meaning father, adopted brother, and her nieces and nephews (including a very betray ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: disappointment
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 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club, favorites
I absolutely loved this book! Quirky, messed up families are one of my favorite fictional topics and the Parker family is a hot mess. There were so many moments that had me squirming in embarrassment for them and even more where I actually laughed out loud. I kind of wished that I had someone around to read passages to because they were just too good not to share. Despite the hilarity and the general feel good vibe the story covered some pretty serious topics. It was deep without being preachy a ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent read, was really drawn in by the concept as who doesn't like awkward family reunions after one's mother goes over a waterfall in a barrel?

I think what I appreciated most was the real treatment of the characters, Jones' manages to present each character's struggles as relevant and genuine, not cheapening any of them or writing them off as being dramatic. Each character has their struggles, and deals with them as best they can. It was emotional and raw at times and just so beautifully d
Kate McDougall Sackler
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this dysfunctional family novel set in my hometown of Thunder Bay. It provides a perfect amount of nostalgia and nails the four types of native Thunder Baynians: those who love it and stay, those who love it and leave, those who hate it and stay, and those who hate it and leave. I could tell the author was not born in town as there was a bit too much insider Thunder Bay name dropping, but the story was engaging and the characters all reminded me of someone I know. Looking forwar ...more
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Erin by: Lydia
3.5 stars. Set in contemporary Thunder Bay, Ontario, We're All in This Together, talks about four days in the lives of three grown siblings and their parents. Absolutely dysfunctional and an enjoyable cast of characters that kept me engaged in the story. A good read for a day at the beach or a weekend at the cottage.
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
An interesting, quirky family story about how a family adapts when the matriach decides to go over a waterfall in a barrel. The book was set in Thunder Bay and feels contemporary. Each chapter was told by the point of view of a different character, though some characters get several chapters.

A quick read and a good family story. I like the combination of humour and pathos.
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING BOOK! and a Canadian author! Loved it! I will definitely read more from Amy Jones!
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I realized while reading this book that I love a good dysfunctional family drama. This was that, and as a bonus, it was Canadian.

A great read!
Liz Harmer
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian, literary
Could not put it down. Lively characters. Smart.
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The GoodBook Club : August Book Club Pick - We're All In This Together 50 134 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
More about Amy Jones
“It's not the who, what, where, when or how that people care about. It's the why.” 1 likes
“She wasn't fearless, she was brave. You can't be brave if you don't feel fear. What makes you brave is that you feel the fear, and you do it anyway.” 1 likes
More quotes…