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All I Ever Wanted

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  261 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Nancy is four, nearly five. She talks all the time: in the car, on the way to nursery, to her extrovert older brother, to her collection of bears. But then, one February morning, everything changes. Nancy's mum and dad split up. Her father Patrick moves away from their Bristol home to Newcastle. And Nancy stops talking.
Eva is forty-four, nearly forty-five. She didn't expec
Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 1st 2016 by Hodder Paperbacks
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Deann Kachelmeier I just sent Lucy Dillon a message to see when it's coming to the U.S I will let everyone what the answer is.
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Oct 04, 2016 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nancy is four, nearly five. She talks all the time: in the car, on the way to nursery, to her extrovert older brother, to her collection of bears. But then, one February morning, everything changes. Nancy's mum and dad split up. Her father Patrick moves away from their Bristol home to Newcastle. And Nancy stops talking.
Eva is forty-four, nearly forty-five. She didn't expect to be the third wife of a much-loved household name, but eight years ago, she and semi-retired bad boy Michael Quinn fell i
Nov 20, 2016 Emma rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emma by: Netgalley
I'm not notorious for reading books outside of the young adult genre on this blog but I thought I would widen my horizons when I requested this novel on Netgalley from well know author, Lucy Dillon. All I Ever Wanted explores the lives of two women going through separations for different reasons and delves into the life on one special little girl.

The two protagonists of the novel are sister-in-laws Caitlin and Eva. They've never spent much time together before but Caitlin's divorce means their p
Rachel Gilbey
Nov 15, 2016 Rachel Gilbey rated it it was amazing
What a wonderfully heart warming and loving story, about one family, as they are going through a tough patch.

When Patrick accepts a job in Newcastle, Caitlin refuses to uproot their children to move up there with him. For Patrick this signifies that it is time to move on and they split up. Caitlin around this time starts to see her husband in a new light, and he really doesn't come across that well in the early part of the book.

Joel is 10 and loves acting, he is very talkative and is a wonderfu
Karen Mace
Dec 02, 2016 Karen Mace rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, netgalley
As a big fan of Lucy Dillon I am always ready to read her latest stories, so couldn't wait to get my hands on this one! And after a slow start that didn't immediately grab me, I was soon drawn into the family drama and dynamics that the author writes about so well.

In this book we follow two main storylines - the first of which is the marriage breakdown between Caitlin and Patrick, who seem to have had it all but when Patrick is offered a job away from Bristol in Newcastle, and Caitlin is relucta
Nov 13, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing
Book reviews on

I haven't read any other Lucy Dillon books before, but All I Ever Wanted really impressed me. It was everything I wanted it to be: sweet, emotional, funny, realistic and SO well written.

The characters all really struck a chord with me. I loved both Eva and Caitlin in their own ways; they're very different but have a lot in common too, and I really liked how they felt like real people to me. The kids were lovely too - Joel seems so sweet and I really enjoyed re
Nov 24, 2016 MetLineReader rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2016
Great tale of a family in crisis. The cherry on top is the characterisation of the Pugs, Bumble and Bee, who bring warmth and humour to what is potentially a much more difficult story. Loved the kids too - strong Joel and Fancy Nancy. But the pugs steal the show! A special mention to Eva, who is much more important than you initially think

A good enjoyable and humorous read.
Jan 11, 2017 LoisReadsBooks rated it really liked it
I had never read any of Lucy Dillon’s work before I picked this one up and I’ll be sure to read more of her books now. I certainly went though a lot of emotions whilst reading this book. It is a calming story about a family going through a rough patch in their lives.

At first I thought this story would follow Caitlin and Patrick’s life but it is through Caitlin that we learn about Eva, who is Patrick’s older sister. This was an unexpected bonus for me. This really made the story more complex and
Dec 26, 2016 Lee rated it really liked it
All I Ever Wanted isn’t the usual type of book I read, and there were some aspects I enjoyed, and some I didn’t.

The book isn’t a straight out romance, but what you’d probably call a heartwarming and uplifting women’s fic. I don’t usually read this genre because I’m not keen on hackneyed characters and situations where everyone is perfect. Luckily, All I Ever Wanted wasn’t completely cheesy.

We follow the lives of Eva and her sister-in-law, Caitlin. Caitlin and Eva’s brother, Patrick, are having m
Juliet Butler
Dec 21, 2016 Juliet Butler rated it really liked it
Caitlin's marriage to Patrick is in trouble. He works long hours and she feels he doesn't understand what she wants anymore. When he gets offered a job in Newcastle he sees it as a new start for Caitlin and their children, Joel and Nancy but Caitlin doesn't want to leave her house in Bristol where she lived with her Gran. Their decision to separate has tragic consequences for four year old Nancy who turns from a vivacious singing dancing little girl in to a shy little girl who stops talking. The ...more
Nov 24, 2016 Katherine rated it liked it
Lucy Dillon is one of my 'go to' books for when I need a 'comfort read'. So this week on a wet, dark, cold morning when I was not feeling my brightest or my best, this book really was 'all I ever wanted' and actually 'all I ever needed' to unwind with. I was happy to settle into a story where I knew, despite the ups and downs that would inevitably test the characters, Dillon would deliver a satisfying read in which to escape for a few hours.

This novel has two story lines centred around one famil
Dec 13, 2016 Agi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-releases, 2016

It is unbelievable but "All I Ever Wanted" is my first Lucy Dillon's book - but certainly not the last, as this novel has totally convinced me and it made me experience all kind of emotions. It was a beautiful, gentle story about a family that goes through a rough patch in their lives. Caitlin and Patrick's marriage wasn't working as well as they'd like it to and Patrick's acceptance of a job in Newcastle was the last straw - Caitlin refuses to move there with the children, she wants to stay at
Natasha Ellis
Nov 14, 2016 Natasha Ellis rated it really liked it
A unique story which I really enjoyed
Caroline Corpas
Oct 26, 2016 Caroline Corpas rated it it was amazing
All I Ever Wanted is the sixth book by British writer Lucy Dillon, who has won two awards for her romantic novels Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts and A Hundred Pieces of Me. Now, I don’t usually read a lot of romantic novels, so I wasn’t familiar with Dillon’s work (this seems to be happening to me a lot lately, the book I am currently reading is also by an author I am not familiar with) but I have to say I was truly charmed by this novel. But as usual, beware of possible spoilers, even though I try ...more
Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
Dec 02, 2016 Kaisha (The Writing Garnet) rated it it was amazing
All reviews can be found on my blog at

Being only four years old, Nancy has properly found her voice. She loves talking andsinging everywhere and anywhere she can. But then one day, Nancy's sweet little songs and sweet little voice are no longer heard. She has stopped speaking; nothing her mum, Caitlin, does can get her to talk, or sing. Can Caitlin and Patrick put their issues aside, and get to the bottom of the sudden silence with their daughter?

Despite th
Nov 27, 2016 Joan rated it it was amazing
I really loved this gorgeous novel about a family in crisis, struggling to come to terms with what happens to a family when their marriage collapses and two young children struggle to accept what has happened to their once happy family. It is a bitter-sweet novel but also redemptive. The characters are beautifully portrayed and the storytelling is warm, full of compassion and quite wonderful.
Patrick and Caitlin were once so happy but more recently the stresses of modern life begin to take their
Val Robson
Jan 11, 2017 Val Robson rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Patrick and Caitlin are trying to make their separation amicable by using a mediator and not involving lawyers. They are struggling to tell their children, Joel and Nancy, of their separation and keep putting it off. I found myself getting quite irritated by their constant excuses for not being honest with the children who were showing visible signs of distress about the separation.

As Patrick's new job is in Newcastle and too far for the children to travel to see him at weekends he asks his sist
Jan 23, 2017 Audiothing rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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Caitlin and Patrick had not been happy with each other for some time, Patricks’ habit of micro managing her every move smothered Caitlin and stifled her free spirited and impulsive nature. Patrick thought her to be too irresponsible to be trusted with managing the house and raising the children alone.
When he had to move to another city for his work, he fully expected Caitlin and the children to accompany him. Not so, she came up with ma
Jirinka (sony08)
Dec 09, 2016 Jirinka (sony08) rated it it was amazing
Reviews at:

All I Ever Wanted is the most heart-warming book I have read in 2016 and probably in about the last three to four years. It really touches you right at the core, warms your cockles and makes you believe in love, hope and happiness.

For me, the real stars of this novel are the two children, ten year old Joel and four year old Nancy. Following their parent’s estrangement, Nancy stops talking in public. She will only talk to her mum in whispers and
Jan 12, 2017 Mystica rated it really liked it
After a series of rather complicated mystery murders and thrillers, Lucy Dillon was a comfort read.

Two parallel stories for me- one a four year old Nancy exuberant, talkative full of life who one day becomes silent, so surreptitiously that her mother and father have to be told the facts by their elder son a little boy of nine. Patrick and Caitlin are so immersed in their divorce, their own lives and how they are going to live that they do not realise what is happening closer to home. Joel who wa
Joyb Animalcrackers
Nov 18, 2016 Joyb Animalcrackers rated it liked it
Caitlin is an arty student who hasn’t moved on for 10 years, she is married to Patrick who is and excessively conscientious cpncerned with being prepared. It is a wonder the marriage has survived this long because neither will give. Unfortunately their two children are caught in the crossfire of what they haven’t had explained to them as their parents score points. Cait is the silly sort of character who does as her more childish work mate suggests trying still to shock her practical mother. She ...more
"Nancy is four, nearly five. She talks all the time: in the car, on the way to nursery, to her brother, to her collection of bears. And then one day everything changes. Nancy's mum and dad split up, her father moves across the country, and Nancy stops talking.

Eva is forty-four, nearly forty-five. She always knew marrying a much older man meant compromises, but she was sure it was worth it – until Mick dies suddenly, leaving Eva with only his diaries and a voice in the back of her mind telling he
Nov 13, 2016 Sylvia rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Caitlin and Patrick are parents of Nancy and Joel. I loved the character of Joel, he was very eccentric for a child of 10. Nancy is a happy, chatty child of 4 who loves talking and singing and dancing. However, one day when her parents are not getting on Nancy wishes for her dad to disappear and he does for a few seconds. In the mind of a 4-year-old Nancy thinks her wish has come true so she stops talking at all! Caitlin and Patrick decide their marriage is over and Patrick take ...more
Grace J
Jan 21, 2017 Grace J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderfully warm read about family life - with all the ups and downs which that involves. It's a very honest portrayal of a Mum and Dad struggling to be 'perfect' parents when each have their own idea of what perfection is and two children who, as children do, have a very small world and huge imaginations.

Lucy Dillon's characterisation is astounding ... so true to life and avoiding the temptation to over dramatise but keeping it in a setting which will ring bells (loudly) in any family
Sally Coles
Nov 24, 2016 Sally Coles rated it it was amazing
Nancy is a normal happy outgoing four year old until her parents Patrick and Caitlin decide they want a divorce and then she stops talking, whereas her brother just gets louder!

Patrick is taking a new job in Newcastle and wants to see the kids every other weekend but Caitlin says it is much too far for them to travel - so as a compromise he agrees to see them at Eva's, his sisters house........does she have any say in this!

Eva is going through a tough time her husband has recently died and she i
Donna Irwin
Dec 19, 2016 Donna Irwin rated it it was amazing
Lucy Dillon has long been a favourite author of mine so I was really looking forward to her new book. I wasn't disappointed. A heart warming tale of a family going through a difficult time, and of a little girl who suddenly stops speaking. There are sad moments and funny moments. All the characters are so likeable including pugs Bumble and Bee - and it is so lovely when Nancy begins to communicate again talking to the dogs. Dad Patrick is a bit of a control freak, mum Caitlin needs space and the ...more
Wendy Jakob
A light feel-good read. Just the thing for the quiet days after Christmas. I really enjoyed it.

Cailin and Patrick are separating. Caitlin has refused to leave her house (left to her my her Grandmother) and uproot their children, Joel and Nancy, when Patrick takes a new job in distant Newcastle. She feels his job is more important to him than the family. In trying to negotiate visiting rights they settle on Patrick visiting them at his sister Eva's house every two weeks.

In the midst of this Nanc
Nov 13, 2016 Angela rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley for sending me this book.

I loved this book and I really cared about all of the characters which in my opinion are very well rounded through, their dialogue, actions and the perspective of other characters. My view of Patrick and Caitlyn changed throughout the book and I absolutely loved the ending which brought tears to my eyes. The book is about relationships between siblings, husbands and wives, parents and children, people and their pets and friends. It's about love, lo
Jan 15, 2017 Di rated it really liked it
This is a well written family drama that is an astute, real and ultimately a positive story about marriage, loss and moving on.
Patrick came into Caitlin’s life like a knight in shining armour but now, with their hopes and dreams turning sour, they are separating, fracturing the lives of their children Joel and Nancy.

Eva, Patrick’s sister, has a calm ordered life in Longhampton, although it is a little empty since her husband died three years ago. Reading her husband’s diaries has opened up a wel
A Book Lover's Emporium Book Blog
What a heart warming story this is. If you like a story which has love, loss, friendship, misunderstanding, heartache and redemption...well life.....then this is the book for you.
Lucy Dillon writes a good romance story. The characters are truly believable, you feel for them, get cross with them, laugh with them and live with them. She draws you into their life and takes a you along for the ride.
This is the story of Patrick and Caitlin, as their marriage falls apart, the effects on their children
Louise Wilson
Nov 21, 2016 Louise Wilson rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Nancy is 4 years old and is quite a little chatterbox. She talks all the time in the car on the way to the nursery to her extrovert older brother. Then one February morning her mum & dad split up. Her father Patrick moves to Newcastle from their home in Bristol. Nancy stops talking.

Eva was the 3rd wife of semi-retired bad boy Michael Quinn and it's a love of a lifetime for both of them until Mickey dies suddenly. Patrick is Eva's brother and he arranges the weekend contact for his
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All I ever wanted Lucy Dillon 2 3 Oct 18, 2016 05:44AM  
Lucy Dillon was born in Cumbria, worked for a while in publishing in London, and now lives in Herefordshire with her boyfriend and their terrier, near the Welsh border. She has written seven novels set in the fictional Midlands town of Longhampton, which looks a bit like Hereford, although the inhabitants tend to sound rather more Northern than that.

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