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We Are All Good People Here

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  259 ratings  ·  137 reviews
From the author of A Place at the Table and A Soft Place to Land, an “intense, complex, and wholly immersive” (Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author) multigenerational novel that explores the complex relationship between two very different women and the secrets they bequeath to their daughters.

Eve Whalen, privileged child of an old-money Atlanta family, meets
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Atria Books
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  259 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Angela M
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up
Social injustices, racism, antisemitism, anti war sentiment of US involvement in Vietnam are some of the issues that are front and center in this story of two young women who forge a friendship in college in the early 1960’s. Eve is from a well to do, elite family in Atlanta, steeped in tradition and their beliefs that the war is fine as long as it’s not their son who has to go, but the son of their black maid -“somebody has to go”. They also believe that their benevolence to their
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” –Bob Dylan

That is, of course, until you think you do. I’m getting ahead of myself. This novel begins in 1962 with the well worn trope of two girls from different backgrounds thrown together as college roommates at Belmont and become fast friends. The writing is, initially, simplistic which I found off putting. Due to an unsettling event, the girls transfer to Barnard and the writing becomes more sophisticated as the girls lose some o
Elyse Walters
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No spoilers about the storytelling - no specifics about the **wonderful** storytelling....
More about how I felt....plenty to give a flavor of what readers are in store to read.

Roanoke, Virginia 1962

I was excited to read Susan Rebecca White’s novel - the minute I read the blurb. The eye-catching book cover didn’t hurt to pique my interest either...
but when I ‘knew’ for sure that I was in great hands by a new author -to me- was when I read this - only 2% into this novel:
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I seem to be on a roll reading historical fiction, especially books about the 1960s. We Are All Good People Here, starts in the 1960s and moves forward, tracking two women that meet as college freshmen. Despite opposite backgrounds, they bond. So much of this brought memories flooding back to me. White totally captures the times - the racial inequities, the sexism, the politics. At first, I worried that this was going to be women’s lit, fluff and the characters would be caricatures. But White su ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: publisher-atria, 2019, arc
”We can never be gods, after all—but we can become something less than human with frightening ease.”
— N. K. Jemisin

Beginning in the year 1962, this story centers around two young women - girls, really - entering their first year of college. Set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Roanoke, Virginia, Belmont College prides itself in the beauty and brains their young women have. The first of these two to arrive was Evelyn, Eve, who embraces Daniella in a welcoming hug when she arri
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars - Definitely a solid read for me.

I definitely liked this more than I thought I would. I also really enjoyed the period it covered (60s-80s) as it was timely, (lots to compare to today’s headlines) and also educational for this child of the early 80s.

Eve Whalen and Daniella Gold become fast friends when they are assigned as each other's roommates in their prestigious, women's college in Atlanta during the early 1960's. They bond over shared indignation that the maids (all colored) live i
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 for this one, I’ll round it up.
Daniella and Eve meet when they start college and are paired as roommates at Belmont in Roanoke, Virginia 1962.
They become the best of friends and end up becoming involved in the social issues of the time, Eve.. becoming extremely radical.

This is a multigenerational story, you will also see the coming up years of their own daughters.
It covers thirty years of American history, from Kennedy’s Camelot through the Vietnam War and racial issues, etc.

The subject mat
Diane S ☔
Although the time period is authentically portrayed, I am ending at 40%. Can't deal with that cat scene, not only can't but won't. Don't feel the story would have been any less had that been left out.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I must admit that I had a hard time putting this one down. There was something about the characters and their story that really worked for me. Eve and Daniella meet as freshmen in a small girls college in the south in the early 1960s. Eve comes from a very wealthy southern family, and Daniella is half Jewish and comes from an academic family. The story chronicles several decades of their frought friendship. The novel doesn't really play out in the way one might expect given their backgrounds. Ra ...more
Judy Collins
Check out my fascinating Q&A Elevator Interview with the master Southern storyteller, Susan Rebecca White. Get exclusive behind-the-scene inspiration of her extraordinary novel, WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE HERE, plus fun facts about the author.

I am excited to share with you one of my favorite Southern authors, master storyteller, Susan Rebecca White, and her latest highly anticipated novel, WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE HERE— "cover of the year" and Top Books of 2019!🏆

A few months ago, I stumbled upo
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I am always rather wary of issue-driven novels which can be too concerned with moralistic polemicising to breathe real life into the characters. However, this is not the case here as the author has presented a balanced and non-judgemental account of how the pursuance of any ideology to extremes will likely end in tears. The era covered starts with that of my generation, so it is a jolt to realise this is classed as historical fiction, but I enjoyed the trip down a memory lane with much of the sa ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The journey of the boomer generation from 60's radicals to 80's conservatives has been traced out before, and often it's not a story I'm all that interested in, but it does feel newly relevant in our current times. It seems a particularly good time for a story about how minor political differences can lead to significant alterations of friendships and relationships. While it starts with a lot of potential, ultimately I felt that it didn't go deep enough to be really satisfying.

Eve and Daniella m
Jul 31, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: arcs
DNF at 35% ... right now this is not working for me. Maybe I will come back at a later date.
Jenna Bookish
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
My thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. 

We Are All Good People Here is trying to do a lot of things, but at the forefront is an exploration of radicalization. At the beginning of the book when Daniella and Eve first meet, Daniella seems the more likely of the two to fall into a radical protest movement. She is a young Jewish woman who experiences discrimin
I have mixed feelings about this novel. It starts off well. It spans two generations of women and their friendships, beginning in the early 60s, as Eve and Daniella meet at Belmont University as freshmen. They are from very different backgrounds but, thrown together as roommates, they form a strong bond. When they butt up against prejudice for the first time, Eve, who has lived a privileged life, jumps in to try to improve things, with disastrous results.

The girls decide to transfer to Barnard
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
With We Are All Good People Here, White has taken on thirty years of American history to show how the political and social issues of the time influence two friends differently as they weave in and out of each others' lives over three decades.

It's an interesting premise set within a rather large time period. Unfortunately, I expected to like it more than I did. This book has a lot of is historical detail and it's evident that White spent a lot of time researching but often the book had a Nonfict
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A title like this suggest a serious morality play. It’s clever and ironic and sets you up to expect more than what you get. What you get isn’t inconsiderable, mind you, it’s two lives followed from early years to advanced middle age as two friends Eve and Daniella navigate the turbulent political waters of America from the early 1960s until the early 1990s. Three significant tumultuous decades, during which Eve and Daniella undergo various changes as they become variously engaged with the sociop ...more
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
The story of Daniella and Eve two privileged college sorority girls in the early 1960’s who get totally swept up in the political and racial tumult of the times. The story follows the two’s very different life paths into the 1990’s when they have become mothers and can now observe the results of their choices and see that previous events in history and the way they’ve chosen to respond to them have had a tremendous influence on their entire family’s futures.
There is a lot of territory to be cove
Alison Hardtmann
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is the story of Eve and Daniella, who meet at a small, private all-female college in the 1960s. The two girls become instant best friends and the friendship transforms Eve, a debutante raised in a wealthy Atlanta household. Daniella is from the north, Jewish and liberal and Eve is immediately drawn to her views, taking them far further. As the years go by, their paths diverge as Eve becomes more and more radical, eventually joining a group similar to The Weathermen, while Daniella becomes a ...more
Seema Rao
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Unflinching ~ Challenging ~ Important

tl;dr: Noone is without bias.

I was on the fence about reading this book. It was about the coming of age of liberal white women in the 1960s. I mean, you can see how this could go bad. And, the fact that this book is so good is a testament to White's character-development. She pulls no punches. These are real women. Their lessons about race and class are hard-won (and described easily.) Readers get to know these women and the difficulties of the society they
Carmen Slaughter
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ya
Susan Rebecca White returns, after six years, with a timely novel that is deeply engrossing and thought-provoking. Her characters are well-developed and their motivations are clearly and tenderly defined. The author expresses her themes with integrity and fairness. I truly appreciated her attention to detail and historical accuracy. I have followed her career and with each novel she exceeds my expectations. This book is a must-read and well worth the wait!
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The members of SMASH believed it was better to die in honor than to live as their parents did..."~from We Are All Good People Here by Susan Rebecca While

How do we change society? Can we change society? Who are the 'good people' and can 'good people' do bad things for the right reason and still be 'good'? Can people really change?

I was interested in the questions posed by the novel.

The story begins in the early 1960s when two girls meet in a private women's college in the South and become best
This is the first book I have read by this author & it won't be my last.

I won't post any spoilers but I will say, this is a book that grew with each page.

Started out with what I thought was light fare- 2 young women start college together both from very different backgrounds, you know this story, right? Wrong....this was 1962, civil rights, Vietnam, women starting to question who they were & then we place this story in the south.

Daniella & Eve become close friends & stick by eac
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received an ARC from the publisher and I finally had the opportunity to read it. The book had some decent bones to it but for a short book it felt as though too many themes were introduced to the reader. It wasn’t a waste of time but had too much going on and maybe too much time lapsed in the book. A few twists in the plot seemed forced.
Melissa Dee
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up.

I loved the first half of this book. The story of Eve and Danielle as they grew to womanhood is perfect in its description of the American 60’s. Memories of the time vividly returned to me reading about the Kennedy assassination, the My Lai massacre, the Freedom Riders. Eve and Danielle, best friends in college, each adapt to history and their circumstances. They stand up to injustice, and make the big and small compromises that inevitably lessen them in the way that humans
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What I have always loved most about White's novels are the characters, and once again she has created a large cast of fully formed creatures whose lives you imagine continuing long after the book has ended. This time she placed those characters upon a large canvas indeed, three decades of American history. But instead of having the characters get swallowed up by such intense events, or lost among the large questions of faith and race and gender that are raised, White illuminates the ways history ...more
Debi Hawkes
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really solid book, I enjoyed each and every minute of my time spent with these fully realised characters.
I've not read this author before, but I will certainly seek out her previous publications.

Highly recommended.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Lynne Lambdin
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve claimed for a long time that historical fiction is not for me. Yet I can’t help but gravitate toward novels that are indeed historical fiction. My latest interest in this genre stimulates from moving from my beloved home state of Michigan to the south in good ole’ Mississippi. We Are All Good People Here provides some interesting insight into my new home’s history. Not only the history though, I am getting a peak into the lives and traditions of true southerners. A game of ping pong between ...more
abdulia ortiz-perez
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
I received this ARC book from Netgalley for honest Review.
What a great thrill and suspense it was to read. What a great psychological thrill! This novel had everything in it. The thrill, the suspense, the psychological, romance and the twist is crazy. This novel will keep you thinking and guessing. When you think you right, well let me just say that you might be wrong. This had me all over the place. My heart beating so fast! I couldn't believe what I was reading. If had me in shock. Every page,
I have such mixed feelings about this book. What starts out as a book about a friendship soon takes a left turn so drastic that I almost abandoned it. I’m glad I didn’t because the story did redeem itself somewhat.

The main characters, Eve and Daniella meet at college and become close friends. They are both intelligent and care about the injustices in our society. The problem is they each have a different way of trying to “fix” these various injustices.

I liked that the author recognized the contr
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Susan Rebecca White is the author of four novels: Bound South, A Soft Place to Land, A Place at the Table, and the forthcoming We Are All Good People Here, which will be published by Atria / Simon & Schuster on August 6, 2019. A graduate of Brown University and the MFA program at Hollins University, Susan has taught creative writing at Hollins, Emory, SCAD, and Mercer University, where she was ...more