Book Review : A Little Bit of Everything Lost by Stephanie Elliot



At 19, Marnie plunged into first love with Joe, a guy who was completely wrong for her. Their romance was fast and exhilarating and like nothing Marnie had ever experienced or understood. Just as quickly as it began, it was over, with no explanation. He left her with unanswered questions and unexpected feelings of loss and regret, and a quiet grief she would carry with her for the next fifteen years.
When Joe returns, Marnie is a 34-year-old wife and mother to two rambunctious little boys, who is slowly healing from a devastating loss. All the emotions she suppressed from the past fifteen years surge to the surface, threatening to ruin her marriage and destroy her family. She’ll need to confront the one person who hurt her the most to realize that love and loss sometimes go hand in hand… and that you have to live with some of your toughest choices for the rest of your life.
A Little Bit of Everything Lost is part coming-of-age/part love story.  It’s a story about a woman desperate to make peace with the past. It’s for all women who have ever experienced the magnitude of first love, whether it was a lasting bond or a fleeting moment. Because first love – while it might not have been the best love – is a love none of us ever forgets.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

“He had been her coming-of-age story.  He was her history.  More than just her history.  He was her blueprint that created her future.  He was the one guy that every girl remembers from her past.  He was the one, and even though he tore through her live like a tornado and left an aftermath of sadness and grief, she could not forget him.” “And even if there was a woman completely happy, isn’t there always a spark of curiosity that makes her wonder of the ‘what could have been?’  Doesn’t everyone wonder? And in Marnie’s case, doesn’t she deserve to know?”

 My Review:

I could tell shortly after starting this book that it was going to be an intense and emotional read.  I was moved to tears several times, yet could not stop reading.  Most of us have had at least one failed relationship that has marked us, scarred us, shaped us, or in some cases – ruined us.  It is hard not to compare subsequent relationships against “the one” or to wonder about the “what ifs?”  Our heroine suffers from personal trauma that has her conjuring up memories of her first love, which only causes her further turmoil and self-loathing.  The story goes back and forth in the timeline, but it usually correlates and ties in well due to the unresolved issues that tie in to her present day concerns.  I was engrossed in this story.  It was extremely well written, insightful, and realistic.  It brought back many memories of how youth feels… the highs, excitement of new love, sexual and personal discovery, freedom… as well as the hangovers, the idiocy, naivety, and the insecurities.   This is an exceptional book.  I find I don’t want to start another just yet as I feel – just a bit raw and melancholy.

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Stephanie Elliot is the author of A Little Bit of Everything Lost, What She Left Us, and the novella, The Cell Phone Lot. She is also a writer and editor and has written for a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites. In her spare time she edits manuscripts for other writers and proofs executive documents. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three children.
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