All the Good Parts

At thirty-nine, Leona Accorsi is broke, single, back in school, and living in her sister Carly’s basement. She’s perfectly content being quirky Auntie Lee to Carly’s four children. That is, until Leona’s doctor tells her that if she wants to have a child, she’d better do it now.

Leona does want a baby. She always has, but the circumstances have never been right. Now she has a huge decision to make: face motherhood on her own or risk missing out on its rewards.

Unfortunately, she’s let her romantic life go stagnant. She barely even knows any single men. She has just a few prospects: a Vietnam vet and partial amputee, his intimidating son, the sweet but troubled man who tutors her niece, and a fellow nursing student she’s never actually met.

As Leona discovers more about each one, she realizes any of them could be the right man for the job. The more important question is, has she become the right woman?

All The Good Parts by Loretta Nyhan is a tender, warmhearted, and fast-paced story of a family finding its way through an uncertain time for everyone. Nyhan's writing delicately balances the stress and love felt between sisters Leona and Carly. Nyhan also examines the intricate dynamics of Leona's unusual friendships. These pivotal relationships are the story's backdrop as Leona decides if she's going to have a baby on her own at 39. I laughed, I cried, and I cheered, as Leona fought herself and others, stumbled, and in the end, became a better version of herself―which is always a good thing, baby or not. I read this book way past my bedtime.” ―Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Good Neighbor

Favorite Quotes

"Keep making choices that scare you until nothing does."
Featured on the art print

“You’ve never made a decision in your life. Think about it. Things happen to you and you react. You let people steer you one way, and then another, and then another, like you’re a shopping cart with a wonky wheel. Don’t fool yourself, Lee, that’s not making a decision.”

“Your generation thinks being broken is such a tragedy because you’re used to throwing things away. My people are more frugal. We fix things. Sometimes they end up not quite good as new, but sometimes they’re better.”

“Why was it when someone wanted to do something out of the ordinary, others countered the impulse with shame?”

“Don’t rely on the value others will put on your choices. They are yours. Only yours. Trust that you are a decent enough person to make them with consideration. You’re giving them real meaning by taking action, and this is what will lead you toward bettering yourself.”

What was in the box?

This box shipped in November of 2016. This was the first modern contemporary novel we included in our monthly boxes! All those preceeding All the Good Parts had an element of historical fiction.

As Book Clubbers read this title, they opened their gifts to find a purple scarf, a custom designed travel mirror with a motivational message on the glass, a pack of gum, a recreation of an Instagram post as described in the novel, and a 8.5" x 11" notebook.

Fun Fact: Each gift was handwrapped by Michelle and her friends/family in her living room!

Discussion Questions

Chatting about books is what we do! Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Find like-minded readers who love books as much as you do and join in the conversation! All book lovers are welcome!

1. Why has Leona resisted change for so long? What prompts her to finally take action? How does Leona's relationship with Mara affect her decision making process?

2. Discuss Carly's perspective. Are her motivations different from what she professes? Do you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with her take on Leona's situation?

3. Were you surprised by Leona's final choice? Why or why not? Who were you rooting for? Did you change your mind as you got to know the characters better?

4. Doctor Bridge says change is "not prompted by something happening to you. Change comes when you discover qualities you didn't know you had." Do you think this is accurate? How does this definition apply to Leona's experience?

5. Darryl and Leona quickly build an online relationship. How does their relative anonymity facilitate this? How does Darryl's role in Leona's life evolve?

Meet the Author

Loretta Nyhan

Loretta Nyhan lives in the Chicago area with her Brady Bunch blended family. She was featured in the Once Upon a Book Club Adult box in November of 2016.

Learn More About Loretta