In November, Kristina Riggle released what is my absolute favorite of her books to date, The Whole Golden World. I never got around to reviewing it, because I read it six months early and I am super lame, but it is really fabulous, written with her trademark empathy and humanity, and her acknowledgement that real life is a messy business. If you aren’t familiar with the book, here’s the description for you:
To the outside Diana and Joe have a perfect family-three lovely children, a beautiful home, and a cafe that’s finally taking off. But their world is rocked when it’s discovered that their oldest daughter, 17-year-old Morgan is having an affair with her married teacher, TJ Hill.
Their town rocks with the scandal. When the case goes to trial, the family is torn further apart when Morgan sides not with her parents – as a manipulated teenage girl; but with TJ himself – as a woman who loves a 30-year-old man.
Told from the perspectives of Morgan, Diana, and TJ’s wife, Rain, this is an unforgettable story that fully explores the surprising, even shocking, events that change the lives of two families.
I love Riggle’s work in general and have, in the past, hosted her for both an interview and a virtual book club and wanted to share The Whole Golden World with you all in some new and unique way. Luckily, Riggle is more creative than I am (this is why she’s the novelist), and suggested a post based on that Facebook meme going around where people share a certain number of things about themselves. If you haven’t yet read the book, this should give you a little taste of the three point of view characters; if you have read the book, here’s some extra insight! So now just sit back and pretend you were Facebook friends with all three of these women before all the drama went down between Morgan and TJ.
OK, so Britney bugged me into doing this, which is not how it’s supposed to work because it’s only supposed to be if you “like” a person’s post, but whatever, here goes.
She wanted me to do eight things but I’m only doing five. That’s where I draw the line.
1) I wanted to play the string bass until I realized how incredibly boring those parts are usually (BOM, BOM, BOM… rest… BOM, BOM, BOM), so I went with the second biggest stringed instrument instead.
2) I’m really good at silent cello practice. I do the fingering and hold my bow above the strings, or just “air bow”. I do this because my cello is really loud and sometimes when I feel like practicing, other people are sleeping.
3) I’ve never read Twilight or The Hunger Games and probably won’t, just because I’m already tired of them without even opening the books. The Fault in Our Stars was great, though.
4) I love old episodes of M*A*S*H. Totally weird because that show was off the air before I was born, but it’s funny as hell.
5) I never want to get a tattoo because I have a scar already and would never do that kind of thing to myself on purpose.
(I’m not going to give you a number if you “like” the post. If you want to do one, make up your own number).
Some things about me. Like this and I’ll give you a number. I think that’s how this works.
1) My one brave thing I’ve ever done was go to Italy by myself.
2) That’s where I met my friend Alessia, who visited me back here.
3) Alessia married my husband’s brother so now we’re family. (I know I’m stretching that out for three things. Beverly gave me the number eight, and I can’t think of that many things people don’t already know.)
4) Even though I teach yoga, I really suck at meditating. But I try not to care that I suck at it, which I figure is in the same spirit of non-judgment and being at peace with myself.
5) My siblings’ names are Fawn and Stone. And people think because I have a weird hippie name, I must be a weird hippie myself. Which is funny because I didn’t name myself.
6) I met my husband at a sand volleyball game on campus at college, when a bunch of us chose up teams, and he picked me.
7) I bit my lip digging for a ball with far too much enthusiasm at that very volleyball game, and ended up with a swollen, bloody lip. I figured, “That’s what I get for trying to impress a guy.”
8) TJ Hill was worth a swollen, bloody lip. Love you, honey.
I got the number 7 from Joe Monetti.
1) I met Joe at his family’s pizza place and at first I thought he was just a doofus.
2) Some alternate names for The Den, which demonstrate why it’s good that Joe came up with the name and not me: The Hangout, Teen Cave, Live and Let Latte. Yes, I almost picked that last one.
3) My first car was a Chevy Impala and had dents on three of the four corners. I’m really bad at parking.
4) My first nickname as a little girl was Sweetie and I was known for being shy. Yes, really. I don’t know what happened either.
5) Joe fainted when he found out we were having twins, though to this day he denies it and says he just chose to stretch out on the floor of the doctor’s office. To recover from the shock.
6) I love Christmas music and my favorite is “Carol of the Bells”.
7) My greatest treasures in life are my kids, and I will now embarrass them by saying so on Facebook. Love you times a million, Morgan, Connor and Jared!
This was fun! Like this and I’ll give you a number!