The novel, “The Whole World Over”, by Julia Glass is about Greenie, a woman who has thrown her passion into her bakery in Greenwich Village and whose marriage seems to be stagnate. Her husband, Alan, is a couples counselor who is in the grips of a mid-life crisis/depression and doesn’t communicate with her anymore.
Greenie’s dear friend Walter, who owns a nearby restaurant, recommend her culinary skills to the Governor of New Mexico. The Governor asks her to cook a trial dinner for him which results in a job offer that is too good for Greenie to refuse. As Greenie and their son George depart for New Mexico, Alan stays behind to wrap things up with his patients. He is angry that she has made such a huge decision with no concern for his needs.
As they go about their lives separately they make personal discoveries about themselves. They are both seeking happiness and fulfillment in their own ways. As 9/11 unfolds they will discover where their hearts truly belong.
Glass weaves the lives of a considerably large cast of richly drawn characters together in this charming story. Each voice is developed in its own time as she switches emphasis and characters with each chapter. The message of changes and how choices can ripple widely is shown through both the main and secondary characters.
This was a selection of my book club and it was one of the most engaging novels we’ve read in a while. It tugged at my heart and I cared about the characters, flaws and all.