Standalone Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Megan @ bookslayerreads. Standalone Sunday was created to let others know about all the standalone books you have loved, but maybe don’t get the attention they need. Megan created the banner as well and anyone joining in can use it too. Please go check out Megan’s blog and say hello!!
Today I’m choosing a book I read a few years ago and that I totally loved!!
An astonishing novel from the acclaimed author of Keepsake that pushes the boundaries of storytelling. At turns shocking, provocative, and heart-wrenching, and inspired by a true story The Whole Golden World forces us to ask the question “How well do we really know our children?”
To the outside Dinah and Joe have a perfect family-three lovely children, a beautiful home, and a café 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, Dinah, 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.
THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD by Kristina Riggle is the story that could be taken right out of today’s newspapers. Morgan is seventeen years old, a senior in high school, who just so happens to be in love with her calculus teacher, TJ Hill. Morgan’s mom, Dinah, is a helicopter mom, ever since her twin boys were born months early. Even thought they are fourteen now, she doesn’t know any other way to act with her family. She expects Morgan to be the same way with them when she is at work or away from the twins. How could she be so smothering of the twins yet not know any of this is going on with Morgan?
Dinah’s husband, Joe, is the assistant principal at the school. He is the ears and eyes of the school, or is supposed to be. How can this be going on right under his nose, his own daughter, and he not know about it? Obviously, they met at Joe’s school. First Morgan would stay after class and they would talk about stuff going on in her life, and TJ’s as well. He seemed genuinely concerned about her, but things change rather quickly. TJ takes advantage of her low self esteem and her infatuation of him.
TJ has a wife, Rain, who is crazy in love with him. They have been trying to get pregnant and her life has been consumed by the fact that everything they have tried, isn’t working. Their lives and feelings are a mess because of their quest to have a baby and TJ shuts down as a result of it. He feels like such a failure because Rain isn’t getting pregnant and this is when he seeks out Morgan. She makes him feel like a hero.
THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD starts off with Rain sitting in a court room, supporting her husband as legal proceedings begin against him. The story goes back and forth between the courtroom and how they wound up there. This is a real page turner, you won’t be able to put down.
The ending of THE WHOLE GOLEN WORLD is truly heartbreaking. The story really makes you think about everyone involved,not the student and the teacher, but their entire families. The whole time everyone is thinking “How did this happen?” Once you start reading you won’t be able to stop until the very last page. You will find yourself wanting to shake certain characters, how naive can someone be? You will sit there shaking your head at the way TJ acts in the courtroom. He tries to come off as the victim and poor Morgan keeps professing her love for him. Okay, truthfully, I wanted to smack him!
I can easily see this story becoming a movie. Kristina does a great job of pulling at your heart strings! Once I started reading it was very hard for me to stop and put the book down.