An intricately crafted story of madness, magic and misfortune across three generations.
Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.
But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn t the television. She ought to seek help, but she s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.
An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, "All the Best People" celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.
“Not just the best people, but real people: authentic, quirky and troubled. I cared for them all."
Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room and The Sleepwalker
“Yoerg spins the story of a family on the brink of collapse—writing with tenderness, grace, and truth.”
Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of Accidents of Marriage
“Deftly and with the delicate brush of a master, Yoerg draws us into this brilliant, multi-generational saga of love, madness, mysticism and the markings they leave on a family.”
Christopher Scotton, author of The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
“A powerful and haunting novel about betrayal and shame, acceptance and unconditional love. Book clubs will devour it.”
Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son and Echoes of Family
"A stirring tale of mothers and daughters, their secrets and their strength…a mesmerizing read."
Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Two-Family House
“All the Best People is gorgeously written and chock-full of captivating and colorful characters. Unforgettable, your heart will break and swell in equal measure.”
Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year
“I’m asked often why so many writers live in a state as small as Vermont, and why so many books are set here. The answer is partly the landscape, but mostly it’s the people. And in All the Best People, Sonja Yoerg has captured the magic and the madness that makes the Green Mountains a microcosm for so much of rural America. Her people are real people, authentic and quirky and troubled. I cared for them all.” -- Chris Bohjalian, author of The Sleepwalker and The Guest Room
“What a beautiful, riveting story about my favorite topic: the impact of mental illness on families. Told through the voices of three generations of Vermont women, All The Best People is powerful and haunting, a novel about betrayal and shame, acceptance and unconditional love. Book clubs will devour it.” -- Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son and Echoes of Family
"Slowly, deftly and with the delicate brush of a master, Yoerg draws us into this brilliant, multi-generational saga of love, madness, mysticism and the markings they leave on a family. Beautifully rendered and aching in its portrayal of a mother’s slide into mental illness, All the Best People is Yoerg's best work to date--destined to be a book club favorite.” -- Christopher Scotton, author of The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
“Along with heirlooms, family legacies include class wars, secrets, and sins. All The Best People unfurls the truth of three generations caught in a grandmother’s mysterious madness. Sonja Yoerg spins the story of a family on the brink of collapse—writing with tenderness, grace, and truth—leading us to the understanding that it’s not flawlessness, but eyes-open-love, that we need to cement unbreakable connections. Pages flew as I raced to finish this heart-gripping book.” -- Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of Accidents of Marriage
"All the Best People is a stirring tale of mothers and daughters, their secrets and their strength. With great insight and compassion, Sonja Yoerg gives us a glimpse into the fragile mind of Carole, a middle aged mother sinking slowly into the darkness of schizophrenia. Haunted by her own mother’s institutionalization, Carole fears what the future may bring for her and her family. Yoerg perfectly captures the pre-teen angst and loneliness that Carole’s young daughter experiences, and skillfully uncovers the damage that results when painful truths are silenced in order to keep up appearances. While tackling the timely issue of the stigmatization of mental illness, Yoerg sheds light on the injurious and unjust practices of our country’s early mental health system. This ambitious tale will enthrall readers with its lyrical prose and unforgettable characters. All the Best People is a mesmerizing read that will challenge, delight and redefine our notions of both weakness and resilience." -- Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Two-Family House
“All the Best People is gorgeously written and chock-full of captivating and colorful characters. Carole and Walt find themselves and each other in this poignant story of love and family, trust and mental illness. Emotionally resonant and unforgettable, your heart will break and swell in equal measure.” -- Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year
“In what is quite possibly her best novel yet, Sonja Yoerg has crafted a suspenseful and poignant tale of three generations of a Vermont family whose long-held secrets threaten to devour them whole. The novel is paced so perfectly and so dense with truly unique psychological drama, readers will need to be reminded to exhale. Grounded in real events and history, a chilling story unfolds as Carole LaPorte fears she is succumbing to the same mental illness that has institutionalized her mother for over three decades all the while hiding her condition from her family - including her young daughter who is battling demons of her own.” -- Amy Impellizzeri, award-winning author of Lemongrass Hope
“In her gripping new novel, All the Best People, Sonja Yoerg delivers the powerful story of a family whose legacy of mental illness and betrayals nearly destroys them. Along the way, she illustrates a time in our country's recent history when mental asylums engaged in dubious practices and when race and poverty served as a permanent wedge between people in the same small town. Yoerg's writing keeps us on a high wire of tension as we seek salvation and hope alongside her characters. The lessons in this novel resonate long after the book is finished.” -- Holly Robinson, author of Chance Harbor and Folly Cove
"In All the Best People, Sonja Yoerg has crafted a family landscape that is as familiar as it is provocative. With Yoerg’s lush and moving prose, the characters are realistic and bold, yet so compassionately portrayed that I fell in love with even the most unlikable ones. The stories of Carole, the mother who fears she is losing her mind; Solange, the grandmother who already has; Janine, the narcissistic sister who makes bad decisions; and Alison, the little girl who just wants to love from a mother she fears has none to give, are woven together seamlessly to create a story about trust, love, and strength set against a backdrop of 1930s to 1970s Vermont. This book will stay with you long after you read the last page.” -- Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Good Neighbor and The Glass Wives