Book Review: The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle

The Whole Golden World by Kristina RiggleThe Whole Golden World: What it is about

The publisher says: “Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: She chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. Quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.

But her mother, Dinah, wants justice. Dinah is a fighter, and she believes with all her heart and soul that TJ is a man who took advantage of her daughter. He is a criminal who should be brought to justice, no matter what the cost to his family.

Rain, TJ’s wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, respected husband has been accused of a terrible crime. But has her desperation to start a family closed her eyes to the fault lines in her marriage? And can she face the painful truths about herself and her husband?

The Whole Golden World: What I thought

For a long time, I didn’t like this book. I didn’t get into the story. It seemed another of those family relationship-stories that I’ve just read too many of. But after about 100 pages, I started to become interested in the characters and I wanted to know more about them and what would happen in the story.

The whole sordid story, who enjoys that? A teacher and his pupil having a relationship, then, when it comes out, him denying it while she maintains they love each other. In the court room she sits with him, and everyone thinks she’s been manipulated by this man, who is not a great deal older than her, but married, and her teacher.

The story is told from the viewpoint of the girl, Morgan, her mother Dinah, and her lover’s wife Rain. I enjoyed seeing the story from the different perspectives, as these people all have prejudices about each other. It was easy to understand their approaches to the situation, although I didn’t identify with any of them.

In the end, this was a good read, but it started off really slow for me.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (It’s OK)

Number of pages: 448

First published: 2013

I got this: from William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins) for review

Genre: contemporary fiction

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

5 Responses to Book Review: The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle

  1. I’ve been really intrigued by this one as I’ve seen it pop up lately. It seems like it has quite a bit that it could offer people to talk about and I like that it’s told from multiple perspectives.

  2. Laurie C says:

    I can’t decide whether I want to read this or not! It sounds a lot like a Jodi Picoult-style book, and I got tired of them after about four or five. But I do like stories about marriages, so I’ll probably end up trying this one out!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Now that you mention it, Laurie – Jodie Picoult is indeed comparable, I’d say. Although this book is more directed to the relationships amongst the characters and less about the court case.

  3. Isi says:

    I remember seeing the book among your new arrivals and I thought it was interesting. It’s a shame that it is slow at the beginning, but still, I think I’ll look for it; these books about inmoral relationships always make me rethink about what is normal and what is not…

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