Wow, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this was not at all what I was expecting!
I was surprised at just how good this book was as I was not expecting such a complex and in depth story with an equally complex and in depth cast of characters.
The book covers several emotive subjects at the same time...some quite disturbing...yet it never gets lost or bogged down in the way it is able to blend these events into the overall story.
The author does this by skillfully ascribing and blending emotional backstories to each of the key characters, so that the reader becomes invested in the outcome of each individual as well as the overall story...thus making this a fascinating as well as compelling read.
It is a hard book to review without alluding to facts which would be considered spoilers, so rather than risk that, my advice would be to read the blurb and then dive right in as I did.
*Be aware though that the book does involve some quite confronting issues, having said that, I think it covers them in a most realistic light.
If I have one issue with this book it is the cover, I don't believe it does anything to sell this book for what it is, and possibly gives a misleading first impression.
"Confronting, amusing and compelling, this is a story about choices and how they shape who we become."
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my digital copy to read and review.
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HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
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What Matters Most Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B00TNTXYK2
- Publisher : Impulse Australia (1 April 2015)
- Language : English
- File size : 1057 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 345 pages
Best Sellers Rank:
463,752 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- 23,279 in Contemporary Fiction (Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
4.1 out of 5
45 global ratings
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Top reviews from Australia
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Reviewed in Australia on 11 February 2017
Dianne Maquire you are to be congratulated on "What Matters Most". Whilst overseas on holiday, I sat riveted poolside engrossed in your novel needless to say I completed it in record time. Thank you for opening my eyes to heart-wrenching truths within our society. Thank you for capturing my attention rather than Social Media (lol) and thank you for inspiring me.
Reviewed in Australia on 15 March 2017
This is not the genre I usually read, but this author is just too good! I put my preconceived ideas aside and by the time I'd gotten through the first couple of pages I was hooked. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next from Dianne Maguire.
Top reviews from other countries
A very heartfelt storyReviewed in the United States on 15 January 2016
Recommended to those who would like an ending to a book that leaves you content. What Matters Most, this was perfectly titled. A very heartfelt story. Riding alongside as they all experience the triumph and tragedy of a small community rallying around a family. The storyline was quick to pick up. The character's so well described, it was easy to remember each of them. Having gone thru a similar experience in our family, it was heartwarming to feel the genuine caring that was shown to each other. Recommended to those who would like an ending to a book that leaves you content. What Matters Most, this was perfectly titled. Thank you to the author for taking a hard subject and giving it a place to grow.
One person found this helpful
I enjoyed this bookReviewed in the United States on 18 March 2016
I enjoyed this book, with it's plot twists and well developed characters. I had a bit of trouble with the way the book skipped from one character to another, but it held my interest to the end. Loved the happy ending with the dog, and I could personally relate to the development of the incest/sexual abuse of Rachel...this happened in my extended family, and to this day I don't think the perpetrator feels he did anything wrong. The psychology of it is horrifying and yet fascinating. I will be looking for more from Dianne Maguire.
A Good Summer ReadReviewed in the United States on 14 April 2016
What Matters Most is an easy read which covers several not so easy topics. The characters are likeable and though some matters are perhaps resolved too happily, others are left uncertain. I enjoyed learning a bit more about the area near Adelaide, Australia and learned several new Aussie words as well.
One person found this helpful
An AMAZING debut. That saidReviewed in the United States on 30 August 2016
An AMAZING debut. That said, I felt the book covered so much - it didn't necessarily go deep enough. There is so much left unprocessed, and in the case of Mia - I could so relate to her experience, and the heart wrenching agony - that is so easily band-aided with the comfort of another. I truly loved the complex nature of the book, just wish it had been longer, given into fully developing the characters rather than leaving so much undone in the end. Annie, Rachel, Tim, Sharon & Jack, even Eric have so much to say. My mind spins with what I want to apply to them.
The things that matter most.Reviewed in the United States on 11 April 2015
This family drama has it all; tragedy and triumph, humour and heartbreak. An evocative, powerful must-read page-turner. A brilliant debut.
4 people found this helpful