All That Matters

All That Matters Cover

All That Matters

By Jan Goldstein

Hyperion, Paperback, 9781401307523, 224pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2005


What's the greatest gift that one person can give another?

Jan Goldstein's stunning debut novel, All That Matters, is a deeply moving, endearing tale of a young woman who, with the help of her feisty grandmother, makes a journey from the very brink of death and despair into a full embrace of life.

Jennifer Stempler has nothing left to lose: the love of her life dumped her, her mother died in a senseless car accident five years ago, and her famous Hollywood producer father started a brand-new family -- with no room in it for her. So, 23-year-old Jennifer decides to pursue peaceful (permanent) oblivion on the beach near her home in Venice, California, drifting on a lethal combination of Xanax and tequila. But she can't even get that right.

Jennifer's depression is no match for her Nana's determination. Gabby Zuckerman refuses to let her granddaughter self-destruct. With promises made to Jennifer's father and doctors, Gabby whisks Jennifer back to her home in New York City, intending to prove to Jennifer that her life cannot possibly be over yet. In fact, it has just begun. Through jaunts in Central Park to road trips to Maine, Gabby teaches Jennifer how to trust and hope again. And by relating her own tragic and heroic experience during the Nazi occupation of Poland, Gabby bestows upon Jennifer an understanding of her own life's value. But when Gabby reveals a secret -- one that proves to be Jennifer's toughest challenge yet -- Jennifer struggles to find out whether the gift will sustain her.

Combining the unabashedly heartwarming sentiment of Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County or Nicholas Sparks's Message in a Bottle with the irreverent humor of Jennifer Weiner's In Her Shoes, Goldstein's All That Matters is an inspirational first novel that leads readers to the core of what matters in life -- family, hope, and savoring each moment.