Monday, September 09, 2013

All You Could Ask For by Mike Greenberg

Mike Greenberg manages to introduce three very different women in All You Could Ask For, and then bring them together as friends. They never would have been friends if they hadn't found their way to a place they all needed. The women found themselves sharing confidences on a breast cancer forum. Greenberg, the co-host of the sports radio show, Mike & Mike, and his wife, Stacy, lost a beloved friend, Heidi, to breast cancer. Greenberg has not only written a novel about women with the disease, but the couple has done more. In conjunction with the publication of the book, they created a foundation called Heidi's Angels, through which all profits from the sale of the book will be donated to The V Foundation for Cancer Research to combat breast cancer.

The first half of All You Can Ask For introduces Brooke, Samantha, and Katherine. Brooke is happily
married, has two children, and lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Her family is just what she always wanted in life, and she does everything she can to maintain that wonderful marriage and family. Katherine has spent twenty years accumulating wealth on Wall Street, working for the man she once loved who dumped her, while cursing him every morning. And, Samantha, the youngest of the three at twenty-eight, discovers on the second day of her Hawaiian honeymoon that her new husband has a picture of a naked woman on his computer, and it's not her. Each of these strong women will have to learn what is important to them, and make tough decisions in their lives. It's not simple to make decisions when it comes to cancer.

Three strangers who come together because of one common link, breast cancer. Although many novels feature a cast with one character who has cancer, and usually dies from it, leaving the rest of the characters to mourn, this novel is different. Brooke, Samantha, and Katherine all handle cancer in their own ways. And, it may surprise readers as to some of the solutions. It's those unexpected decisions that make the novel interesting.

All You Could Ask For fulfills its purpose by calling attention to breast cancer, and the strong relationships women develop to help each other through rough times. The flaw in the novel comes from the use of four-letter words, which will definitely turn some readers off. It's a shame that Greenberg chose to create one character in particular who persisted in using the f-word as a mantra. It's particularly a shame because that disappeared in the second half of the book when the focus changed to life style changes and knowing what was important in life. However, I know of two readers who decided not to go on with the book because of the language.

Mike Greenberg does force readers to examine their own lives with the question, "What makes life worth living?" It's obvious that his characters, faced with the possibility of their own death, might search for answers. Is life about family? Is it about possibilities? Is it about the moment? All You Could Ask For presents three women with choices in their own lives. And, it forces readers to examine their own lives, thinking about choices. And, isn't that as much as any author could ask for?

There's a short video that accompanies the book, with Mike Greenberg discussing it with his wife and two friends.

Mike Greenberg's website is, and his Twitter account is

All You Could Ask For by Mike Greenberg. William Morrow. 2013. ISBN 9780062220769 (paperback), 264p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I was sent the book in order to participate in a TLC Book Tour.


Karen C said...

I'm intrigued with this story and appreciate your review, Lesa. Will have to see what I can do to read it.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

This sounds like a touching look a the lives of these three women. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

Lesa said...

I hope you can find it, Karen. (In fact, if you come back here, email me at about it.)

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Heather. This review received the most views of any post all month, so a number of people read it.