Monica’s Musings: Everything Here is Under Control

Everything Here is Under Control by Emily Adrian

“When you love a person, there is no way to avoid loving that person’s child. Trust me, I’ve tried.”
― Emily Adrian, Everything Here Is Under Control


Amanda is a new mother, and she is breaking. After a fight with her boyfriend, she puts the baby in the car and drives to her hometown, where she shows up unannounced on the doorstep of her childhood best friend. Amanda thought that she had left Carrie in the past for good. After their friendship ended, their lives drifted apart. But the trauma of childbirth and the shock of motherhood compelled Amanda to go back to the beginning and trace the tangled roots of friendship and family in her own life. Everything Here Is Under Control shows the complex emotions and physical trauma of both; motherhood and the friendships women form in their youth.

My thoughts:

Stereotypically, women are expected to know how to be a parent, and motherhood is supposed to come naturally. So, to read a story about a mother who is genuinely struggling can be eye-opening. I disliked Amanda’s boyfriend from the beginning because he does not take responsibility for being a parent to his baby. Also, there was a big reveal in the middle of the story which made me dislike him more. Overall, I found this to be a good book about the strength of friendship. Carrie and Amanda have been through a lot, so when Amanda showed up unannounced with a baby, it was interesting to see them navigate the new adventure.

Personally, if I were ever in the same boat as Amanda, I could not have stayed close with the people in this book. I think she would be better off maintaining boundaries or cutting off a few relationships. However, the story wrapped up relatively tidy considering everything that happens.

FYI: The author throws the big reveal in very casually! I had to slow down and go back to make sure it actually happened!

What’s Ashley Reading?: The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

First line: It would be inaccurate to say that my childhood was normal before they came.

Summary: When Libby Jones turned twenty-five she receives and envelope telling her that she has inherited a house from the estate of her dead parents. She never knew who she was or where she came from but the answers are finally being revealed.

Twenty-four years before the police were summoned to a mansion along the Thames. Inside were the three dead bodies and a baby girl in a crib. It appears to be a suicide pact as part of a cult ritual. But neighbors reported seeing older children in the house but none are found on the night in question. What happened at 16 Cheyne Walk that fateful night?

My Thoughts: I love Lisa Jewell! Every book I have read by her has been a lot of fun. This one is no exception. I really considered giving it a 5 star rating. It flipped between three characters. Libby, the baby, who recently inherited the house. Henry, who is telling the story of what happened in the house. And Lucy, who is struggling to keep her family afloat while living abroad in France.

Henry was by far my favorite chapters because we got to see how life at 16 Cheyne Walk changed over time. His story is told chronologically from the beginning to the end. It fills in the gaps that Libby is trying to uncover. But his narrative is much darker and more sinister than the others.

I struggled to understand that point behind Lucy’s chapters. It seemed like they were filler or a separate story. She lives in France with her children and is trying to find a way to get back to England. It just did not seem to fit with everything else.

But the ending. It literally gave me goosebumps and sent a chill down my spine. What a way to close a book. Great job again Ms. Jewell!

FYI: Perfect for fans of Shari Lapena and Gillian Flynn.