Review: All’s Well by Mona Awad

All's Well: A NovelAll’s Well: A Novel by Mona Awad
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Miranda Fitch is a theater professor at a small New England college. Due to chronic pain stemming from the accident that ended her once promising acting career, Miranda isn’t currently functioning at the top of her game.

Doctors and Physical Therapists have been unable to make any progress with her. It all feels like a sick joke; nothing she tries has helped. Therefore, she takes way more painkillers than she probably should.

As we meet Miranda, she is just about at her rock bottom. The Reader gets a glimpse inside her mind, as she tries to direct her students in this year’s production.

Although Miranda is hellbent on All’s Well That Ends Well, her students want to do the Scottish play. Ha! Can you even imagine? Miranda will not let that happen.

The students are relentless. Worse, they’re mutinous and her colleagues, in the faltering Theater Department, are no better. Just when she begins to believe all is lost, Miranda meets three mysterious strangers at her local watering hole who are able to turn the tides of fate. But at what cost?

I really, really enjoyed the first half of this novel. There’s no denying how fantastic the writing is. It’s cutting, funny, socially relevant, dark and quirky.

However, somewhere around 70%, it took a bad turn, from which it never recovered.

There are a lot of elements included that generally work for me. It’s weird, it’s biting, it has a touch of the fantastical, but unfortunately, it just got too confusing. You can have solid weird, without confusing. I just feel like in this case, it missed that mark.

I’m sure there will be a lot of Readers that will get it; I’m just not one of them. During the first half of the story, even when things got a little strange, you could still tell the events that were happening in Miranda’s reality; you could tell she was having interactions with her students, with her colleagues, what were memories, musings, thoughts and wishes.

When it got closer to the end, it changed. I couldn’t tell what was real. I couldn’t tell where Miranda was in time, space, what was happening to her? And it never revealed itself, at least not in my opinion. So, I got to the end and felt like I didn’t have a conclusion.

Theoretically, I understand the ideas behind what was happening, but I just wanted more closure. I was really disappointed with the last 25%. In it way, it made me feel like I had wasted my time. Never a good feeling.

I’m mainly bummed because I expected to enjoy this a lot more than I did. It happens. All’s well, I suppose.

I bumped myrating up from 3-stars to 3.5, based solely on the author’s creativity and quality of writing. The story for me was a solid 3-stars. It was a good story, but not necessarily my cup of tea.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity to share my opinions.

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