All the Secrets of the World (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

May 2022

Almond’s first novel (after a bunch of non-fiction and story collections) is just good old-fashioned plot-driven storytelling. Worlds collide when 13-year-old Lorena, daughter of an undocumented immigrant living in Sacramento, gets invited to work on a school project at the home of blonde, wealthy Jenny Stallworth.  Lorena catches the eye of Jenny’s father Marcus, who seems to be struggling with boundary issues.  Then Marcus mysteriously disappears and is thought to have been murdered.  Into this mix Almond tosses a large cast of characters all with secrets of their own: Lorena’s troubled gangster wannabe brother, an ambitious FBI agent, Jack Mormons, corrupt police and a broken criminal justice system. Oh, and Nancy Reagan and her astrologer.-kpr

— From Monthly Bookseller's Choice


"A breathtaking success . . . dazzling." --San Francisco Chronicle

" A] rollicking, wide-ranging, unpredictable novel--part crime story, part coming-of-age, part satire, part deadly serious." --Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer finalist for The Great Believers

Who pays for the secrets we keep? For the lies we tell ourselves?

Lorena Saenz has just been paired with Jenny Stallworth for a school project by a teacher hoping to unite two girls from starkly different backgrounds. Jenny is pretty and popular, and Lorena is quickly drawn into the family's picture-perfect suburban lifestyle. Jenny's mother, Rosemary, is glamorous, but needy--she treats Lorena like a friend, if only to break up the monotony of lonely afternoons. Jenny's father, Marcus, spends his days teaching and his nights wandering the desert, absorbed in his research on the scorpions of Death Valley. Outwardly, they are the perfect family, poised for success in 1981 Sacramento at the dawn of a glorious American decade. Lorena finds her access intoxicating and alluring, a far cry from her life in the small apartment she shares with her single mother.

But the veneer is shattered when Marcus disappears. The prime suspect: Lorena's troubled older brother, Tony.

To uncover the truth, Lorena must embark on an unforgiving odyssey into the desert, into the secrets and lies of the Stallworth family, and the dark heart of America's criminal justice system. A shape-shifting social novel, All the Secrets of the World is a propulsive tour de force from a writer at the height of his powers.

About the Author

Steve Almond is the author of eleven books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His essays and reviews have been published in venues ranging from the New York Times Magazine to Ploughshares to Poets & Writers, and his short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Mysteries, and Best American Erotica. Almond is the recipient of grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. He cohosted the Dear Sugars podcast with his pal Cheryl Strayed for four years, and teaches Creative Writing at the Neiman Fellowship at Harvard and Wesleyan. He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with his family and his anxiety.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781638930686
ISBN-10: 1638930686
Publisher: Zando
Publication Date: March 21st, 2023
Pages: 416
Language: English