“What is in your blood matters, but not as much as what is in your heart.” All The Best People

ALL THE BEST PEOPLE (Berkley) by Sonya Yoerg is a novel I hope every person is privileged to read. It is my second choice for one of the best novels of 2017.

Vermont 1972. ALL THE BEST PEOPLE is about real people facing complex difficulties in their lives. It’s an important novel about a taboo subject, often ignored in our society. It focuses on three generations of women in one family facing mental illness, madness and magic. The novel had me crying several times, and then with the next sentence, laughing aloud. But ultimately, the narrative is about the power of forgiveness, healing and love.

Sonya Yoerg’s prose are melodic, similar to listening to one of Tchaikovsky’s, brilliant symphonies. The melody beings and the tempo quickens, soaring up to crescendo before easing back. The reader, or listener has a moment to be enveloped in this place of perfection before the melody begins, once again.

Carole LaPorte, mother of three and wife to Walt lives a pleasant life. But then, she begins to think her mind is playing games with her. She’s hearing voices, the television is speaking to her and she fears she may be suffering from some form of mental illness. Carole is terrified of being put away in an institution for decades, like her mother, Solange was. She tries to hide the symptoms from her family, by saying she’s tired and anxious and slowly withdraws. But her eleven year-old daughter, Alison knows something is seriously wrong. Alison tries to find meaning in her life, with her grandmother’s mysterious blue magic glass box, tarot cards and spells. Eventually, Carole’s disease is revealed, along with family secrets and soon the entire LaPorte clan is courageously facing this disease together.

“How little it took, sometimes, to smooth the rough currents of worry and fear; a word, a look, a hand. How very little.” All The Best People


Sonya Yoerg grew up in Stowe, Vermont. She earned a Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and published a nonfiction book about animal intelligence, CLEVER AS A FOX (Bloomsbury USA, 2001). She lives with her husband in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Her debut novel, HOUSE BROKEN, was released in January 2015. MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE was released last year. Links to her other writing can be found here.

Thanks to Berkley Books we’re able to giveaway a copy of ALL THE BEST PEOPLE. Just tell us how mental illness has affected you or someone you know. We’ll announce a winner Monday.

This is a wonderful novel for book clubs and I imagine many will be reading and discussing, ALL THE BEST PEOPLE very soon.




18 thoughts on “ALL THE BEST PEOPLE by Sonya Yoerg & GIVEAWAY

  1. My cousin’s husband is bi-polar. They didn’t know he had it until after they were married. My cousin stood by him but also told him that he had to take his medicine if he wanted the family to stay together. There’s some inkling that it has affected their marriage recently. It’s not talked about but we haven’t seen her husband for a few years at family get-togethers. My husband’s cousin was diagnosed schizophrenia when he was about 19 or 20 years old. I think it had affected him and his family deeply. He was a popular student and an athlete and his life frazzled afterwards. He tried to deal with it but after the death of his grandmother (she was worried for him and had him live with her for a few years) and uncle (who was like a dad to him) , he took his life. It’s hard to see the struggles and know how to help but oftentimes, help isn’t wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My son’s college roommate was a victim of Bipolar disorder. He was an amazing young man. Brilliant and had so much going for himself (to those of us looking from the outside). Unfortunately he ended his life. This has forever affected my son. He left behind some great friends, great memories and a wonderful family. I know he is missed by many.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It has hurt or family through more than one female over a period of time. Hopefully, people are starting to understand it is an illness, and can be dealt with.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My ex-brother-in-law was bi-polar and his actions were all over the place. It made things tough for my sister and anybody else when he got in one of moods. The trouble is that he wouldn’t take any medication because he didn’t think any thing was wrong with him even after seeing a doctor.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I know someone with schizophrenia in the family bloodline. They’ve delt with it for two generations. It’s been a roller coaster for them, because one relative will often go off meds and take off. It’s so strange, when they tell stories about it, it sound like a movie!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Me. Postpartum depression after a traumatic c-section with my 2nd born. I could not explain my feelings, but I felt unworthy to be his mother. Today we are clise and he is the light of my eye.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Depression and anxiety all through my family. I believe that is also what is wrong with my husband. He so a dr today, hopefully he will listen to the dr.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There has always been some depression and bi-polar diagnosis in the family. Now two family members are suffering from PTSD. Everyone is affected and at times it is hard for all, because these are circumstances where you can’t just put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have no personal experience. As a society, we all have the challenge of caring for those with mental illness. We need to do a better job of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Luckily nothing in my immediate family but I do know people who suffer from anxiety &depression.Everyone deserves help.


  11. Two years ago, my daughter had a nervous breakdown. She was given ECT treatments and now she has no memory of the last 20 years of her life. She does not even remember the birth of her 2 children. She has been diagnosed with personality disorder. She has been in and out the hospital since, I don’t think she has even been home for a month at a time. Right now she is in the hospital again. So sad and she is having a hard time dealing with this.


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