cover image All Good Things: From Paris to Tahiti: Life and Longing

All Good Things: From Paris to Tahiti: Life and Longing

Sarah Turnbull. Gotham, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-592-40868-9

When her French husband decides to accept a job offer in Tahiti, author Turnbull (Almost French) and her husband leave Paris and set up a new home on the island of Mo’orea. While her husband commutes off-island each day to work, Turnbull creates a daily routine—a swim in the lagoon steps from her door. When in the water, she can forget about her own slow-to-take-shape work, a second novel. “Out here the novel that’s going nowhere seems blissfully far away. In this womb of water there is no sense of solitude or emptiness.” A journalist by profession, Turnbull does a splendid job of chronicling her story of leaving behind the city she loves and creating a new life in a vastly different culture. The pair discover scuba diving, they travel and form new friendships. The author also recounts their persistent longing for a child. Following a series of unsuccessful IVF treatments, Turnbull gives up on having any children. Yet, she is persuaded to give IVF treatment one more try, which proves successful. But the couple’s bliss of parenthood is shattered following their son’s serious injury in an accident. Turnbull makes splendid use of her journalistic skills in this entertaining and heartfelt memoir recounting the joys of adventure and family life. (Sept.)