Review: All This I Will Give to You by Dolores Redondo

The award-winning international bestseller about the secrets and lies of one man that lead another into a treacherous house of strangers…

When novelist Manuel Ortigosa learns that his husband, Álvaro, has been killed in a car crash, it comes as a devastating shock. It won’t be the last. He’s now arrived in Galicia. It’s where Álvaro died. It’s where the case has already been quickly closed as a tragic accident. It’s also where Álvaro hid his secrets.

The man to whom Manuel was married for fifteen years was not the unassuming man he knew.

Álvaro’s trail leads Manuel deep into one of Spain’s most powerful and guarded families. Behind the walls of their forbidding estate, Manuel is nothing but an unwelcome and dangerous intruder. Then he finds two allies: a stubbornly suspicious police lieutenant and Álvaro’s old friend – and private confessor – from seminary school. Together they’re collecting the pieces of Álvaro’s past, his double life, and his mysterious death.

But in the shadows of nobility and privilege, Manuel is about to unravel a web of corruption and deception that could be as fatal a trap for him as it was for the man he loved.

All That I will Give to You by Dolores Redondo, translated by Michael Meigs. Narrated by Timothy Andrés Pabon. Published by Brillance Audio, September 2018. Unabridged, 18 hours and 10 mins. First published in Spain, November 2016. Triggers: Rape, child abuse, animal abuse.

For the last year, I have been trying to get more diversity on my shelves. In particular, I’ve been trying to find more books by women, LGBT+ authors and or characters, and books from countries other than North America. When I stumbled on this novel one day, when Audible offered it as their Deal of the Day, I was intrigued. I had never read a book from Spain before (in fact, my selection of books in translation is an extremely small set of books. >.> ) and it’s always cool to see more LGBT+ stories out there. I love a good mystery, but family secrets and drama aren’t really my thing… however, this one just sounded too good to pass up.

WOAH. I… really... enjoyed this book. 😮 I found the plot riveting. I was dying to know what kind of secrets the dead husband, and his family, had kept. 18 hours of following a winding crumb trail, uncovering more secrets then answers at every turn. I had so many theories about what could be going on. Lots of red herrings to keep you on your toes. I loved watching the story unfold and finally finding out what had happened. Plenty of shocking twists along the way. And holy crap! That ending. Geez! The whole last hour and a half of the book, my mouth was just hanging open in shock. :O I was really surprised by the end. So crazy! This is a lengthy book, but so worth the time!

All This I Will Give to You is filled with so many emotions. The love, confusion, and grief that Manuel feels for his husband is palpable. Watching Manuel mourn Álvaro, while trying to figure out what happened to him, is painful. You can’t help but want to give Manuel a massive hug. Manuel is not the only character with a lot of feels. All the characters of this book are filled with a torrent of emotion. There is hate, unconditional love, regret, greed, snooty privilege, loneliness, sorrow, fear, anger, disgust, joy, and feelings of being lost or trapped. Basically every kind of emotion out there is in this book. There are moments of happiness, but there is also a lot of sadness.

This book also touches on a lot of sensitive subjects. Homophobia, rape, child abuse and animal abuse. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but I just wanted to put that out there. I know sometimes that can be difficult to read and I like to give out a fair warning about that so people can know in advance. None of it goes in to graphic details or goes on for very long, but still, it can be bothersome for some.

I really enjoyed the characters in this story. There is really a lot of depth in them. You really felt for them and what they were living with. Even the characters that you end up hating (and boy do you hate them by the end of the book!). It deals a lot with how parents effect their children, pressure to always look good or be something you’re not, and the way people treat one another when money and influence is involved. It’s really disgusting thinking there are really aristocrat families out there like this. D:

I really appreciated what the author did with Manuel and the little dog Cafe. Sometimes, when you are having a really difficult time in your life, the one thing that will always lift your spirits is the unconditional love from your pets. The way Cafe makes Manuel feel is lovingly described and shows how much a pet can make your life better. The author goes in to a lot of details about Cafe and all the feelings Manuel has about their relationship that you just don’t see often in a book. I loved the scene towards the end when Cafe had spent the night at someone else’s house, and when Manuel went to pick him up in the morning, Manuel was super worried that the dog didn’t miss him and wouldn’t want to go back home with him. But when his friend opens the door, little Cafe comes running out and jumps in Manuel’s arms, so happy to see him. It was a really beautiful moment in the book.

All That I Will Give You is narrated by Timothy Andrés Pabon. He has a decent performance. Sometimes the characters sound a little bit the same and it can be confusing every now and then on who is talking. Timothy does have different cadence and accents he uses for most of the characters. That does help distinguish the voices a little bit better. He does an excellent job pronouncing names of the characters and of locations though. I would rate him at 4 (out of 5) star performance.

This was a beautiful book. Unpredictable and moving. Deals with heavy topics, but is a must read.

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