I adored Erin Bartels’ first book, We Hope for Better Things. It was gorgeous. As soon as I saw that her second book released, I snatched it up and devoured that one as well. While very different from her first novel, The Words Between Us was also delightful. So when I saw the announcement that her third novel was scheduled to release soon, I jumped at the opportunity to review an advance copy of All That We Carried.

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Firstly, don’t you just love the artwork on this cover?


all that we carried


All That We Carried by Erin Bartels is a novel about two very different sisters who embark on a hiking excursion in an attempt to repair their strained relationship and reconcile past hurts. I appreciated the important questions that arose from their conversations–questions about faith, the existence of a higher power, and what happens after death.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“If someone was in charge of this whole enterprise, why didn’t they just make good stuff happen? Why were there forest fires and car accidents and broken relationships? If there was an all-powerful God, that meant he had the power to do good things all the time–but chose not to. Or perhaps he was completely good and wished good things to happen, but he wasn’t all-powerful.” (p. 260)

“Life was so strange. The way it could go on for one person and end for another. If there was a life force out there, why was it always ebbing and flowing so capriciously? Who chose who got to live and who must die, and by what criteria?” (p. 311)

I admit that it took me a while to get into this book, and while it does raise some good questions regarding the meaning of life, the existence of God, and God’s sovereignty, it wasn’t my favorite work from this author. I look forward to her next one, though!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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