Here in Nashville, we had a lot of opinions about Anthony Bourdain’s visit (rest in peace) when he came to town. Same with the hit TV show “Nashville.”

Photo from Nash Country Daily

Mostly we loved being in the limelight! But you also heard whispers and complaints. Minor and major grousing. The chatter was half the fun! 

Next-up: a big-time novel set in Nashville by a big-time, New York Times-bestselling author, Emily Giffin. All We Ever Wanted will be released June 26th, with a launch party a few days earlier at Cheekwood (Saturday, June 23rd). I was lucky enough to read an early copy, and it promises more delicious – and heated – conversation. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

You’ll recognize all the places in the novel, set largely in Belle Meade, East Nashville, and a school called “Windsor Academy” in West Nashville that sounds suspiciously familiar. You’ll go to 404 Kitchen. A Luke Bryan concert. Urban Outfitters in the Gulch. Some bad things go down on Belle Meade Boulevard and Lynwood.

A senior at “Windsor Academy” takes a photo of a sophomore in a compromised position. She’s drunk, and he is too. What if she has a crush on him and wants to minimize what happened? She REALLY doesn’t want her father making everything worse by making such a big deal of it. The young man’s Princeton admission is on the line. What if things aren’t exactly as they seem? A jealous girlfriend might be involved. This is all sounding very YA – in a good way – but this novel is as much about the parents as the kids. How far will we as parents go to protect our children? What are the lessons we’ve taught that we didn’t mean to teach? Things aren’t black and white in this novel – until they are.

“This is the first time I’ve written specifically about money, privilege, and entitlement,” Giffin told Us Weekly. “It is also the first time I’ve written from three different viewpoints and given that I’m a married mother, I was surprised to discover that in many ways, I connected most deeply with a single father.”

Giffin is the author of eight internationally bestselling novels: Something Borrowed, Something Blue; Baby Proof; Love the One You’re With; Heart of the Matter; Where We Belong; The One & Only; and First Comes Love. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and three children.

The Bacon verdict: I loved it! It’s provocative. Suspenseful. It presents several ethical dilemmas in the context of believable relationships. You care about the (flawed, but trying their best) characters. Perhaps there’s one character you hate. This novel may have been written with a female audience in mind, but anyone living in Nashville will find it fascinating. I think the rest of you may, too.

Interested in an early copy? Along with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and a Garden Party at Cheekwood?

Here are the details, from the sponsor… (Click here for more info and to purchase a ticket for the Garden Party on Saturday, June 23rd)…

Gather your girlfriends and spend the afternoon with #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin – and get her new novel, ALL WE EVER WANTED, 3 days in advance of publication! Be one of the first readers of one of the hottest books of the summer and spend the afternoon with your friends enjoying wine, sweet tea & lemonade and lite bites. You’ll hear Emily in conversation talking about her life and career, and she’ll answer your questions (including her thoughts about England’s Royal family!). You’ll also have a professional, social-sharing ready photo taken with Emily IF you’d like! There will be a talk on tips & trends in make-up by Woo Cosmetics, shopping at the online resort marketplace Dear Keaton’s pop-up shop, raffle prizes from CROSBY by Mollie Burch, Dear Keaton, Woo Cosmetics, Mario Badescu, Random House and a ticket ($20 value) to tour the gardens and galleries of Cheekwood Estate & Gardens.

In addition to your signed copy of ALL WE EVER WANTED before it goes on sale, guests will receive a special Random House canvas tote bag which includes two of Emily’s favorite reads, chic readers from Drew Barrymore’s FLOWER Eyewear collection, a beautiful pocket notebook from Rifle Paper Co., an exclusive 20% discount card (one-time use) from Draper James, plus samples from Woo Cosmetics and Mario Badescu Skincare.

Set in Nashville, ALL WE EVER WANTED is already promising to be one of THE reads of summer: see Emily before she is on the Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee on Tuesday, June 25. Early reviews are fantastic – PopSugar calls it “the book everyone will be talking about this summer.” Good Morning America included ALL WE EVER WANTED in its list of Best Books to bring to the Beach This Summer & Entertainment Weekly has posted an exclusive excerpt.

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is the ideal location to spend an afternoon immersed in book culture and beauty. You’ll hear Emily discuss her timeliest novel to date; have time to explore Cheekwood’s art collection and 12 unique garden settings; and enjoy a reception with Emily and other readers following her conversation.

4:00pm Doors open
4:30pm A Conversation with Emily Giffin and Q&A
5:30pm Photo Opportunity, Activities, Snacks & Refreshments
7:00pm Event ends

*Cheekwood Estate and Garden is available to tour beginning at 9:00am

What’s included in Emily Giffin’s Garden Party (a $150+ value):

  • signed copy of ALL WE EVER WANTED (3 days before publication!)
  • Conversation and Q&A with Emily Giffin
  • professional & social media sharing ready photo with Emily
  • Dear Keaton pop-up shop
  • wine, sweet tea, lemonade, and hors d’oeuvres
  • a Random House canvas tote bag
  • cosmetic sample from Woo Cosmetics
  • skincare sample from Mario Badescu
  • chic readers from Flower Eyewear by Drew Barrymore
  • a beautiful pocket notebook from Rifle Paper Co.
  • an exclusive 20% off discount card from Draper James (one-time use)
  • TWO of Emily’s own favorite reads
  • raffle prizes from CROSBY by Mollie Burch, Dear Keaton, Draper James, Maria Badescu, Woo Cosmetics, Random House
  • access to Cheekwood Estate’s gardens & galleries


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