The author, Jeanneatte Haien, published this book, her first, in her mid-60s, in 1986. She was a pianist and a music teacher for her entire career. This book won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction in 1987, but apparently was not widely read and quietly went out of print. Many years later, on vacation Ann Patchett just happened to visit a very tiny used bookstore with a friend in the summer of 2010. They were walking out empty handed when her friend went bonkers over a battered paperback she found in a box of books just by the door. The book was The All of It. Her friend urged her to read it. Ann Patchett said, "I have a habit of listening to my friends," and even though the book was so mildewed that it made her sneeze, she was immediately enthralled. In the new introduction, Patchett said, "One of the many things that makes The All of It so remarkable…is its calculated construction…I had the sensation of not wanting to put the book down for fear of disrupting her narrative."
Patchett was so excited about the book that she approached the publishers to reprint this gem and offered to write an introduction. This is the book I found, re-published in 2011, in Book People in Austin this summer. So, like Ann Patchett, trust me on this one. Read The All of It.