Honestly, We Meant Well
The Wright family is in ruins. Sue Ellen Wright has what she thinks is a close-to-perfect life. A terrific job as a Classics professor, a loving husband, and a son who is just about to safely leave the nest.But then disaster strikes. She learns that her husband is cheating, and that her son has made a complete mess of his life. So, when the opportunity to take her family to a Greek island for a month presents itself, she jumps at the chance. This sunlit Aegean paradise, with its mountains and beaches is, after all, where she first fell in love with both a man and with an ancient culture. Perhaps Sue Ellen’s past will provide the key to her and her family’s salvation.With his signature style of biting wit, hilarious characters, and deep emotion, Grant Ginder’s Honestly, We Meant Well is a funny, brilliant novel proving that with family, drama always comes with comedy.

Honestly, We Meant Well Details

TitleHonestly, We Meant Well
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 11th, 2019
PublisherFlatiron Books
ISBN-139781250143150
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Humor

Honestly, We Meant Well Review

  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Assigned- 4 starsFamily crisis on steroids! Darkly humorous, great location!
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Finished basically in one sitting. I loved it. The dynamics and family drama are brilliantly executed. I highly recommend this book to everyone. The different point of views are spectacular.
  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed reading a novel that takes place on a Greek island, and I rate it a 3.5. The story concerns a classics professor who gets a month long summer job lecturing in Greece where her son and husband join her. I found this book to be both sad and humorous. This could be a great summer read!
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    This book is more than a novel, and I sincerely hope my review can convey the beauty of its prose, the smart nod to dramatic comedy, and the raw realities life throws at us at every turn. Grant Ginder combines the elegance of literature with knowledge of old classics blended smoothly with urban existence. The story is told from four points of view (POV); two majors: Sue Ellen and her son Will, and two minors: Dean, her husband, and Ginny, Dean’s student and Will’s student-peer. We also hear from This book is more than a novel, and I sincerely hope my review can convey the beauty of its prose, the smart nod to dramatic comedy, and the raw realities life throws at us at every turn. Grant Ginder combines the elegance of literature with knowledge of old classics blended smoothly with urban existence. The story is told from four points of view (POV); two majors: Sue Ellen and her son Will, and two minors: Dean, her husband, and Ginny, Dean’s student and Will’s student-peer. We also hear from Eleni, who owns and runs a hotel on the island of Aegina, in Greece.Two highly educated professors at UC Berkeley, in California, with their twenty-two-year-old son, Will; have survived as a family unit to this point where, Sue Ellen Wright and Dean Wright, are on the cusp of becoming empty-nesters. The question now is, will this unit survive the upcoming graduation. In the past month, Sue Ellen, tenured Professor of Classical Studies, respected writer, lecturer, winner of countless awards; has discovered that her husband, Dean has been cheating on her. Within this same time, she’s also learned that her long-ago “love” from her summer in Greece while studying for her thesis, has passed away. These sorrows grew heavier when she realized her son, Will was centimeters away from not graduating given his poor grades and yet-to-be-written thesis, due in mere days. Dean Wright, Professor of Literature at the same university, has written several novels, one of which has become a best-seller, thereby making him famous and popular with his students. It’s also turned him into an even bigger pompous ass than he was previously, thus convincing him the affair he was conducting went with his “author status.” Will has always liked his parents for the most part, as much as any teenager usually does. Now at twenty-two and a senior in college, Will realizes he’s had more than a reasonable amount of independence growing up, and may have made some mistakes he regrets. He’s a little in awe of his father’s writing talent and knows that particular gene skipped him entirely, as he struggles to write his final thesis. In his desperation and time constraint, Will goes looking on his father’s computer for unfinished stories just to get some ideas. He finds what he’s looking for and before you know it, he’s copied almost an entire story and submits it as his own. Dazed, he just thinks to himself, “What did I just do? Did I just do what I thought I did? Shit!” (or words to that effect.)Meanwhile, while Sue Ellen feels her world is coming to an end, her phone rings with an offer to be a guest speaker in Greece this summer, in Athens and on the island of Aegina, discussing Greek history and architecture. She doesn’t hesitate, “YES, I accept. thank you.” Details are worked out later.Dean gets wind of this trip and figures he can make up with Sue Ellen by coming with her on this trip, (which he normally hates) and why not bring Will with them and make it a fun, family adventure. What could go wrong? That’s half the book, but written in a loving, intelligent and snarky way.So, Dean begs, literally, and Sue Ellen agrees. However, right before they leave two more things happen that set the tone for even more revelations to come. Oh, it’s worth every word, which of course I can’t tell you.Ginny Polonsky, the student extraordinaire. She’s Dean’s student and enamored with him, she’s also very bright and a little obsessed. Remember ‘Gilmore Girls?” Think of Paris, Rory’s ‘frenemy’ from her school days. The smart girl, desperate for attention, perfectionist, dated her professor: that’s Ginny. Well, Dean and Ginny have a little fling right before Dean leaves for Greece. Also, Will’s professor wants Ginny to publish Will’s final paper, which he received an A- on, in the school’s final publication for the semester. Ginny might know a little something about that paper, but all she tells Will is that she’s agreed to put it in the paper. Will, is not happy about that news.So, the family takes off for Greece, and they eventually stay at the hotel on Aegina, where Sue Ellen finally meets Eleni, the daughter of Christos, the man she met when she herself was twenty-two, and fell in love but had to return to the U.S. to finish her degree. She’s never been back since that time; Eleni has just inherited the hotel after Christos recent death.This is a big, beautiful story for every one of these complicated characters. They learn and grow, so when they each make their decisions for their futures, they’ll know it’s the best one for them.Highly recommend!!!Thank you NetGalley, Flatiron, and Grant Ginder, you nailed it! Hope we get a Movie!
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  • Tyler Goodson
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly, We Meant Well is about a family trying to pull themselves back together. To do this, the Wrights travel to the Greek island of Aegina, where they try to overcome infidelity, plagiarism, The Past, etc. Set against this ancient backdrop, it's hard not to picture each character as Odysseus, wandering far from home, and struggling to find their way back. But in this version, they each keep having to ask themselves: when is it time to just give up and move on? Ginder writes characters who a Honestly, We Meant Well is about a family trying to pull themselves back together. To do this, the Wrights travel to the Greek island of Aegina, where they try to overcome infidelity, plagiarism, The Past, etc. Set against this ancient backdrop, it's hard not to picture each character as Odysseus, wandering far from home, and struggling to find their way back. But in this version, they each keep having to ask themselves: when is it time to just give up and move on? Ginder writes characters who are simultaneously terrible, hilarious, warm, and (yes) well-meaning, and this novel is a perfect combination: a fun escape that is also serious, insightful, and surprising.
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    Such a great read, at moments laughable and at others sad. I really enjoyed this tale of a family in crisis. Nothing new about the mother learning that the father is a cheat....but, Ginder makes this family incredibly interesting and moves them to a wonderful setting that adds to the specialness of the novel. Sue Ellen and Dean come back from the edge of a divorce after he is caught cheating. Just as their lives are getting back on track, Sue Ellen, a classics professor is invited to lecture in Such a great read, at moments laughable and at others sad. I really enjoyed this tale of a family in crisis. Nothing new about the mother learning that the father is a cheat....but, Ginder makes this family incredibly interesting and moves them to a wonderful setting that adds to the specialness of the novel. Sue Ellen and Dean come back from the edge of a divorce after he is caught cheating. Just as their lives are getting back on track, Sue Ellen, a classics professor is invited to lecture in Greece and elects to return to the island where she had an earlier experience with great, memorable love. Oh, here the pot is stirred when her husband and struggling son decide to join her. Once on the island she becomes acquainted and with her former lovers’ daughter, Eleni. who is trying to hold together the crumbling hotel. As we read the novel, the author combines the various voices of his cast of players. The final ingredient is Ginny Polansky a student of Dean and Sue Ellen who comes to this island of tranquility and hope but hysterically brings the plot to a climax. I truly enjoyed this novel, can’t wait to discuss it in seminar and reading groups. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review this interesting and original novel.
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  • Donna Davis
    January 1, 1970
    “All art is appropriation.”Sue Ellen Wright is a professor of Greek classics; she’s headed for Greece to deliver lectures and reminisce about the experiences of her youth. At the last minute, her philandering husband Dean and the couple’s lovesick son Will decide to tag along. Grant Ginder has made a career of writing hilarious prose about disastrous families, and Honestly, We Meant Well made me laugh out loud more than once. Thanks go to Net Galley and Flatiron Books for the review copy. This b “All art is appropriation.”Sue Ellen Wright is a professor of Greek classics; she’s headed for Greece to deliver lectures and reminisce about the experiences of her youth. At the last minute, her philandering husband Dean and the couple’s lovesick son Will decide to tag along. Grant Ginder has made a career of writing hilarious prose about disastrous families, and Honestly, We Meant Well made me laugh out loud more than once. Thanks go to Net Galley and Flatiron Books for the review copy. This book is for sale now. The book opens as Sue Ellen is conferring with a freshman who’s come to her office to challenge his midterm exam score: “’I’m pretty sure I got this one right.’ “Connor points to a picture on his midterm…it’s an artifact that he was meant to identify.“’That’s not a bong, Connor. That’s a Corinthian urn from the fifth century B.C.E…’“But can’t you see how it could have been a bong?’“’No,’ Sue Ellen says, ‘Actually, I can’t.'”Teachers, are you experiencing flashbacks here? And those of you that aren’t teachers can appreciate that Sue Ellen needs a break, one that takes her as far away as possible. Her bags are packed. Dean is a professor as well, and he’s a celebrated one. As the writer of a bestselling novel, The Light of Our Shadows, he is permitted to cherry-pick which students may enroll in his seminars. He knows he ought not to have sex with any of them, but they’re so insistent; and why shouldn’t they be? He’s a genius. At the moment, though, he’s a genius with writer’s block, and he thinks a Grecian holiday might just be what he needs; it will strengthen his marriage and get his creative juices flowing as well. Will is a student, but who can chart a course, academic or otherwise, when his heart has been shattered? His boyfriend broke up with him and has instantly turned up on Instagram with kissy-face photos of himself with his new squeeze. It’s humiliating. It’s horrifying. Worse: everyone is liking those photos. Meanwhile, he has committed an unforgivable academic sin, one he’s desperate to keep his parents from learning. Ginny Polonsky works at the university, and she knows where the bodies are buried. Readers know what Ginny knows—well, most of it anyway—and as the family unknits itself and copes with one unforeseen event after another, we are waiting for Ginny’s other shoe to drop on them. It’s immensely satisfying when it does. There’s not a lot of character development here, but not much is needed. I believe each of these characters, which are written with admirable consistency. The prose is tight and the resolution surprises me. I would read this author again in a heartbeat. The Wrights are Caucasian and middle class, and this is the demographic most likely to enjoy this book. It’s just the thing to toss into your suitcase or carry on when you’re headed on a trip of your own.
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  • Brittany Petersen (thecontinuingchronicles)
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 3.5/5Thank you so much to Flatiron for sending me an ARC of this book!This story, at its foundation, is about family. A small family full of flawed individuals who have gone to an island off of Greece's mainland to escape the problems they have been facing back home.But on a deeper level, it is also about new beginnings. It is about respecting history but being brave to forge your own path in the present. And honestly, I truly enjoyed this! The Characters Sue Ellen - A Classicists Profe Rating: 3.5/5Thank you so much to Flatiron for sending me an ARC of this book!This story, at its foundation, is about family. A small family full of flawed individuals who have gone to an island off of Greece's mainland to escape the problems they have been facing back home.But on a deeper level, it is also about new beginnings. It is about respecting history but being brave to forge your own path in the present. And honestly, I truly enjoyed this! The Characters Sue Ellen - A Classicists Professor at Berkeley, she is asked to visit Athens so that she can give a lecture to a bunch of geriatric cruise-ship guests. She accepts the offer, longing to be back in the place that holds a history for her...a place where she once knew someone very special. Dean - Sue's husband. Successful author and philanderer. After he is caught having an affair, he has spent the last several months trying to repair his marriage. He thinks accompanying Sue Ellen to Greece will be just what they need, but unfortunately, his indiscretions seem to follow-him…literally. Will - Sue and Dean's son. He is struggling with the recent breakup from his boyfriend. On top of that, he is weighed down by the knowledge that he has essentially plagiarized one if his dad's old pieces of unpublished work for his thesis thinking no one would ever know. Now it is getting published…Eleni - Reluctant innkeeper. She runs the Alectrona, a small Inn on Aegina that was left to her after her Dad died. Desperate to get back to Athens, she is selling the Inn and will lodge only one more family...the Wrights. But perhaps she will learn more about herself and her dad from this family of quirky characters. Ginny - I won’t give too much away about Ginny since her part was ultimately small and it would be a minor spoiler. But….she’s insane. And that is about all you really need to know. Perhaps what stands out the most, were the characters. I “enjoyed” each character individually as they were each distinguished with their own personalities, quirks, history, and flaws. Why is the word “enjoyed” in quotation marks? Because most of these characters were also highly unlikeable. Dean, for obvious reasons, is a scoundrel who has made several mistakes as a parent and as a husband, and who is only concerned for his own personal well-being.Will is also fairly self-centered, focusing more on running away from his problems then facing them head on.Ginny, well…she is crazy. Again, that is really all you need to know. In all honesty, I found Sue Ellen and Eleni the only truly redeemable characters in this story. But having likeable characters was not the point and they needn’t be likeable to enjoy the dynamic these characters had with one another. This story was also very atmospheric. Set again the backdrop of Greece, the vivid setting is almost a character in itself and has truly sparked in me an interest to visit that part of the world. Gripes Perhaps my only truly Gripe is the disproportionate amount of time that certain characters received, or the lack of closure that seemed to encounter each of their story lines.For example, Eleni. I enjoyed her character but she was actually given a very small role throughout the story and ultimately felt like she was just being included as a device to further the plot. I would have liked to see more of her and learn more about when happens with her at the end.Or then there is Will, who, on the opposite end of the spectrum, really did not have a particularly important role in this story. There were often times we would get to his portions and I would wonder what the point was? Especially since his entire story line basically revolved around his recent break-up and then a fling he had while in Greece….one that basically went nowhere and was entirely anti-climactic. Overall this was truly an enjoyable, fun, light-hearted adult- contemporary. And I am excited for more people to read it!As a small side note: Since I did receive an ARC I found several spelling and grammatical errors throughout the book. Hopefully more proofing is done before it is published!
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  • Manon Misheck
    January 1, 1970
    So many people try to put up a front for their family - that they have everything put together. I loved that this novel dove into the lives of a family who thought they had everything put together until recently. The backdrop of a beautiful Greek island is the perfect setting, but that's about the only thing that is going well for this family. This book felt so relatable because it went in depth on the issues this family is facing - and brought it to the reader with a humorous twist! This book w So many people try to put up a front for their family - that they have everything put together. I loved that this novel dove into the lives of a family who thought they had everything put together until recently. The backdrop of a beautiful Greek island is the perfect setting, but that's about the only thing that is going well for this family. This book felt so relatable because it went in depth on the issues this family is facing - and brought it to the reader with a humorous twist! This book was truly enjoyable and I appreciate Netgalley and Flatiron Books for giving me the opportunity to early review it!
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    HONESTLY, WE MEANT WELL is written from five different perspectives (though one is little and only toward the latter half). A wife/mother/professor Sue Ellen, a husband/father/one-time author/cheater Dean, their gay son Will recently single and searching for the next step in his life as college ends, the daughter (Eleni) of the man Sue Ellen fell in love with over a summer together/a young woman struggling with whether or not to sell the hotel in Greece she'd inherited from her father, and the s HONESTLY, WE MEANT WELL is written from five different perspectives (though one is little and only toward the latter half). A wife/mother/professor Sue Ellen, a husband/father/one-time author/cheater Dean, their gay son Will recently single and searching for the next step in his life as college ends, the daughter (Eleni) of the man Sue Ellen fell in love with over a summer together/a young woman struggling with whether or not to sell the hotel in Greece she'd inherited from her father, and the student Ginny who slept with Dean and now refuses to leave him alone. Their trip to Greece where Sue Ellen is to give a lecture on a cruise ship creates a fundamental shift in each of their lives. Old comforts and familiarities in life, that were perhaps not so, come to an end. While new paths redirect each of them. Sometimes it's simply time to see you've had a decent run, to not forget the good times before everything went kaput, and to take that leap and dive into life anew. Mr. Ginder's writing is very pleasant, humorous, and thought-provoking as he digs into each characters unique personalities. He's definitely and author I'll have to keep an eye out for new reads.My copy was an arc from Flatiron Books.
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  • Judi
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book I've read by Grant Ginder. It was very entertaining and I hope to read "The People We Love to Hate at the Wedding" soon.The book makes us privy to the lives of Sue Ellen Wright, a classics professor, her philandering husband Dean and their college age son Will. The family is heading to the Greek island Aegina where Sue Ellen will provide a presentation for travelers on a Golden Age Adventure. Each of these characters is examining their past, working through the present and This is the first book I've read by Grant Ginder. It was very entertaining and I hope to read "The People We Love to Hate at the Wedding" soon.The book makes us privy to the lives of Sue Ellen Wright, a classics professor, her philandering husband Dean and their college age son Will. The family is heading to the Greek island Aegina where Sue Ellen will provide a presentation for travelers on a Golden Age Adventure. Each of these characters is examining their past, working through the present and contemplating their future. Sue Ellen is working through memories of her first visit to the island and wondering what her future will bring. Dean has been unfaithful and is trying to mend the marriage. Will is in danger of being accused of plagiarism. The book is sad and comic. All in all it was a fun read and I looked forward to settling down with it every night!
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  • MelissaMarie_gg
    January 1, 1970
    I recieved an arc of this book, and I have to say it was an easy read. It is written through 5 character perspectives which I found a bit much. I feel the book would have been better if the son Will's character was axed all together it felt like a filler story to me. Just a way to add length to the storyline. It had a good curve ball towards the end but this one just wasnt for me even the parts about Greece didn't excite me and that is what I looked forward to the most. Cheating husband narrativ I recieved an arc of this book, and I have to say it was an easy read. It is written through 5 character perspectives which I found a bit much. I feel the book would have been better if the son Will's character was axed all together it felt like a filler story to me. Just a way to add length to the storyline. It had a good curve ball towards the end but this one just wasnt for me even the parts about Greece didn't excite me and that is what I looked forward to the most. Cheating husband narrative has been done a million times.
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  • Athena Rupas
    January 1, 1970
    Grant Ginder's "Honestly, We Meant Well" is funny, filled with biting wit, hilarious characters and deep emotion. It's an amazing novel about a family that's falling apart rather hilariously so. The plot is beautifully written and the characters are all well developed. Definitely the type of writing one has come to expect from Ginder. His descriptions of the atmosphere and scenery make you feel like you're right there in Greece with the characters. This family is a trainwreck but you can't help Grant Ginder's "Honestly, We Meant Well" is funny, filled with biting wit, hilarious characters and deep emotion. It's an amazing novel about a family that's falling apart rather hilariously so. The plot is beautifully written and the characters are all well developed. Definitely the type of writing one has come to expect from Ginder. His descriptions of the atmosphere and scenery make you feel like you're right there in Greece with the characters. This family is a trainwreck but you can't help but root for them from the beginning! This is a must read!“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    I adored this book. Interesting characters and quippy dialogue are enough to pull me into a story, and Grant Grinder hit the mark on both. I loved how he wove the story together, alternating between the viewpoints of Sue Ellen, the classics professor; her husband, Dean; son, Will; and Eleni and Ginny (whose connections I won’t mention to avoid spoilers). I will be recommending this to anyone asking for an excellent beach read this summer.
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  • Amanda Hash
    January 1, 1970
    I could have finished this in one sitting if life didn't get in the way. This was an addictive read. Often funny, sometimes sad, always genuine. Alternating viewpoints kept the story moving at a quick pace, and the drama that unfolded kept me glued to the pages like I was watching a stereotypical Jerry Springer episode. The most unexpected part was getting real glimpses of the history/highlights of Greece along the way. I found myself Googling historic landmarks, customs, and (especially) drinks I could have finished this in one sitting if life didn't get in the way. This was an addictive read. Often funny, sometimes sad, always genuine. Alternating viewpoints kept the story moving at a quick pace, and the drama that unfolded kept me glued to the pages like I was watching a stereotypical Jerry Springer episode. The most unexpected part was getting real glimpses of the history/highlights of Greece along the way. I found myself Googling historic landmarks, customs, and (especially) drinks. I felt like I was reading a really interesting memoir instead of a work of fiction -- I had to keep reminding myself that these people weren't real. Ginder did a remarkable job crafting unique characters that were very human-- just when I wanted to hate one, they showed true compassion or regret and I found myself feeling sorry for them instead. A highly entertaining read!
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  • Jessica Packard
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Flatiron Books for sending an ARC so I could go on vacation with the Wright family! I loved how each chapter is from a different characters perspective. Ginder does a beautiful job of weaving each storyline together.
  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    Like the ancient history of Greece, this book should not be glossed over! Supporting the well developed characters and plot is the beautifully crafted writing we've come to expect from Grant Ginder. He once again allows us to empathize, laugh, and cry with his characters - while soaking up the atmosphere and nearly photographic descriptions of Greece. Not merely a "summer read", but a witty and intelligently written novel.
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    Once I read the description of this book, I knew I had to read this one. I was not disappointed. This story takes some twists and turns that I was not expecting as it shifts perspectives from the points of view of four characters, three of whom are related. There are so many scenes that will resonate with anyone who has a spouse or a child or has made a mistake that I think there will be wide appeal to this novel.It's tough to say who is the main character of this book, unless it's the island of Once I read the description of this book, I knew I had to read this one. I was not disappointed. This story takes some twists and turns that I was not expecting as it shifts perspectives from the points of view of four characters, three of whom are related. There are so many scenes that will resonate with anyone who has a spouse or a child or has made a mistake that I think there will be wide appeal to this novel.It's tough to say who is the main character of this book, unless it's the island of Aegina where much of the action takes place. Meeting Classics Professor Sue Ellen, her well-known author husband Dean and their newly graduated from college son Will, you quickly learn that everyone has kept secrets from each other. When these secrets are revealed, that's when things get dicey. Even Eleni, the innkeeper of the tiny hotel where they're staying, learns secrets about her own family from these strangers!This book will be published on June 11, 2019 and I look forward to putting this book into the hands of library patrons who are looking for a fun yet thoughtful summer read.
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  • Veronica (OnWednesdaysWeRead_)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, @jamiereadsbooks and Flat Iron for the giveaway opportunity for an ARC of ‘Honestly, We Meant Well.’ The moment it arrived, I started reading and I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. 🙈 Opinions are all my own! This book has a little bit of everything for every reader. We have: family drama, Greece setting, humor, beautiful writing, and multiple POVs. This is definitely a great book to read during the summer whilst sitting by the pool or at the beach, or if you’re really lucky, IN GREECE 😭🙌🏼 Thank you, @jamiereadsbooks and Flat Iron for the giveaway opportunity for an ARC of ‘Honestly, We Meant Well.’ The moment it arrived, I started reading and I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. 🙈 Opinions are all my own! This book has a little bit of everything for every reader. We have: family drama, Greece setting, humor, beautiful writing, and multiple POVs. This is definitely a great book to read during the summer whilst sitting by the pool or at the beach, or if you’re really lucky, IN GREECE 😭🙌🏼 Greece has always been at the very top of my bucket list. I am hoping to visit within the next few years. My grandmother on my mother’s side was Greek and I yearn to visit some day.
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  • Rachel Watkins
    January 1, 1970
    Sue Ellen has found herself in the prime of her life with everything in ruins: a cheating husband and a son who is floundering. When offered a work trip to Greece, she brings the whole family, hoping for resolution. The Wright family is a train wreck and it's a delight to root for them. This is a great vacation read!
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  • Lexi
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you To NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the Advanced Copy in exchange for an honest review! Honestly, We Meant Well follows the lives of a family and their struggles. Sue Ellen is a Classics professor who is trying to put back together her marriage and family. Her husband, Dean, is an author and has let fame get to his head and ends up cheating on Sue Ellen. Their Son Will, has just graduated college and is looking for a career, which he fails at. Will is struggling with recently being dum Thank you To NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the Advanced Copy in exchange for an honest review! Honestly, We Meant Well follows the lives of a family and their struggles. Sue Ellen is a Classics professor who is trying to put back together her marriage and family. Her husband, Dean, is an author and has let fame get to his head and ends up cheating on Sue Ellen. Their Son Will, has just graduated college and is looking for a career, which he fails at. Will is struggling with recently being dumped, having no job, and living in his fathers shadow who he admires greatly. Sue Ellen gets offered to present in Greece for Golden Adventure Cruise and has an opportunity to stay in Greece for a whole month. She jumps at the opportunity to return, where she stays at the hotel where she first fell in love with a greek man, and fell in love with Greek culture. Dean, wanting to repair their marriage, says that he and Will want to tag along in hopes to rebuild their family and relationship. If you are in need of a summer read look no further! Grant Ginder has managed to transport his readers to Greece right along with his characters. I love nothing more than vacation reads! I fell in love with Sue Ellen and the story of her first love Christos. We also get to know Christos daughter Eleni who runs the Alectora Inn. This story touches on first loves, marriage, betrayal, adolescence, history, greek culture, greek legends, dysfunctional families and loss. With all these themes though the book still manages to have a light feel to it! I would have given this book five stars but I felt myself at times kind of straying from the pages due to the lengthy descriptions of greek history. I did however really enjoy the different points of view for each character! If it's not already, this should be on your summer reading list!
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Flatiron books for allowing me to win an Advanced Copy of this through Goodreads Giveaways, all opinions are my own and left voluntarily.This was my first Grant Ginder book and will not be my last. I love the alternating chapters between the main characters. The way the story pieced together was fantastic, I loved reading a chapter and certain pieces clicked and fell into place. Every character was relatable to some degree and you really empathized with all of them (well most), its Thank you to Flatiron books for allowing me to win an Advanced Copy of this through Goodreads Giveaways, all opinions are my own and left voluntarily.This was my first Grant Ginder book and will not be my last. I love the alternating chapters between the main characters. The way the story pieced together was fantastic, I loved reading a chapter and certain pieces clicked and fell into place. Every character was relatable to some degree and you really empathized with all of them (well most), its a story about family, love, growing older, secrets and how they affect each person within the family.Sue Ellen, her husband Dean and their son Will embark on a trip to Greece after Sue Ellen is invited to speak to a group of elders getting ready to embark on a cruise. Dean comes along in hopes to repair the marriage he has dishonored by cheating. Will he be able to rekindle the flame and save his marriage? I loved how this story played out.The Greece setting for this story has me wanting to book a plane ticket tomorrow!
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  • Michelle Bell
    January 1, 1970
    Five Stars for HONESTLY, WE MEANT WELL, by Grant Ginder, who is now one of my very favorite contemporary writers. Tucked into a world of academia, ( Berkeley!), Ginder gives us a close up and personal view to a family unraveling.... in Greece. Having just finished reading THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING, also by Ginder, I knew I was in for a treat. I was not disappointed. I was fortunate to read this fabulous book in a city neighborhood, in which I discovered a Greek restaurant right down the Five Stars for HONESTLY, WE MEANT WELL, by Grant Ginder, who is now one of my very favorite contemporary writers. Tucked into a world of academia, ( Berkeley!), Ginder gives us a close up and personal view to a family unraveling.... in Greece. Having just finished reading THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING, also by Ginder, I knew I was in for a treat. I was not disappointed. I was fortunate to read this fabulous book in a city neighborhood, in which I discovered a Greek restaurant right down the street - if I hadn't, I might have had to immediately hop on a plane to Greece; so beautifully did Ginder paint a picture of this ancient land. Ginder is witty, hilarious, actually: but it is his depth of compassion and true understanding of family relationships, the hidden frailty of a long marriage....and growing, um, oldish, which is the true literary gem. I will read everything Grant Ginder writes, and I don't always say that about every fab author I happen to stumble upon. Truly. I am besotted. Go read this book.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    I very much enjoyed Honestly, We Meant Well, by Grant Ginder.  It is light, realistic, well-written, and comical, a literary novel that can double as a beach read.  Ginder is a master of fast scenes and witty dialogue in this adroit portrayal of a  family vacation in Greece.  When Sue Ellen, a classicist, accepts a gig lecturing in Greece, she isn’t entirely happy that the family is accompanying her.  She’s annoyed with her philandering husband and grieving  the death of Christos, a former lover I very much enjoyed Honestly, We Meant Well, by Grant Ginder.  It is light, realistic, well-written, and comical, a literary novel that can double as a beach read.  Ginder is a master of fast scenes and witty dialogue in this adroit portrayal of a  family vacation in Greece.  When Sue Ellen, a classicist, accepts a gig lecturing in Greece, she isn’t entirely happy that the family is accompanying her.  She’s annoyed with her philandering husband and grieving  the death of Christos, a former lover who ran the inn where they’re staying.  Her husband, Dean a writer and creative writing professor, is worried about his next novel and, unbeknownst to her, is cheating on her again.   Their  son, Will, is in agony over a breakup with his boyfriend and has also plagiarized a short story. Then there’s  Eleni,  Christos’ daughter, about to sell the inn.  The novel is also a  kind of guide to Greece.  Delphi, Athens, Aegina…  Great fun.
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  • Sherrie Howey
    January 1, 1970
    Sue Ellen is a classics professor and her husband Drew, is a well known author. Their only son Will has recently graduated from college with no job prospects and his boyfriend has just broken up with him.I just finished this book while vacationing in Greece so I had a deep appreciation for the setting of the book. The depictions of Greece by the author are wonderful and the reader feels as though they are there. While the Wright family is small( mother, father and son), there is no shortage of f Sue Ellen is a classics professor and her husband Drew, is a well known author. Their only son Will has recently graduated from college with no job prospects and his boyfriend has just broken up with him.I just finished this book while vacationing in Greece so I had a deep appreciation for the setting of the book. The depictions of Greece by the author are wonderful and the reader feels as though they are there. While the Wright family is small( mother, father and son), there is no shortage of family drama. There’s infidelity, plagiarism and many lies affecting this family in ruins.The book is very well written and engaging and sure to be a hit when it is released later this month.
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  • Cassidy
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not that interested in Greek history/mythology, so this book wasn’t my favourite. There’s also the fact that the husband Dean, is an absolute narcissist and piece of garbage!!!!!!!! Sue Ellen was a little boring and should have left his ass the first time he cheated. Will was annoying and dumb, you’re 22 obviously you don’t have it all figured out so CALM DOWN. I actually liked Ginny, she’s the only one who was honest and accountable for herself! If you want an unlikeable dysfunctional famil I’m not that interested in Greek history/mythology, so this book wasn’t my favourite. There’s also the fact that the husband Dean, is an absolute narcissist and piece of garbage!!!!!!!! Sue Ellen was a little boring and should have left his ass the first time he cheated. Will was annoying and dumb, you’re 22 obviously you don’t have it all figured out so CALM DOWN. I actually liked Ginny, she’s the only one who was honest and accountable for herself! If you want an unlikeable dysfunctional family drama with a thousand Greek references, this book’s for you.
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  • Sheila
    January 1, 1970
    Grant Grinder certainly knows how to dish out family drama! Set in Greece, I found myself “googling” different terms, places, and monuments. It was a fun learning experience for me. Although I spent a lot of time trying to make sense of the geography, I did enjoy this fun,drama-filled, family novel. Thank you goodreads for the ARC win !
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  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    It took me a bit to get into this book. I read all the five star reviews but I just couldn't get there. It was interesting. About a woman, Sue Ellen, living in the past while also dealing with her husband,Deans, adultery. Dean is a writer. He looks up to his wife and feels unworthy of her. Will is their son. He is gay, recently graduated from college and trying to find himself. Sue Ellen has planned a business trip to Greece and the family has decided to join her. She is hoping this will help pu It took me a bit to get into this book. I read all the five star reviews but I just couldn't get there. It was interesting. About a woman, Sue Ellen, living in the past while also dealing with her husband,Deans, adultery. Dean is a writer. He looks up to his wife and feels unworthy of her. Will is their son. He is gay, recently graduated from college and trying to find himself. Sue Ellen has planned a business trip to Greece and the family has decided to join her. She is hoping this will help put her family back together. I did read it through but this just wasn't my cup of tea.
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  • Connie
    January 1, 1970
    If you’re looking for a good beach read, this is it! I received this from Goodreads as a ARC. It’s serious in parts and also very humorous in places. Sue Wright finds out her husband has cheated and her son, Will’s life isn’t what she thought either. She’s given an opportunity to go to a Greek Island for a month and decides that’s what they need. Will it bring her and Dean closer, or give her the answers she needs about her family’s future? I don’t want to give anymore away, so please get this a If you’re looking for a good beach read, this is it! I received this from Goodreads as a ARC. It’s serious in parts and also very humorous in places. Sue Wright finds out her husband has cheated and her son, Will’s life isn’t what she thought either. She’s given an opportunity to go to a Greek Island for a month and decides that’s what they need. Will it bring her and Dean closer, or give her the answers she needs about her family’s future? I don’t want to give anymore away, so please get this and add it to your tbr summer reading list! It’s due out June 2019.
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  • Ali Hinchcliffe
    January 1, 1970
    Finished in one sitting! For fans of family dramas & complicated, realistic characters. Overall a fun, fast summer read that will make you want to book a one-way ticket to Greece
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