#BookReview: All This Time by Tiffani Burnett-Velez #CLPBlogTours

Reviewer: Annie

I received a review copy

All This TimeSummary:

Syrian-American, Lydia Fadoul, has spent a year waiting for her fiance’ to return from war in Iraq, only to discover that he is broken by trauma and the devastating effects of PTSD. Just when he finally agrees to seek help, he takes his own life and leaves behind a story of murder, betrayal, and mystery. In her second, contemporary fiction novel since Budapest, Tiffani Burnett-Velez weaves a fast-paced literary tale about the rumors we believe and the prejudices we create in order to protect our hearts from the truth.


Stunning!  Exhilarating!  Vibrant!  I was privileged to read this book on Memorial Day weekend, and it was quite fitting.

Tiffani Burnett-Velez reaches right in to the core of all of the mangled emotions that stir inside both; the Service Members and the families that await their return, as our US military serves time in battle over in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I read this story with my mouth agape, I bet you will, too.

Lydia Fadoul is laying her Marine (ex..) fiancé, Thomas to rest after he has committed suicide just days after finding out that photographs of him shooting two other Marine’s execution style in Iraq are being released.  The strangeness of this was quite astonishing, not only because the incident had happened one month prior to the revelation of these photographs; but because no one knows who took the photographs, and no one speaking about it.  Thomas did not even have a proper Military funeral.

“All This Time”, is about putting this strangeness factor to rest and getting to the truth.

What an adventure!

Yet, Somehow through all of this mayhem, Lydia pursues all avenues necessary to find out why Thomas shot these two men.  She knew that there was not a simple answer; but, she knew it was not because he went crazy on his second Iraqi Tour.  She was vigilant in her quest for the truth, and I admired her for that.

Lydia is unsafe, and has to be very careful.  Everyone is watching her.  Will she get to the truth before they get to her?

Lydia is one of the strongest heroines I ever read about!  Her father is from Syria and her mother is from an Irish American family.  Yet, it was the Syrian culture that ruled her family…therefore, Lydia, as well.  Once she decided to date Thomas, her family and community banished her completely.  He was American, born and bred.  This was not acceptable by any means.  But, after Thomas’ death, she wants her family back in her life.

I was truly enamored with Tiffani Burnett-Velez’s character and landscape descriptions.  She uses the word, red (and other colors similar, like garnet) so often that I was seeing “red” the entire time I read this story…but, that made it more real.  I had to keep reminding myself that this is a work of fiction.  Seeing red was so appropriate, as I think it put me in the correct mindset for feeling Lydia’s emotions on each page.  I wonder if that was done on purpose?

Wow.  Just.  Wow.  A great story for our times!  One that will make you think long after you close the book.  And, just as close to your heart when you watch the Evening News.

This is a wonderful piece of written work.  “All This Time” has been added to my top list of books I would recommend.  I love that I am discussing this storyline with my husband.  That is how I know this is a book that needs to be read.

5 Stars

Tiffani_Burnett_VelezAuthor Bio:   
Tiffani Burnett-Velez has been a freelance writer since 1996. Her non-fiction work has appeared in Pennsylvania Magazine, Health.com, and Yahoo! News. Her first novel, Budapest (LFP 2007) was featured in the New York Book Festival and the 42nd Annual Conference of Jewish Librarians. Her short fiction has appeared in Toe Good Poetry and other online literary magazines. She is also the author of the bestselling Embers of War Series. She frequently writes about women’s issues and history. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her family.
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  1. May 28, 2015 / 9:06 am

    Thank you, Annie, for this wonderful and thoughtful review. I am so glad that my book touched you! This is the whole reason I write, so thank you, thank you, for taking the time to read it and review.



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