All That Matters

All That Matters

by Jan Goldstein


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What's the greatest gift that one person can give another?

Jan Goldstein's stunning debut novel, All That Matters, is a deeply moving, endearing tale of a young woman who, with the help of her feisty grandmother, makes a journey from the very brink of death and despair into a full embrace of life.

Jennifer Stempler has nothing left to lose: the love of her life dumped her, her mother died in a senseless car accident five years ago, and her famous Hollywood producer father started a brand-new family—with no room in it for her. So, 23-year-old Jennifer decides to pursue peaceful (permanent) oblivion on the beach near her home in Venice, California, drifting on a lethal combination of Xanax and tequila. But she can't even get that right.

Jennifer's depression is no match for her Nana's determination. Gabby Zuckerman refuses to let her granddaughter self-destruct. With promises made to Jennifer's father and doctors, Gabby whisks Jennifer back to her home in New York City, intending to prove to Jennifer that her life cannot possibly be over yet. In fact, it has just begun. Through jaunts in Central Park to road trips to Maine, Gabby teaches Jennifer how to trust and hope again. And by relating her own tragic and heroic experience during the Nazi occupation of Poland, Gabby bestows upon Jennifer an understanding of her own life's value. But when Gabby reveals a secret—one that proves to be Jennifer's toughest challenge yet—Jennifer struggles to find out whether the gift will sustain her.

Combining the unabashedly heart-warming sentiment of Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County or Nicholas Sparks's Message in a Bottle with the irreverent humor of Jennifer Weiner's In Her Shoes, Goldstein's All That Matters is an inspirational first novel that leads readers to the core of what matters in life—family, hope, and savoring each moment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401301101
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 09/08/2004
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Jan Goldstein is an award-winning poet and playwright and the author of two works of non-fiction. He lives with his wife, Bonnie, and their family in Los Angeles. Find out more about Jan at

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All That Matters 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book presents a sweet, sentimental tale of an elderly woman trying to rescue her granddaughter from the depths of depression. The writing is decent, but nothing spectular. In the beginning, the characters seemed very one-dimensional and stereotypical but toward the end, they were fleshed out better so as to resemble a real person with a full range of emotions. Overall, it was a bit more sappy and cliched than I would like, but it was still a good read (and a fast one, too!).
loubigfish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Innocent and beliveable story. Some humor yet some tragic moments too. Insight to the real world. Nice find and enjoyable read.
Kace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've been reading this book off and on for a week now. It has beautiful prose that I fall in love with, but the story is just not one I'm currently jonesin for at the moment. I'm sure I will continue to enjoy it though.The first 3/4 of the book I was really into. The poetry of the authors voice was awesome. The fact that this was written by a male author left me feeling like a miracle had happened, a guy traipsing through a woman's psyche, like he knew what he was talking about? priceless. Jessica is a twenty something woman who fails in her attempt at suicide. Her Grandmother, Gabby, comes to rescue her, to instill a will to live, and the wisdom to see each day as a gift. Like I said, the book was poetry 3/4 of the way in, the author nailed the angst, but petered out to Hallmark ideology in the last part of the book "the realization" part. I just don't think the voice stayed as true to the characters in their time of angst as in their time of healing and acceptance...still worth a read.favorite quote"To my greatest gift, my granddaughter-Listen for me in your heart,that is where I choose now to live...for that is my heaven.Love Nana"
gluedtothepage More than 1 year ago
I actually found this book in a used bookstore and read it the same night in one sitting. I plan to give 4 copies to people for Christmas. I also think it would be an excellent book for counselors to have copies of for their suicidal/depressed patients. It is a beautiful story of love, and acceptance of life as imperfect yet worth hanging on to!
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Tl44 More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written story that touches you all the way to the core of your soul. The pacing is good. The characters are wonderful. It's a short book, but what it lacks in pages it makes up for in heart. I could not put it down and ended up finishing the same day I started.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read many great non-fiction novels, that I have loved, but this one leaves the reader wanting a more interesting writing style. It seems like the writer's storytelling style is extremely bland. The only drama in the story is in ridiculous scenes 'for example' where Nana and Jennifer are flinging horse crap at each other. Somebody to read who can tell a wonderful story is
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading the other reviews I expected more from this book. While I enjoyed the read, it just didn't capture me. It was a heartfelt story of the love of a grandmother. If you enjoy a short, simple read, this is the book for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been more inspired to live my life after reading this book. She is heart felt and shares so much about her life. Many can relate, and whether you're a woman young or old-- you will enjoy this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a nice heartfelt story. We can't pick our family, so we just have to learn to love them no matter what, flaws and all. Learning about the past and embracing it, can help you deal with things in the present. Life is hard, but if you can find at least one person to have your back, when all is said and done, you can live and feel free. Freedom is wonderful. Everyone should have a copy of this novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The most moving fiction book I have ever read. I will purchase this book for everyone of my 4 adult children and hope they also see the value of family. I thank God for this wonderful opportunity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Simple. That's how I'd describe it in one word. This book is a great story but lacks details. I'd guess it's because this is not quite 200 pages. The story jumped right in to a suicide attempt that jumped right in to recovery. This recovery has got to be the quickest I've seen! Ok, I'm not an expert but this poor girl had some issues and then poof, she's cured. Or so that's what I took away from this. Or maybe she needed another tramatic experience to jolt her to life again. I don't really know, it just seemed a little 'out there.' I did love the 'fight' her and her grandmother had while cleaning the stables/arena. I found this laugh out loud funny! I will read more from this author, I just hope he dives a little deeper.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the few books that spoke volumes in terms of how we all tend to focus on ourselves. Good lessons to be learned by everyone. I started this book at 3:00 in the afternoon and had to finish it the same night. Read won't be sorry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read over 100 books in the course of a year. This is, by far, one of the most touching novels that I have ever read. It moved me in a way that doesn't happen often. Salute this author. She is awesome. Peggy - Norwood, MA
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pure Gold-stein is all I can say about this novel 'All That Matters'. I was so captivated by the mixture and depth of the main characters that when I completed it (In one afternoon)I immediately went on the net to see what else the author had written. I found his personal email at and asked him about his other writings. He told me that his previous books were non-fiction but he is almost finished with his 2nd full novel. I begged him to tell me the story line and he shared with me just a little but it was enough to know that this writer is going to be around for a long long time. Apparently his characters in 'All that Matters' are based loosely on real people. I read another review were it said that Gabby seemed to good to be true but guess what fans..she does exist. Well at least the person she was based on does and Jan told me that every year at Passover they read her story and that is what inspired him to write the book. I am not that big a sentimental person but when it comes to emotion 'All that Matters' mattered a lot more to me than 'The Note Book' which I thought tugged at the heart. Anyway I am off to tell all my friends about this book. God Bless, Angela
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I did not want to put it down. I love it's inspiring message. I went out and bought over 30 copies to give to my friends. I have now found out that some of them are going out to buy it to give to their friends!! This book will stay with you forever..a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A friend gave me this book for my birthday. I put it at my bedside table, thinking I could read myself to sleep. Once I began, I couldn't put it down until I reached the last page. At less than 200 pages, it sure packed an emotional wallop. I loved it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It brought me to tears, but not of sadness , tears of joy. Matthew Solomon
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was impossible to put down. I sat one lazy afternoon on my couch and read this beautiful story cover to cover. It ended with a good cry and a smile! I loved reading about this special bond between grandmother and granddaughter. I loved the fiestiness of the Grandma (Nana). She had so much to teach her granddaughter. A great read overall. I absolutely recommend this book.