Disclosure: I received a finished copy of All That She Can See from Pansing Books, a regional distributor, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher • contains 356 pages • published January 25, 2018 by Sphere • classified as Magical Realism, Women's Fiction, General Fiction • obtained through Pansing Books • read as paperback • shelve on Goodreads
Feelings are part of life – feelings are life. If you take away what people feel, you take away anything meaningful. Wanting to diminish the evil in this world is a good cause, one I have fought for the majority of my life, but not like this...
Cherry has a hidden talent. She can see things other people can't and she decided a long time ago to use this skill to help others. As far as the rest of the town is concerned she's simply the kind-hearted young woman who runs the local bakery, but in private she uses her gift to add something special to her cakes so that after just one mouthful the townspeople start to feel better about their lives. They don't know why they're drawn to Cherry's bakery – they just know that they're safe there and that's how Cherry likes it. She can help them in secret and no one will ever need to know the truth behind her gift.
And then Chase turns up and threatens to undo all the good Cherry has done. Because it turns out she's not the only one who can see what she sees...
All That She Can See is the kind of whimsical that fills you with warmth and puts a smile on your face. In some ways, it reminded me of the TV show Pushing Daisies because (1) pies! and (2) the main character uses her abilities to for intended good. However, the interpretation of “good” is dependent on the larger impact that Cherry isn’t fully aware of. So yes, if like me, you’re a fan of Pushing Daisies, I do recommend giving All That She Can See a go.
I found the premise quite original in execution. The main character is able to see manifestations of people’s bad feelings. She saw them as monsters that followed their people around. Anger, greed, loneliness, grief, etc. — she could identify them without even speaking to a person.
Over time, she learnt that she could help people diminish their monsters by feeding them with positive emotions. With that, she set out to help other by setting up a bakery. In that regard however, there were a couple of plot holes. For example, her way of helping others is limited in that she can’t help herself. Yet Chase, who has a similar ability, is able to impact himself. That didn’t really add up.
In any case, All That She Can See was such a charming read that the incongruent world building didn’t bother me too much.
Overall, the characters are pretty quirky. That worked really well in All That She Can See, contributing to the whimsical feel of the entire book. Too bad the focus on emotions sometimes overshadows the people themselves, so at times, they do come across as rather two-dimensional.
Despite some of the shortcomings, All That She Can See was an engrossing read that I happily finished within a day.