It's a funny, sweet and beautifully written novel about a young woman trying to make sense of both her family and her nation's history, which have become more intertwined for her than most people would be able to understand. Olsson makes a wonderful case for dealing with the past and trying to move on, even when it's painful.
With its wry humor and gentle insights into the way we draw away from one another at exactly the wrong time, All the Houses is more than just an illuminating story about the nameless victims of political scandal. It’s a story about how our insecurities encourage us to smother our affections — and a reminder that we’re running out of time to make amends.
When All the Houses turns to flashbacks to the 1980s to reveal...family secrets, it resolves into a smart, gregarious domestic drama. As to the facts of the Iran-Contra affair, Ms. Olsson is happy to let the historians try to figure them out.