Book cover of "All We Lack" - Sandra MoranA look at the impact our decisions have on our own lives and the lives of others.

Sandra Moran writes “interesting” books. This is her fourth, and while there are some recurring themes, they are all completely different. They have a lesbian element. They explore our place in the world and our perceptions of the world around us. But ultimately, all of Moran’s books are unexpected, whether from the twist in the tale, the concept, or the point of view.

All We Lack” is a story of journeys. Four main characters and a series of bit players take bus trips to Boston via New York. Each person is on an expedition to find something they are lacking – in themselves and in the world they inhabit.

Maggie seeks a wholeness she both yearns for and disdains. She threw away one chance for a lifemate and is determined to try for a second chance, despite her ongoing fear of living a “real” life.

Bug needs a home, security, care, and compassion. He’s a little boy who nobody wants, he seeks nothing more than the feeling of belonging. The barest of kindnesses is enough to fill him with warmth.

Helen searches for a life with more excitement than the boredom of being married to a controlling man she despises. She gives up everything for the chance of happiness with a gorgeous doctor she met on the Internet.

Jimmy is the archetypal loser. Fat, frumpy, boring, and a misfit, he has spent his whole life making bad decisions he can blame on a crummy childhood. He longs to be the man he could have been but hasn’t yet accepted that the choice is ultimately his.

Each of Sandra Moran’s characters is a detailed and complex portrait, with enough depth and intricacy to fill most other books. In addition, a range of secondary players both fill out the story and add a layer of interaction that the main characters never quite manage to achieve with each other.

The writing is, as always, imaginative and immaculate, every word considered and placed. The timeline is complex—a series of flashbacks, overlapping, layered, and convoluted. But they flow from the page exactly the way our thoughts flash across interconnected life experiences. The concept intrigues pull you forward and keep you glued throughout.

Another winner from Ms Moran, one that will make you think and consider your choices. All That We Lack ultimately provides the perfect vehicle for people watching, without leaving the comfort of your armchair.