The Whole Golden World


Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: she chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. By quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.

But her mother, Dinah, wants justice. Dinah is a fighter, and she believes with all her heart and soul that TJ is a man who took advantage of her daughter…he is a criminal who should be brought to justice. No matter what the cost to his family.

Rain, TJ’s wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, popular husband is accused of a terrible crime. But has her desperation to start a family closed her eyes to the faultlines in her marriage? And can she face the painful truths about herself and her husband?

Kristina Riggle, the acclaimed author of Keepsake, returns with a thought-provoking and heart-wrenching novel inspired by real-life events. Told from the perspectives of three remarkable women, Riggle’s work navigates the precarious territory between childhood and adulthood, and raises questions about love and manipulation, marriage and motherhood, consent and responsibility.


“Reading THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD is like turning a kaleidoscope. Each of the main characters has a valid perspective, shards of which are visible in the others’ stories, though the patterns are completely different. With a deft hand, Kristina Riggle makes each point of view in this absorbing novel equally believable.”
—Christina Baker Kline, New York Times-bestselling author of Orphan Train

“Love, loyalty and the murky nature of the truth, are at the fracturing heart of this astonishing novel about culpability, desire, and the ways we choose to see our world. Just breathtakingly good.”
—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow

“THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD is a riveting and thought-provoking page-turner that will appeal to fans of Jodi Picoult and Chris Bohjalian.”

“Riggle masterfully unfolds the families’ stories with just the right pace, tone, and drama, uncovering plenty of family secrets and emotional struggles without making it a soap opera. Fans of Jodi Picoult and Barbara Delinsky will devour this story.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Riggle’s latest novel takes a taboo scenario, flaying it open to show the impossibility of discerning guilt, innocence, or even truth. There are few direct answers to the questions raised, but readers will relish the chance for self-reflection and reevaluation of a forbidden relationship. The excellent pacing, well-rounded characters, and titillating plot make The Whole Golden World truly brilliant.”
—Bloggers Recommend November 2013 newsletter

“Told from the viewpoints of these three strong women, this work is an intriguing look at an issue that strikes fear in the hearts of many parents. It is sure to attract fans of Jodi Picoult’s ‘ripped from the headlines’ novels.”
Library Journal

“A stunning, ripped-from-the-headlines tale of the intersecting lives of three very different women. THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD showcases Riggle’s masterful ability to raise important questions about fidelity, deception, and truth – and make us question our own answers to them.”
—Sarah Pekkanen, internationally bestselling author of The Best Of Us

“In THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD, Kristina Riggle sets complex characters on a heart-wrenching collision course–the result is an engrossing and unflinching story about the ways our choices affect individuals, families, and entire communities.”
—Meg Donohue, author of All the Summer Girls

“THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD is an engrossing coming-of-age story– a complex portrayal of the hazy line between youth and adulthood, vulnerability and strength. It is a captivating story from start to finish.”
—Rebecca Coleman, author of The Kingdom of Childhood

“Riggle shows how the inner turmoil of her characters eventually creates the situation at the heart of this novel…an entertaining read.”
Publishers Weekly