Patricia Mann’s first novel is an emotional tour de force. Meet Beth, Mann’s believable protagonist in “Is This All There Is?”. On the surface Beth is an average thirty-something suburban mom, overwhelmed with the task of “having it all” and guilty that everything simply isn’t enough. She truly does have it all — at least superficially. Great husband, two beautiful boys, a part-time gig as a university professor — literally, the white picket fence scenario. What right does she have to feel that something is missing?

Thanks to Mann’s expert storytelling, the reader is immersed from page one in a realistic storm of Beth’s feelings as she maneuvers her way through the ennui of marital doldrums, motherhood, and guilt. When a risky solution to her boredom reveals itself through Dave, a former student, it threatens her marriage and her family. Erotically charged and emotionally real, “Is This All There Is” is not your simple chick lit love story. Instead it is a manifesto for the age, accurately capturing the complexity of the Gen Xers’ attempts at monogamy vs. the echoes of their parents’ bygone history as the free-love generation.

Is This All There Is?” will surely resonate with women (and maybe some men) who have found themselves in Beth’s circumstances, which according to research estimates is over half the population of modern young marrieds. Beth’s candor and honesty can be appreciated by everyone, even as she embarks on a course of deceit and betrayal. Indeed, her story-telling is compellingly truthful even while she lies to everyone she knows to cover up one bad decision after another.

Corie Skolnick, California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and author of ORFAN, a novel


Patricia Mann has a way of drawing you into yourself and forcing you to reflect in the mirror of life. The delightful twists and turns of “Is this all there is?” keep the reader engaged and wanting more.

Content until presented with an alternate reality, Beth now questions everything in her life. Unable to make a decision on how to move forward, scared of the possibilities, Beth turns to other women for compassion and support. When her friend disapproves, Beth finds a new friend to defend her point of view. Have we not all changed our listener in order to hear what we want to hear? Backed by her mother’s silent approval, Beth is tempted to take the bait and possibly shatter her world into pieces. Does she have a choice between what is expected of her and what she feels is right? Is she destined to follow the fate of her father as she watches her world crumble around her?  Navigating through Beth’s innocent, emotional inner turmoil is a testament to Mann’s understanding of a woman’s psyche and the challenges of being a working wife and mother. This is a gripping tale of love, lust and commitment; and any one of us could potentially be in Beth’s shoes wondering, “Is this all there is?”

Mimi Sward, Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Specialist

In her book, “Is This All There Is?” author Patricia Mann shows readers the raw, overwhelming descent of Beth, a young wife and mother, into lies and betrayal. Unable to stop herself from responding to another man’s advances, Beth puts her picture-perfect family in jeopardy. Mann’s writing is an honest look at the reasons for and consequences of infidelity, as well as the triumph of real, deep love and redemption.

Colleen Valles, Writer and Policy Analyst