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She Wanted it All

By Kathryn Casey

     Kathryn Casey put the lives of several people into this very intense novel about an actual event that took place in Texas and changed the lives of many family members and close friends. It is a tale about a woman who really had a way with people and used all of the talents to her best advantage to get what she wanted, and She Wanted It All. It is a story about greed and need so deeply entrenched in this woman's life that nothing was ever able to satisfy it. She did whatever was necessary to feed those double lusts that she craved, including destroying everyone she came into contact with in her effort to feed that insatiable hunger. This book is a very critical look at the process of Celeste's life and could be begging of sympathy and understanding if it were not such a cold-blooded and completely selfish way of life. Understanding and sympathy will most likely not be granted by those who know the true facts of this case, and of Celeste's life. She was a manipulative person who only fed her own desires, not caring one bit about those whom she purported to love or cherish.

     She Wanted It All starts very meticulously with Celeste's youth and all the lies and deceits that make her into the person who can plot to take a life--the life of Steve Beard, her husband. It goes into great detail about the way she manipulates those who love her and uses those who do not know enough to be worried about their relationship with her. She is a one-person destruction team, all by herself. Everyone around her pays the price for trying to help her in times of need or their times of loving her.

     Kathryn Casey is in her element and describes every telling detail in complete honesty and very engrossing clarity. She wrote a powerful story about a horrible circumstance. She Wanted It All is a very well written and provocative book, one that will force you to understand that all people are not exactly what they seem, even when you think you know them well. This book makes you almost understand why things like the murder of a husband or wife can and does happen, and often it might not have anything to do with an affair of the heart, but may be an affair with greed, deceit, and determination to have life exactly the way a person wants it to be when it may not be possible any other way. In choosing the obvious way, the price is extremely high, and all pay it.

     I highly recommend this book.

The Book

Avon Books / HarperCollins Publishers
April 2005
Nonfiction / True crime [Murder recounting, date 2000]
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NOTE: (explicit content - language, sex, violence) - More below: Written by a woman and thus is gentler in the language and context; also, it is not a thriller- type book. True accounts of the murder may be a bit graphic for some audiences.

The Reviewer

Claudia VanLydegraf
Reviewed 2005
© 2005