Anya is essentially the head of her family. Her grandmother is on her deathbed, her older brother's mental capacity took a turn for the worse after a car accident, and her parents are long dead. But that's not unexpected, given that they led the Balanchine crime family, specialising in distributing illegal chocolate.
She was an exceptionally likeable character; sensible, pragmatic, wry, and strong. She was fiercely loyal of her family, despite their shortcomings, and went to extreme lengths to protect them, even sacrificing her own needs to do so. The way she encountered a problem and immediately and selflessly did what was necessary to fix it was incredibly admirable and made her all the more interesting to read about.
The romantic aspect of the book played a huge role, and this didn't invoke the exasperation non-romantics such as myself would associate with this. Given the personal way in which Anya narrated, her relationship with Win dominating so much of her attention felt natural for her. It was clear how Anya the realist could fall for Win (I mean, his hats), and the way being with him broke her out of her pragmatic shell gave her character a whole other level of depth and relatability.
The setting, a dystopian future, was almost reminiscent of the past. The New York of 2083 had the feel of the New York of the 1920s, with smoky speakeasies and less technology. I liked the notion of our society reaching its peak and then slowly declining back to the past in a symmetrical fashion.
Anya narrated in past tense, taking time occasionally to point out her mistakes in the 20/20 clarity of hindsight. The style was refreshingly original and well executed. The prose itself was smooth and lovely, and had the almost wistful or forlorn quality that you'd be familiar with from Elsewhere and Memoirs Of A Teenage Amnesiac.
The conclusion was stunning, and slightly surprisingly. The final line, "May God forgive me for this and all these things I've done" left me awe-struck, and definitely furthered the impression that the book was written almost like Anya's confession. The next book can't come fast enough!
I give All These Things I've Done a 5 out of 5.