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Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
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Every Last One

by Anna Quindlen

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1,4681137,398 (3.96)77
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Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
I love Quindlen's easy style, which reads as if you are sitting in her kitchen listening to a friend tell you a story. She weaves the everyday and the extraordinary into one package and makes us believe that this not only happened to someone, but that it could happen to any of us.

Her characters are strong and real. Mary Beth particularly has many dimensions and faces her life with all the mixtures of joy, angst, worry and indifference that I each of us does. Some of what is wonderful about her life she only sees in hindsight and some of what is frightening she chooses to ignore and hopes to pretend out of existence.

It is difficult to write the kind of review I would like to without giving away more of this story than would be fair to those who have not yet read it. I will say that Anna Quindlen is a remarkable writer who never includes the tiniest element in her story without infusing it with meaning. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
This is a heartbreaking gut wrenching tale of what happens when you're the survivor of a horrific tragic event. Mary Beth, mother of 3 is living life as a normal wife and mother when her whole world is turned upside down. Can she cope? This novel is beautifully written and brought tears to my eyes. ( )
  Tiffy_Reads | Mar 19, 2018 |
This book made me cry. I don't want to give spoilers, but this book tore at my heart in a way I hadn't anticipated. Anna Quindlen writes so that we don't even realize how gripped we are, until the book is over and our hearts are changed. ( )
  Cfo6 | Mar 19, 2018 |
A beautifully written story of a suburban family, told through the eyes of the mother, Mary Beth Latham. Slightly bores, feeling restless and increasingly uneasy, Mary Beth senses a looming, but indistinct threat.

Too quickly, a tragedy strikes that challenges Mary Beth's will to survive the unimaginable and highlights to her and the reader how precious the "normal" day is. ( )
  nenasfilla | Dec 15, 2017 |
This book is impossible to describe or discuss without a spoiler. It's beautifully written, powerful and thought-provoking with characters I won't soon forget. Highly recommended. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
From reading the summary of this book, I knew that something 'horrible' happens so to be honest, I was waiting for it and started each chapter with a slight anticipation. This likely skewed the beginning of the book for me because I found the pages until 'the event' too descriptive and too... boring, for lack of better word. Once the 'shocking act of violence' took place, the book did a 180 degree turn for me. I began to turn each page with a new vigor and couldn't wait to read what would happen next.

As a parent, this was a hard read. The images of the children in the book had the face of my son and as a result, I spent a good part of the book with tears in my eyes. Have you ever tried to read a book with tears in your eyes? It's not very easy. However, I have to say that if a book can make you cry, it has to be well written. To be able to relate to it on such a personal level is a sure sign that the autor, Anna Quindlen, researched her topic well and knew how to relate to her readers.

Overall, I feel that this book should be added to the 'to be read' list for most women but especially mothers. It really does make you look at your life and appreciate what you have while you have it right in front of you. Taking each day as it comes and not looking too far in the future!
 
This is Quindlen's sixth novel, and she knows how to build the armature of a story. Yet even as the Lathams become tenderly real to us, Quindlen fails to develop the necessary narrative urgency.
 
Each of Quindlen's characters -- kids, friends, neighbors and relatives -- seems real, and each could conceivably be the victim or perpetrator of the domestic dramas that lie ahead.
 
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For my children, who saved my life
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This is my life: The alarm goes off at five-thirty with the murmuring of a public-radio announcer, telling me that there has been a coup in Chad, a tornado in Texas. My husband stirs briefly next to me, turns over, blinks, and falls back to sleep for another hour. My robe lies at the foot of the bed, printed cotton in the summer, tufted chenille for the cold. The coffeemaker comes on in the kitchen below as I leave the bathroom, go downstairs in bare feet, pause to put away a pair of boots left splayed in the downstairs back hallway and to lift the newspaper from the back step. The umber quarry tiles in the kitchen were a bad choice; they are always cold. I let the dog out of her kennel and put a cup of kibble in her bowl. I hate the early mornings, the suspended animation of the world outside, the veil of black and then the oppressive gray of the horizon along the hills outside the French doors. But it is the only time I can rest without sleeping, think without deciding, speak and hear my own voice. It is the only time I can be alone. Slightly less than an hour each weekday when no one makes demands.
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Book description
Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother, whose three teenaged children come first, before her career as a landscape gardener, or even her life as the wife of a doctor. Caring for her family and preserving their everyday life is paramount. And so, when one of her sons, Max, becomes depressed, Mary Beth becomes focused on him, and is blindsided by a shocking act of violence.
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Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother, whose three teenaged children come first, before her career as a landscape gardener, or even her life as the wife of a doctor. Caring for her family and preserving their everyday life is paramount. And so, when one of her sons, Max, becomes depressed, Mary Beth becomes focused on him, and is blindsided by a shocking act of violence.… (more)

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