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Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
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Every Last One

by Anna Quindlen

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1,2941096,055 (3.97)70
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Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
Heartbreaking and beautiful. Redeeming and loving. Anna Quindlen is a superb writer and tells stories that make you want to take the journey with her characters. I wanted more--my highest praise. ( )
  smallwonder56 | May 1, 2016 |
The first half of Every Last One by Anna Quindlen follows an ordinary suburban family in the mundane routine of their everyday life. Mary Beth Latham is the narrator. She runs a landscaping business and is the wife of Glen, an ophthalmologist. Most importantly, however, she is the doting mother of seventeen year old Ruby, and fourteen year old twins, Max and Alex. When Ruby breaks up with her long-time boyfriend, Kirenan, Mary Beth is concerned, but she is much more focused on the depression of her son Max, who is feeling overshadowed by Alex's athletic abilities and accomplishments. Over half way through the novel an act of violence occurs that irrevocably changes Mary Beth's life.

While Quindlen is a very good writer, I just have to say that the first half of this novel bored me to tears and the characters annoyed me. There - I've said it. I knew from the descriptions of this novel that there would be a huge twist, but man did Mary Beth and her friends annoy me. I guess I might as well admit that I would not seek a friendship with any of these women - before or after the tragedy - and that does color my feeling about Every Last One. Also it seems that someone would notice Kirenan's odd behavior.

So, I kept reading the novel long past when I normally would have set it aside knowing that there was a big plot twist coming. Was it worth it? Um... yeah, I guess. The writing is quite good. Even if Mary Beth and the other characters annoyed me, the quality of the writing kept me reading. The second half of the novel actually redeemed the first part.
Highly recommended - if you can make it through the first half
http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/

( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
I listened to this book on audio CD. It was incredibly slow. I almost stopped listening several times due to boredom. Then half way through the discs something finally happened. That was very short lived though and went back to slow and mind-numbing the rest of the book. ( )
  lacey.tucker | Mar 10, 2016 |
Narrated by Mary Beth, mother of three teenage children. Events in the early part of the book lead up to one shocking event halfway through (that came a as complete surprise) and the second half deals with the aftermath and how the narrator copes. ( )
  AHouseOfBooks | Jan 27, 2016 |
I really liked this book. Such compelling writing. Such real characters. This book made me cry. ( )
  cjservis | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (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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