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Every Last One: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
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Every Last One: A Novel (edition 2011)

by Anna Quindlen

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1,4951157,599 (3.96)77
Member:nctwila
Title:Every Last One: A Novel
Authors:Anna Quindlen
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Fiction

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Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

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English (117)  Dutch (1)  All languages (118)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Mary Beth Latham's life revolves around raising three teenagers and keeping up the home that "all the kids come to." Her marriage, her landscaping business, her world--all is content routine until one of her sons begins to exhibit signs of depression, until her daughter's long-time boyfriend refuses to accept the break-up. And until someone commits a hideous crime on New Year's Eve.

Because I figured out the crime before I cracked the cover (read the title; now look at the hardcover art), I nearly didn't read this book. I nearly missed this literary gem. Anna Quindlen's prose wrings meaning from every word without becoming sparse, weaves beauty without becoming pretentious. Her pitch-perfect dialogue breathes life into characters constructed from intimate, endearing detail. The crushing crime doesn't happen until halfway through the book, and yes, the first 100 pages are a tapestry of an ordinary life. But the author chooses each scene for a reason, never indulging in filler. Without the book's first half, its last half could not break the reader's heart.

Not many books bring me to tears. This one did. This is a tragic, terrible story, yet it's believable. Stories like this happen every day. Quindlen depicts human behavior in all its blind or willful egocentrism, all its momentary generosity, and all its in-between that we fail to notice. She paints mortality, reminds us that we will someday cease to be here. She paints grief in all its whelming tides and subtle undertows. She makes us wonder who we will miss someday, who we won't know well enough to miss, and what scraps of self we will leave behind when it comes our time to leave. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
The story feels very disjointed and somewhat surreal, as if the characters, mostly the parents, are going through the motions, but not really living life.
It's just a normal life; two parents, three children. No one is perfect. They bicker and have issues that need resolving. Some need therapy.
But then tragedy strikes and the survivors must decide how to continue to live. What do they do with their old life? How do they get a new life? And how do you mingle the two?
The main character certainly finds out whom her true friends are after the tragedy. She also finds out the things she thought were wrong. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
Blew me away ( )
  ParadisePorch | Sep 28, 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (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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