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Every Last One

by Anna Quindlen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,6101218,368 (3.94)80
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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» See also 80 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
I consider this realistic horror

Narrated by Hope Davis who plays Megan on Wayward Pines. She does a fantastic job. ( )
  Seayla2020 | Aug 20, 2021 |
This book left me gasping and weeping. If your life has ever been ripped apart by something unfathomable, this book will probably resonate with you. ( )
  Tosta | Jul 5, 2021 |
Highly recommend. I wish I had not known anything about the book before I started reading. Even reading the dust jacket gave too much away, because as I was reading I just kept wondering when the events would unfold, which does take a bit of time.

Told from the perspective of Mary Beth Lantham and her everyday struggles a wife and mother of three teenagers, who all have their own struggles. Then her life is turned upside down by the events of one night.

The writing is spectacular. Though the first half of the book can feel a bit slow, there is a point to spending so much time establishing who Mary Beth is and the complicated relationships between all of the people in her life. ( )
  littlemuls | Jan 28, 2021 |
This book will make you appreciate everything you have, even on the bad days. It captures daily life so well with its range of ridiculous to sublime moments and will make you treasure each one. Mary Beth and Glen Latham have a long-standing marriage (that she compares to a book you re-read at one point -- beloved but not surprising) and 3 teenage children with various talents, personalities, and problems, though all seem typical and manageable and are handled with love and concern. Max and Alex are twins, but very different: Max is artistic and introverted, Alex is athletic and outgoing, and Ruby is the oldest, a self-assured creative young woman on the cusp of graduation and her future. There is one more "child" who Mary Beth mothers: Ruby's boyfriend, Kiernan. They have known each other since preschool, started dating in high school and he has always been like part of the family, another brother to the twins, especially Max because they are both artistic. Kiernan’s own home life leaves a lot to be desired since his parents (former friends and next-door neighbors of the Lathams) split up. When Ruby breaks up with him as she pursues her promising future, Kiernan spirals downward in a way that threatens all the relationships. The first half of the book does a great job establishing the dynamics of the household and the intricacies of family life and work balance. It is the day-today way we worry about our kids, parent, and tend to our marriages. Then tragedy strikes in an unexpected and forceful way and makes the normalcy of life’s day-to-day grind seem like heaven. Re-building and recovering and re-defining dominate the book’s second half and the reality is so raw and touching that I spent the last 100 pages in tears. Quindlen nails it: the life we think we have, the life we wish we had, the life we have to cling to when everything else is gone. A tender story of resilience and gratitude. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12549027

Pretty decent novel about a mother who faces tragedy and realizes that she does not have the power to protect her family. Did I give it away? I don't think so.

Mary Beth Lathem lets us into her life, speaking in the first person and in the present tense, as she goes about her life. She designs and installs landscaping. She brings her children to school and back. She cooks, she cleans. She meets with friends, she has issues with friends. Her life is like so many others. She thinks she is a decent mother and I think so too.

There are always times we worry about our lives, about our children. Mary Beth has a teen who is depressed, keeps himself away from others. She has a daughter who excels at most things and is quite adult for her age. She has a son who is a star athlete. She has a husband who loves her. It's a pretty good life, in spite of the worrying. Then it all falls apart.

I became absorbed in the book. I liked Mary Beth. I wanted the best for her. I even read most of the readers' guide at the end. It did get me thinking a bit but I wanted still something a little more. I don't think it's the fault of the book, just me. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 121 (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.
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anna Quindlenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Davis, HopeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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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.
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