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Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother, one 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. What happens afterwards is a testament to the power of a womans love and determination, and to the invisible line of hope and healing that connects one human being with another.
Ultimately, in the hands of Anna Quindlen's mesmerizing prose, Every Last One is a novel about facing every last one of the the things we fear most, about finding ways to navigate a road we never intended to travel, to live a life we never dreamed we'd have to live but must be brave enough to try.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kimberly on 04-28-10
Almost Unbearably Sad, Completely Wonderful
This is the kind of book that, if written by anyone other than somone with the talent of Anna Quindlen, would never work; but Ms. Quindlen is a master. I have read almost all of her works, and have often said that I have felt her compilations of columns written for newspapers and magazines were her best work,(she did, after all, win her Pulitzer in that category). But she has outdone herself with this latest effort. I am a mother of five, with a now-empty nest, and as I write this, this very day my youngest is winging away to Afghanistan, as a medic with the Army National Guard, and this book provided a catharsis for me, that I won't explain because I do not want to reveal even one iota of the plot. I am so very glad I opted for the audio version, as Hope Davis was absolutely masterful, she is a consumate actress.
34 of 36 people found this review helpful
By Amy on 04-22-10
Exquisite but keep a tissue nearby...
I love all of Anna Quindlen's novels and always wait impatiently for the next one. Every Last One was worth the wait. Anna's ability to fully develop all her characters brings the reader right into the middle of their world. This time, Ms. Quindlen's writing reminded me a lot of Jodi Piccoult (another of my favorites) particularly, of the novel The Pact. In Every Last One, the storyline is beautifully woven around Mary Beth, the mother of Ruby, Alex and Max and wife to Glen. I liked how the timeline was not linear and pieces of the past came out at unexpected times. I felt the pain and grief of Mary Beth as if it were my own. My only criticism (which isn't really a criticism) is that I still felt sad at the end. I don't expect (nor even like) every novel to have a fairy tale ending. But this one was, perhaps, a little too realistic for me and I felt the melancholy long after I finished the book. I guess that is the mark of an excellent author!
20 of 22 people found this review helpful