Book Review: Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
April 3, 2012 25 Comments
This book was one of three books that I won in a giveaway by Windmill Books. They did an author chat event on Twitter with author Jonathan Lee (of Who Is Mr Satoshi?) and I was declared the winner of a set of books. Even better, I was allowed to choose from their entire catalogue!
Every Last One: What it is about
This book follows a few years in the life of Mary Beth Latham. She’s married to Glen and has 14-year old twin sons (non-identical) Alex and Max and a 17-year old daughter, Ruby.
Her house is always full of people, especially Alex’ and Ruby’s friends are around a lot of the time. Max doesn’t have many friends, and his parents are worried about him as he retreats further away from every one. He’s seeing a therapist and that seems to help him along. Ruby is busy with school and her friends, and breaks up with her boyfriend Kiernan, who she has known since they were both quite small. Kiernan finds it hard to accept they are no longer a couple but still visits often, as he is a friend of the family and likes to hang out with the brothers.
Mary Beth has a successful landscaping company and although she has some worries about the illegal Mexicans she hires, all is well.
Then something tragic happens that changes everything. The remaining half of the book is about how Mary Beth copes (and sometimes not copes) with the new situation.
Every Last One: What I thought
I loved reading this book. It really appealed to me. I am also the mother of teenage boys, and I liked how Mary Beth’s house was a place where the children’s friends came together, stayed for meals and had a good time.
The tragic event happens quite suddenly, around halfway the book. For me, it happened a bit too late, in the sense that I started to get slightly bored with the book, as there wasn’t a lot happening. The tragic event was shocking and it put a whole new perspective on the story.
The whole book was written very convincingly. I was especially impressed by the second half of the book, where Mary Beth had to deal with the new situation and the way she did this was for me completely realistic. There were lots of great insights, and I was impressed how well the writer could put herself in the mind of Mary Beth. Totally convincing!
It was a bit emotional as well (though certainly not a tear jerker). A very good book.