Every Last One – Anna Quindlen

The Lathams are a fairly ordinary American family with their usual share of ups and downs.  Our narrator, Mary Beth Latham, reflects on her life, her husband and three children.   Mary Beth has her own landscape gardening business but her life is firmly focussed on her family, so much so that she is oblivious to the impending disaster which will shake this picture of tranquillity to the very core.

This was my first experience of Anna Quindlen’s fiction and I will certainly be coming back for more.  She has a very deft touch at capturing family dynamics, creating extremely believable characters who might not always be likeable but are most definitely realistic.  From the very first pages I was drawn into the world of the Latham family, sharing their highs and lows, experiencing their happiness and emotional turmoil, especially the experiences of the teenage children.

The less folk know about the plot, the better but suffice to say that this is an extremely hard-hitting novel which affected me in a very visceral, emotional way,  I don’t think  I have cried so long and hard in years!   If you’re at either extreme of the emotional spectrum, cynic or perhaps over-sensitive, then you’re best to stay clear.   I think fans of Jodi Picoult would appreciate this novel, it doesn’t have Jodi’s usual moral dilemna but it does echo her excellent depiction of family scenarios.  Anna Quindlen’s back catalogue will now be swiftly added to my “to be acquired” list – highly recommended.

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  1. I have heard very mixed reports about this one, but I do love books with an emotional impact. You’ve made me a lot more interested in it than I was 5 minutes ago!

  2. admin says:

    Jackie, I think it depends on what kind of reader you are – if your mind keeps wandering off and trying to figure out what’s going to happen to ruin the picture of domestic bliss and thinking of possible plot twists and turns then you’ll miss the excellent depiction of family life. I just sit back and enjoy the ride! ;-)

  3. [...] read and thoroughly enjoyed “Every Last One” by Anna Quindlen earlier this year, I was keen to investigate her back catalogue and I began this [...]

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