Book Review–Every Last One

My first book review!  Yaaaay.  Anna Quindlen’s “Every Last One.”

By the time I got to this book, one in a massive stack of must-reads threatening to crash to the floor beside my bed, I’d forgotten what attracted me to it in the first place (well, other than I loved Ms. Quindlen’s Black and Blue, and One True Thing).  I didn’t read the blurb on the back, I just launched right into it.

I’ll dispense with the storyline.  Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly had to say about it:

“In her latest novel, Quindlen once again plumbs the searing emotions of ordinary people caught in tragic circumstances. Mary Beth Latham is a happily married woman entirely devoted to her three teenaged children. When her talented daughter Ruby casually announces she’s breaking up with her boyfriend Kiernan, a former neighbor who’s become like family, Mary Beth is slightly alarmed, but soon distracted by her son Max, who’s feeling overshadowed by his extroverted, athletic twin brother Alex. Quindlen’s novel moves briskly, propelled by the small dramas of summer camp, proms, soccer games and neighbors, until the rejected Kirenan blindsides the Lathams, and the reader, with an incredible act of violence. Left with almost nothing, Mary Beth struggles to cope with loss and guilt, protect what she has left, and regain a sense of meaning. Quindlen is in classic form, with strong characters and precisely cadenced prose that builds in intensity.”

What I loved about the story is how Anna Quindlen hits those side notes of family life in a way that is both realistic and intimate.  Her ability to express the essence of a personality in just a single line of dialog or a physical mannerism is impressive–I felt as if I truly knew these people.  Not only that but she gives us insights into the way women bond and think.

I highly recommend this book.

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