Customer Reviews for

Every Last One

Average Rating 3.5
( 556 )
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(187)

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(96)

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(72)

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(43)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Powerful Book!

This is going to be a hard book to review. I really don't want to give the story away because it has some shocking parts that really need to be felt. I have enjoyed other Anna Quindlen books- Blessings, One True Thing, and Black and Blue. Anna has a way to take us into ...
This is going to be a hard book to review. I really don't want to give the story away because it has some shocking parts that really need to be felt. I have enjoyed other Anna Quindlen books- Blessings, One True Thing, and Black and Blue. Anna has a way to take us into situations that can be quite uncomfortable and makes one feel so many different emotions all at once. This book is no different.

When the book begins we are introduced to Mary Beth Latham and her family: her husband Glen an ophthalmologist, her teenage twin sons Alex and Max, and her teenage daughter Ruby. They seem to have it all even though they are not the perfect family by any means. As Max suffers from depression, Mary Beth becomes concerned for him. She is so concerned for him that she does not see the impending doom about to happen.

I had no idea what was going to happen in this book. I felt as shocked as the characters in the story. I could feel the confusion and gut wrenching pain that the characters felt. I knew Mary Beth's life was going to fall apart but I had no clue what was coming. When it did happen, I felt as though the wind was knocked out of my sails! I think it is great that an author can make a reader feel so much emotions with their words. The story is a book of tragedy and survival. How much can one person take and how do they go on and survive? It is quite an emotional roller coaster.

I highly recommend this book. It touched me in a way that was quite surprising to me. When you finish this book you will want to not take life for granted and you will want to hug those around you. This is a book you not only read but experience! What a powerful book! It's a book you won't soon forget!

posted by retromom on April 18, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Can't believe Anna Quindlen wrote this!

This novel reads like a bad Danielle Steele novel. Anna Quindlen wrote this? hard to believe. Starts out so slow, and then so over the top with drama. Not believable. Just did not work for me. Come on anna, I know you can do better. I really did not care about the chara...
This novel reads like a bad Danielle Steele novel. Anna Quindlen wrote this? hard to believe. Starts out so slow, and then so over the top with drama. Not believable. Just did not work for me. Come on anna, I know you can do better. I really did not care about the characters, I could barely remember who was who!

posted by sw7134 on April 17, 2010

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Powerful Book!

    This is going to be a hard book to review. I really don't want to give the story away because it has some shocking parts that really need to be felt. I have enjoyed other Anna Quindlen books- Blessings, One True Thing, and Black and Blue. Anna has a way to take us into situations that can be quite uncomfortable and makes one feel so many different emotions all at once. This book is no different.

    When the book begins we are introduced to Mary Beth Latham and her family: her husband Glen an ophthalmologist, her teenage twin sons Alex and Max, and her teenage daughter Ruby. They seem to have it all even though they are not the perfect family by any means. As Max suffers from depression, Mary Beth becomes concerned for him. She is so concerned for him that she does not see the impending doom about to happen.

    I had no idea what was going to happen in this book. I felt as shocked as the characters in the story. I could feel the confusion and gut wrenching pain that the characters felt. I knew Mary Beth's life was going to fall apart but I had no clue what was coming. When it did happen, I felt as though the wind was knocked out of my sails! I think it is great that an author can make a reader feel so much emotions with their words. The story is a book of tragedy and survival. How much can one person take and how do they go on and survive? It is quite an emotional roller coaster.

    I highly recommend this book. It touched me in a way that was quite surprising to me. When you finish this book you will want to not take life for granted and you will want to hug those around you. This is a book you not only read but experience! What a powerful book! It's a book you won't soon forget!

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Have a tissue box nearby

    I always love Ms. Quindlen's quirky characters and she does not disappoint here. We are introduced to a nice family, a great neighborhood of "normal" people. Ms. Quindlen gently reveals the cracks, and then the earthquake happens. Some of the characters will resonate with readers; we all know some families like those in the story. It can be very emotional at times, at least for me. I appreciate her style and her development of the story line. I might have wished for a different ending, but it was a satisfying read and I recommend it for women, mostly mothers. But remember the tissues.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One to Make you Cry

    I read Anna Quindlen's Every Last One with a little bit of hesitation -- I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book since I was one of the few people who wasn't the biggest fan for Quindlen's very popular book, Rise and Shine. I know, I know. I was one of "them." Last weekend, I was on another flight coming back from Boston and I had just finished Raven Stole the Moon. I closed that book on the flight and thank goodness, I had Every Last One in my carry-on bag. Most of you all know that I cannot stand being on a plane when I've finished a book and then I'm stuck in the air with nothing to do but deal with all the "Bobs" out there. In this recent Quindlen release, Mary Beth Latham is married with 3 children and lives in the suburbs. Her husband is an optometrist and Mary Beth owns her own landscaping business, and although a bit flawed, life is, for the most part, good. Ruby, her oldest daughter is going to go off to college soon, and her twin boys have just entered high school -- Alex is incredibly athletic and popular, and Max is musically-inclined and a loner. Their house in the neighborhood is beautiful. They have two cars. They have a dog. Life is...fine. I opened up Every Last One and the first 100 pages threw me a bit for a loop -- I was drawn into it, but I just couldn't figure out why. Mary Beth's voice was so removed, almost like she was looking at her life through a camera and filming it -- distant, sad, disconnected. Usually something like this would frustrate me, but I couldn't stop reading it. And then the last half of the book happened, and I will not give one hint away. It's good. It's really, really good. I couldn't read certain pages without tearing up or my throat closing over, and I shuddered and gasped at everything. I cannot in good conscience give a thing away. Anna Quindlen has written with such an effortless manner to leave you completely stunned. With cunning ease, she has drawn you into the lives of one family in one town. And how quickly any one of us could be them. Do not pass by this one. Pick it up. Drink it in. Hug your family. http://coffeeandabookchick.blogspot.com

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    Can't believe Anna Quindlen wrote this!

    This novel reads like a bad Danielle Steele novel. Anna Quindlen wrote this? hard to believe. Starts out so slow, and then so over the top with drama. Not believable. Just did not work for me. Come on anna, I know you can do better. I really did not care about the characters, I could barely remember who was who!

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome!

    Anna Quindlen does not disappoint with her latest novel. She writes the family dynamic, especially siblings, better than any author I know! I cried A LOT, but in the end I was left deeply satisfied.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    the ultimate compliment

    This book brought me to tears - which is highly unusual for me. Although not a huge fan of Ms. Quindlan's fictional work in the past (though I love, love, love her non-fiction and am hard-pressed to consider a Newsweek issue complete without her column), I will pay her the ultimate compliment here: This book taught me something about myself. By presenting her characters so clearly, especially Mary Beth Latham (like myself, a mother of three), I was able to confront some truths about humans in general and myself in particular, and perhaps I can grow from those realizations.

    Bravo, Ms. Quindlan!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2010

    disappointed by a reviewer

    I'm somewhere in the middle of the book. The great tragedy has not yet happened. The reviewers don't want to give it away. Then I get to one of the Anonymous readers, and in its very first sentence told what and who did it. Sometimes I read reviews to see if I might like the book and this about ruined it for me. I'll continue but after all the people not wanting to give it away, I lost some of my desire to read on.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    GOOD ONE TO CONTEMPLATE

    This is a compelling novel by a wonderful writer. As the book begins we meet the Latham family, a privileged middle class family, three children, calm, normal, every day living, then....Tragedy strikes. The inner turmoil, self-blame, and the rest of their lives to find their way and survive, because there is no other choice tells the rest of the tale. This is a story of strength and resilience and life needs to go on. A journey well worth the experience!

    Other books that gave me a sense of love, triumph, survival and lots to think about are EXPLOSION IN PARIS and SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME and BLACK AND BLUE (by this author)...

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2010

    Better as a Bargain Book

    I bought this book for my summer reading list. I am an elementary teacher and like to spend my summers reading adult literature. This was my first read of the summer. It took me a while to get into the book. Too many characters and not an engaging beginning. It seemed like the diary of a suburban housewife. I knew something tragic would happen and I wouldn't say it was predictable, but it wasn't a shocker either. The ending wasn't what I was hoping for either.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    Hated it! Major Disappointment/don't waste your time and money on this one.

    This was a huge disappointment in that, initially, it read like the diary of a humdrum housewife of suburbia and the build up of the tragedy was contrived and obvious. It read like a long four part series from the Sunday paper. --A story that breaks your heart and leaves you feeling empty.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2010

    An overall good read

    As usual, Anna Quindlen delivers. Every Last One is an immensely readable book. The kind you do not want to put down, and you do finish in 24 hours.
    Two biggest pluses: Ms Quindlen can write. The prose flows, and you are never bored. This is where her background as a journalist really shows. You hang on every word. The other big plus in my opinion, is the characters: strong, capable women onto whom Ms Quindlen thrust the most unimaginable of situation. Yet, in her capable hands you belive it. This book will not resonate with guys, but for the 30 and 40 something women, devoted to well-written fiction, the book club types, this is clear home-run. The themes and characters, the vagaries of middle-age and life in general, and most of all, the mothers' devotion to family, are well recorded in this book. For those looking for deep meaning, or ground breaking themes - this is NOT it. But if you just want a good read, whose writing style and story do not insult one's intelligence, this is it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    Take a pass on this one

    This could have been a fantastic story if it were told by a better writer. The author wastes half the book before she gets to the tragedy. I don't want to read novels to explore the mundane nature of our day-to-day lives and I don't think I'm alone in that opinion. Mary Beth was not likeable, there was really no reason to care about any of the characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2010

    Disappointing!

    Pre-ordered because she's one of my favorite authors! This one was such a letdown..I plowed through because I'm one of those who must finish a book once I start it, but really it should be be in the drugstore in the sleeping aids aisle!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    Another page turner by Anna Quindlen

    I have read almost "every last one" of Anna Quindlen's books and this one kept me reading to the last page.
    The Lathams were an ordinary family: father, Glen, was a dentist, mother, Mary Beth, had a lawn designing business and there were three children; Ruby, a teenager and her younger twin brothers, Max and Alex. They were very close for siblings. The twins, Max and Alex were very different except in looks and having the same birthday. Max liked to go to his room and play his drums and Alex was an athlete. Max resented the notoriety that Alex got for excelling in sports. Ruby was a teenager with many girlfriends and one boyfriend that the whole family seemed to like. A tragedy happened in the family and it tore them apart. Quindlen kept the drama going to the last page.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2010

    Although unrealistic, the drama of the plot is shocking enough to be intriguing.

    After the ditched boyfriend of the daughter of the Latham family goes on a killing spree and kills over half of the family, Mrs. Latham tries to put her life back on course. The characters are well developed and the all American family lives a dream like life. When daughter Ruby decides she wasnt to be free of long time boyfriend, he begins to stalk her. No one, family or friends, saw how far he would take his anger. During a New Year's Eve murder he takes out his fury on the family memebers. One surviving son and the mother try and rebuild their lives. A story of searching for inner strength evolves.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Shocking Family Story

    This story is an intense and shocking family drama which I enjoyed very much. Anna Quindlen's characters are very detailed and very real and seem quite like people with whom I have interacted in my forty years in the educational field. Having been a middle school vice-principal for fifteen years and dealing with thirteen to fifteen year olds everyday, I felt as if I knew these children and their emotions and problems were very common in that age range as well as with high school students. Anna Quindlen's descriptions of the marital situations of the parents is quite an honest picture of the stress of parenthood of today.
    The plot of the story involved me to the point where I read far into the night to finish the book. The shocking twist was so dramatic that I felt intense sympathy and empathy for the mother and this woman will stay with me for a long time. I recommend this book without reservation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    A brave novel that most Quindlen fans will appreciate

    This is one of the bravest novels that I have ever read and one of Quindlen's best in my opinion. Quindlen really goes there and writes about something that I think is every woman's greatest fear. I've read a lot of Quindlen, so I picked this up without knowing what it would be about. I'm glad that I didn't know what was coming (there was foreshadowing, but I didn't know exactly what would happen.) I really appreciate how she got me thinking that it was a certain type of story and then took it in a whole new direction. It gave the novel a sense of verisimilitude. Mary Beth's life is going in a certain direction, tragedy strikes, and she is left to make sense of it all. This novel has such authenticity that it's frightening. It's not for readers who prefer what I like to call "realistic fantasy" where the book is about real-life but everything is on the surface and like a Hollywood movie. It feels true, it feels real, and that is discomfiting. I felt hopeful for the characters at the end. It's a hard-won hope for them. An excellent book that will not disappoint.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Powerful and compelling!!

    This is powerfull and compelling. Mary Beth Latham isinteresting, active in her landscaping business, is the wife of a physician, and mother of a high school senior girl and twin 13-year-old boys. Tragedy turns her world upside down. Because the story is from Mary Beth's perspective, we are not given details about it itself, and while she is recovering physically, details are not clear due to her medications and the trauma. Gradually,she is able to accept that her life will never be the same again. She slowly rebuilds what is left of her life. This is an amazing, tearful, moving story of survival. Life! Ugh!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2010

    Absorbing...couldn't put it down

    Do we appreciate what we have? Can we ever anticipate the results of seemingly small decisions? Do we have the courage to live when all that we relied upon is taken away? Can we redeem ourselves simply by trying?
    This is a lovely book, with Quindlen"s exquisite ear for conversations between characters, that looks at all these questions.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2010

    Good As It Gets

    For those who do not believe this is realistic, may I direct you to the Broadrick murders in San Diego, CA or the double murder in Ventura Harbor, CA. Ms. Quindlen has the keenest understanding of teenagers and how they relate to one another and to adults. Her female characters are fully developed to the point that I am sure I know these women. Her shortcoming in this story is the lack of character development for the husband. However, since the female character tells the story in the first person, and it is far, far more about her, the aforementioned flaw is acceptable. This is one heck of a great read...and it is torn right from the front pages of the news. Without giving too much away...the violence, the anger - properly directed, and that which is not, comprise reality...like it or not. Four Stars for Anna!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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