• Every Last One

  • By: Anna Quindlen
  • Narrated by: Hope Davis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (1,526 ratings)

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Every Last One  By  cover art

Every Last One

By: Anna Quindlen
Narrated by: Hope Davis
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Publisher's summary

In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the number-one New York Times best-selling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions.

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.

©2010 Anna Quindlen (P)2010 Simon & Schuster

Critic reviews

“Spellbinding.” ( The New York Times Book Review)
“In a tale that rings strikingly true, [Anna] Quindlen captures both the beauty and the breathtaking fragility of family life.” ( People)
“We come to love this family, because Quindlen makes their ordinary lives so fascinating.” ( USA Today)

What listeners say about Every Last One

Average customer ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

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23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Sad to see--or hear--it end

Well into years of marraige, I think I'm rarely bored by the routine and the sameness of it all. I find deep joy in the fact that I know my spounse's "moves" and he knows mine, that our days consist of a lot of child-centric activity, that the lawn gets mowed on Sunday, that we often fall into bed too exhausted to do much more than murmur a good-night.

It is these very things--the sameness, the absence of say, the kind of sponstaneous and thrilling sex you had in your early 20s, that many of my friends complain about.

And when I hear their frustration, I think, "Yes, but if you lost it all, every boring bit of it, I bet you would do anything to get it back."

Mary Beth Latham, the loving wife and mother in Anna Quindlen's brilliant new novel, gets the chance to experience that when an act of violence destroys everything she knows.

Qundlen draws us, with perfect language, into Mary Beth's internal diologue as she struggles to deal with the choices she made that resulted in devastating loss.

It is so beautifully narrated by Hope Davis, so exquisitely peopled with thoroughly developed characters...God, I just hated this book to end.

I loved every last word of "Every Last One."

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

So true how different children brought up in the same household can be. Good illustration of the dynamics that are within the family. Found myself laughing, nodding in agreement, and crying out loud. Loved it!

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Slow and depressing

Much character development in this book, but it is so slow, and the narrator reads in a very sad and depressing voice. I stopped listening 3/4 of the way through. A big event takes place, but not until the second half of the book, and it seems as if it takes forever to get to that point. And then it becomes even more depressing.

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Incredibly Depressing

Although the writing was good and the story was compelling, this book was hardly a walk in the park. I found myself reluctant to pick it up because I knew it would just bring me down. If you don't mind the dark trudge through the despair of the life of the protagonist, then go ahead and get this one. I for one, felt 10 lbs heavier every time I picked this up. I like to listen on my morning walks and this book hardly propelled me along. On a positive note, it was not boring, the reader was excellent, as it is written in the first person. I can't bring myself to give it more than 3 stars even though the narration and writing were quite good. The subject matter was just to overwhelming.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great book

I'm trying to write a review about how wonderfully written this book is but I can't write, and Quindlen CAN, this book is so good--I am a mom of teenage kids and this story really hit me, it made me stop and appreciate my life and my kids, it made me think about what's important. The narrator is pitch-perfect as well. Great book.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Poignant, beautiful book

This incredible book is beautifully written and read very, very well by the actress Hope Davis. Not all movie actors read books well, but Ms. Davis did a wonderful job. The book takes a turn midway through into something unexpected (to me) and I had thoughts of giving it up, but stay with it and you will be rewarded, as I was. I will think about this book for a very long time.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

well conceived, well told

Mesmerizing and deep. Well developed characters, rich story. Sobering and depressing but worth the journey. I couldn't stop listening.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Exquisite

Anne Quindlen's writing leaves me breathless. Although our lives could not be more different, I never fail to relate to the lives of her characters and what they experience.

An amazing story, capturing grief beyond imagining.

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4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Nicholas N Lyth
  • 11-05-22

Breathtaking, stunning

It's hard to process quite how good this book is and how perfect the performance. I did not want it to end nor to say goodbye to its extraordinary heroine.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Liz
  • 07-17-23

Devastatingly good

Slow build of every day life before the terrible event rips it all apart. So well written, I can feel this will stay with me for a long time. Astounding characterisation and such a clear evocation of grief.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • EIBHLIN LEHANE
  • 03-19-23

3 hours of my life I'll never get back

I had to stop listening after 3 hours , this is the worst book I've listened to, it just rambles on with nonsense, there's no story at all, unless something happens after 3 hours but that's far far too late.

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