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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Kimberly
  • West Valley City, UT, USA
  • 04-28-10

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.

33 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amy
  • Delaware, OH, United States
  • 04-22-10

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!

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Debby
  • Berkeley Heights, NJ, USA
  • 04-24-10

One of the Best

This is probably one of the Audible listens that has affected me more than any other. I had heard that there is a major event that happens in this book and I purposely stayed away from any reviews so the plot wouldn't be spoiled. I was listening while on a long drive and had to sit in the car and keep listening when I got to a crucial point. Definitely a book you may want to listen to alone for the powerful emotions it will evoke. Quindlen got me very attached to her characters which made the entire book that much more of an emotional connection. Wonderful writing and excellent narration by Hope Davis. Very highly recommended.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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."

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kelly
  • Gloucester, MA, USA
  • 05-26-10

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!

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Family, tragedy, grief, and life...

I'm fairly sure that Anna Quindlen is the only author that could have done justice to the topics of family, tragedy, grief, suffering, and life found in Every Last One. I won't elaborate on the plot because it's best to not know too much about this book, as almost every other reviewer has mentioned. I can say that when daughter Ruby explains chaos theory to her mother Mary Beth, how the beating of a butterfly’s wings in Mexico could raise a breeze in their own back yard, Mary Beth's reply, “That’s kind of terrifying" is entirely appropriate. Quindlen explains how the smallest of events can have the biggest, most life-altering consequences, and she does it perfectly.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ella
  • toronto,, Ontario, Canada
  • 09-15-10

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

well conceived, well told

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

5 of 7 people found this review helpful