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All the Numbers

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3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  547 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
“How much do you love me?” Daniel asked his mother.
“I love you all the numbers.”

What begins as a sunny August afternoon on a bucolic lake turns into a tragedy when a Jet Ski swerves fatally close to shore. It’s a day Ellen Banks could never have prepared for, a day no mother should ever have to live through.

The moment her son James is killed, Ellen must face the unimagina
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,802)
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Jules
Feb 22, 2008 Jules rated it it was amazing
I freakin love this book. It is by far the best book I read in 2007. I have never actually cried as much as I did reading this book. The way Judy is able to relay the emotions of the characters is amazing, it makes you feel like you personally know these people.
Michele
Jun 27, 2007 Michele rated it it was amazing
This Book Should Come With a Warning

Reader, beware. All the Numbers, a well-written novel by author Judy Merrill Larsen, should be read with a note of caution. The author evokes such a sense of pure grief that one cannot help but experience the death of an 11-year old boy named James. I truly felt his mother's pain.

I bought this book after reading a review in the Lakeland Times newspaper, a twice weekly paper serving northern Wisconsin, where local lakes are enjoyed by vacationers, including swi
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Pamela
A worthwhile read, but somewhat forgettable. I wasn't fully drawn in, via storyline or characterization. The prelude was explosive; a real tear-jerker. Yet, it took forever to get to the key event which the story's momentum and litigation is centralized around. It seemed to drag up to that point. Truthfully, much of the book outside the main event and the ending, was a bit underwhelming in relation to themes/topics. And the passage of time wasn't clearly made evident, which made some of Ellen's ...more
Jacki
May 04, 2009 Jacki rated it liked it
I really liked this book, don't let the 3 stars make you think that I didn't. I think that my low(er) rating comes more from the fact that I've read 3 depressing books in a row and this one was more of the same. I need to read something cheery before I slip into a depression.

After I read the book, I read the little 'about the author' in the back and it said that she is an english teacher and that this is her first novel. For me, both of these things made absolute sense. The english teacher bit b
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Brenda
This was a new author for me. The book will be discussed soon by my in-person book club. The story hit close to home for me because like Ellen from the book, I have two sons also. There were times while reading this book that I found myself thinking about situations from the book while not actively reading the book. I did find enjoyment and happiness in the final two decisions Ellen made and how it ended the book in a positive way.
Vivian
Mar 19, 2009 Vivian rated it did not like it
I picked this one up after reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and gave up after about 50 pages. I honestly cannot understand the great reviews. Neither the story or the characters grabbed me. I found Ellen to be one dimensional, the writing sophomoric and lacking in originality. Many of the scenes did not feel real - the younger son's shoe shopping expedition, the talk with Melanie at Union Terrace. She calls her sons "babe", her friend calls her "babe". And on and on ..... I thought that ...more
Maureen
Aug 15, 2009 Maureen rated it it was amazing
I actually had read this book twice, once before my son was born and again sometimes in January 2008 just because this book speaks volumes of a mother's love to her children. Although I should warn you to stock up on some Kleenex! It's a hard book to read, not because of the writing...the writing was beautiful, it's the topic. Every parents nightmare...to lose your child yet the topic was handled so realistically and tenderly. It also speaks about forgiveness & healing. Great great book!
Linda Bryant
Nov 27, 2014 Linda Bryant rated it really liked it
I was hesitant to read this book because the tragic story line is so very close to my own. She lost an 11-year-old son, mine was 9. He was hit by a jet ski, mine by a car. She was right there when it happened, so was I. Her child's older brother was also right there when it happened, in my situation, the brother was younger. Both the mother and the brother blame themselves.

The author comes close to describing the day to day gut wrenching emotions that ensue after the death of a son. Ellen decid
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Stacy
Sep 02, 2012 Stacy rated it liked it
Hmm. I liked the beginning---it grabs your emotions right from the start. I mean, as a mother, how would that feel? But then as the chapters progress, the story line doesn't. I found myself frustrated with the mom in the story and with the author herself. I wished she had gone a different route and wished it could have been more creative, more unique. I really wanted to like it.
Colleen Turner
Feb 27, 2010 Colleen Turner rated it it was amazing
If you are a parent you must read this book. It is hard, and you will cry, but it is a wonderful read. Even if you aren't a parent you will enjoy this book, but I have to say that reading it as a young mother really allowed me to relate to the plot of the story. Ms. Larson tore my heart open and then pieced it back together again with this story.
Jodimartin
Jan 11, 2013 Jodimartin rated it it was ok
I really, really wanted to like this book...probably because Larsen is a local author. It was a bit depressing, but that's not the reason for my two star rating. I just couldn't get 'into' the characters. I didn't care enough about them, I guess. I made myself finish it, though, hoping it would get better.
Claudia
Mar 11, 2011 Claudia rated it it was ok
I think the story had its ups and downs. What had started as a catchy story that was pretty well written turned to a bit of a cliche story once the accident was described. Shortly after that moment it became somewhat boring, with an occasional highlight...
Uthaya Kuhaparan
Oct 23, 2015 Uthaya Kuhaparan rated it really liked it
All the numbers are simply written novel about a mother who lost her baby boy in a tragic accident. it talked about the emotions and her feeling but still she have to come out of it for the others around her. normally that is the case on all of us who born in this earth. once you lost your love once, the live of yours and others wont stop there. it will go until it is your time to go. so in life, detachment is so important and this book leads to this path. i really like the writing style in this ...more
Jennie Mars
Jul 16, 2012 Jennie Mars rated it it was ok
Update: I'm a little over halfway in this book but I've completely lost interest. Like I stated below, I felt for the death of the child because he reminded me of my brother when he was that age. Now that we are far enough removed from the accident that characters are moving on and they're starting to pursue legal action against the 17-year-old jet-skier, the author has completely dropped anything that I can relate to or care about.

At some point I'll go back and finish this book. Eventually.


Pre
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Mary
Sep 02, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
As a child, Ellen Banks' son Daniel would ask his mother, "How much do you love me?" Ellen would always answer, "I love you all the numbers."

What begins as a beautifully sunny August afternoon on a bucolic lake, suddenly turns tragic when a Jet Ski swerves fatally close to the shore. It's a day Ellen Banks could never have prepared for, a day no mother should ever have to face.

From the moment her son James is killed, Ellen is thrown into a maelstrom of sadness and grief. She now must face the un
...more
Kyle
Mar 24, 2008 Kyle rated it really liked it
I picked this up on the "3 for 2" table at Borders because I was drawn to the cover and the back definitely pulled me in (I am a sucker for a good tragic family drama). The book is so good I could not put it down. I cried many times... the way Judy Larsen is able to actually put into words the grief Ellen is experiencing is truly incredible. Her bitterness towards the parents receiving James' organs and her inner struggle with that decision seems painfully realistic. I found Ellen's support syst ...more
Susan
Mar 12, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
Judy Merrill Larsen is a friend, and I knew from the subject matter of her book (a mother's grief at losing her child) that it wouldn't be an easy read. I finished it last night, and so much of the emotion of ALL THE NUMBERS has stuck with me. I can't think of much worse than losing a loved one, especially a child, and the novel tackles it head-on. We're first introduced to single mom Ellen and her sons, James and Daniel, as they're heading to a friend's lake house as they've done for the past 1 ...more
Jane Peskara / Audrey Valentine
++++SPOILER+++++

Nice book, great written. But it made me so angry. I mean Ben is guilty he was jetskiing without any Care for others, he was too fast and because of him a little boy had to die...........and well at the end of the book the court finds him guilty but because of Ellens(the mother of the boy that died) says she doesnt want him to go to jail because not another woman should lose her son..he only has to social work.
i mean yes true anger or him in jail wouldnt give her her son back but
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Dawn
Jan 06, 2011 Dawn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves family drama stories.
Recommended to Dawn by: It caught my eye in the bookstore.
I really loved this book and I have added it to my list of books that made me cry my eyes out. The story just pulled me in and really made me feel for the characters. The author really made you feel this mother's heartbreak and played on every mother's worst fear, losing a child. For the most part, it is just a story of this mother's every day life without her child. It brought out all the feelings any mother would have; experiencing the first holiday without them, missing the sound of their lau ...more
Carla
Mar 01, 2014 Carla rated it really liked it
As a mother, the beginning of this book broke my heart. It has a nice tight plot and pretty obvious ending, but I give it four stars for just how it reached in and squeezed my heart.
Kathy Gilbert
Jan 28, 2016 Kathy Gilbert rated it it was ok
I waited a long time to get this book, finally just bought it. A waste of money - the reviews were much better than the book in my opinion. Too predictable and morose.
Rhonda Dunder
Jun 22, 2014 Rhonda Dunder rated it did not like it
This book was painful to read and not because of the plot. I found myself irritated with the under-developed characters. Do yourself a favor and pick up something else!
Sabrina
May 14, 2016 Sabrina rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Really well written but I am definitely asking myself why I would read a book that I knew would make me cry all the way through.
Anne
Feb 16, 2015 Anne rated it liked it
This is a 3.5. A very touching, heartbreaking story.
Cindy
Aug 24, 2012 Cindy rated it liked it
This book is an emotion rollercoaster that tells the story about the death of child and how his mother copes with the loss. When I read the book jacket I thought this would be one that I would cry over (I love books like that!), I didn't shed one tear. While this book was good and kept my attention, it screamed Lifetime movie. The one thing I didn't like about the book was the constant flashbacks... instead of the dozens and dozens of memories of James, I wish the author would have stuck with th ...more
Lauren
Mar 02, 2016 Lauren rated it it was amazing
I actually cried when I read this. That's a rarity for me. This book pulls at you, and connects on a very deep level, especially if you're the mother to a little boy. The character and the story stays with you.
Jodi
Jun 22, 2010 Jodi rated it liked it
Before you start reading this book, be sure to grab a box of tissues. This book isn't just about grief though, it is a book that helps teach us the power of forgiveness and the strength of letting go.

I thought that the ending was a little predictible and some of the characters were a little weak; however I think that this author is one to watch, and for a first book she did really well. I will be keeping her on my radar and looking for her new books.
Evelyn Mairlot
Oct 19, 2013 Evelyn Mairlot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Het ongeluk' is een verhaal over de pijnlijke strijd van afscheid nemen, het afscheid tussen moeder en zoon. Ongewild, abrupt en vooral heel erg pijnlijk. De auteur weet met de juiste woorden de lezer van begin tot einde mee te nemen in dit rollercoaster van emoties. Een prachtig boek, over zo'n moeilijk thema. Een vlotte schrijfstijl, spanning, emoties, een topper als je het mij vraagt! Zeker één van de beste boeken die ik de laatste jaren gelezen heb.
Erin
Sep 21, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it
I'm giving this book 4 stars because it was very well told but I found it emotionally difficult to read -- the story takes place in Madison WI where I used to live so that added more familiarity ---- a divorced mother is on a lake vacation with friends when her younger son is killed when he is killed by a jet ski in the lake, and the book is about how she, her friends, and her other son deal with it. I found it heartwrenching and believable.
Tammy
Feb 06, 2009 Tammy rated it it was amazing
I read this book over 2 days. I haven't stopped thinking about it since I finished it. This book is everything a novel should be. You not only connect with the characters,you FEEL what they are going through. The loss,grief,anger and healing are described in a way that is so utterly real and emotional you can't help but empathise. I think anyone that has ever lost someone special to them should read this book. Totally Amazing.
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Judy Merrill Larsen taught high school English in Wisconsin and Missouri for fifteen years. Her debut novel All the Numbers was published in 2006; she is currently at work on her second novel. She currently lives in Kirkwood, MO with her husband and their five children."
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