Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Every Last Cuckoo” as Want to Read:
Every Last Cuckoo
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Every Last Cuckoo

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  1,097 ratings  ·  276 reviews
Sarah Lucas imagined the rest of her days would be spent living peacefully in her rural Vermont home in the steadfast company of her husband. But now, with Charles's sudden passing, seventy-five-year-old Sarah is left inconsolably alone.

As grief settles in, Sarah's mind lingers on her past: her imperfect but devoted fifty-year marriage to Charles; the years they spent rai
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 22nd 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Every Last Cuckoo, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Every Last Cuckoo

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,079)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Pulled this one off the shelf at home as a palate-cleanser after "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and it did nicely as such (in that it had no torture scenes). How refreshing/fascinating/unusual to have a 75 year-old female protagonist--and how sad that this is remarkable. It's about Sarah, who fills her Vermont farmhouse home with a variety of boarders after the death of her beloved husband, Charles, because she has fond memories of her parents doing the same thing during the Great Depression. The ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Yolanda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Yolanda by: Relyn
I loved this book.Thanks so much Relyn for recommending it.
This book drew me in for the start and kept me interested. It really spoke to my heart at where I am in my life right now.
I think that I very closely identified with Sarah the main character in that I am finally at 46 comfortable in my own skin and at a point where I am not obcessed with being wealthy,keeping up with the Jones or having the perfect house. I am content to just enjoy life and each day that comes.

I think that this books spe
In an American fictional tradition that rarely addresses the elderly on any significant level, Oregon writer Kate Maloy's debut novel stands out with a 75-year-old woman as its centerpiece.

In Every Last Cuckoo, Sarah Lucas lives a peaceful, pleasant life with her naturalist husband Charles in rural Vermont. They spend their twilight years puttering around the surrounding woods and eating meals with family and friends. In these opening chapters, Maloy skillfully layers details of the couple's hi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chocolate & Croissants

As I sit here to write my review about Every Last Cuckoo, I have one question. How did this book manage to sit on my shelf for so long? Look at how gorgeous the cover is. Based on the cover alone, I should have pulled it off my shelf months ago. It probably sat on my shelf for about 7 months. Which I suppose is not that long. I own books that have been sitting for years unmoved. Unbelievable I know.

When you look at the cover what does it say to you. Home, comfort, a little eclectic. It almost re
What a wonderful novel! There should be more novels about older people. I've read some good ones. (This one reminds me of Wallace Stegner's wonderful Crossing to Safety, with its focus on the strong relationship of an elderly couple.) Here, we're told the story of one year in the life of a 75-year-old woman who lives in rural Vermont--an amazing character--and her relationships with family & friends. She learns (or relearns) that to love is to live with loss, but chooses to love anyway (whic ...more
I picked this book up from off the shelf because of the colorful cover (yes, I judge that way) and because it was one of NPR's featured books in their "Chapter a Day" series.

From the first page I enjoyed Maloy's style of writing, and I loved Sarah, the main character. It was refreshing to read a story that came from the point of view of a 70-something who was going through a major shift in her life. The love between Sarah & Charles, the larger family dynamics, and the beautiful a
Lezlee Hays
I can't figure out if I just wasn't in the mood for this type of book or if it just seriously annoyed the heck out of me because it was written in such a way as to seriously annoy the heck out of me. First off, I was just bored nearly to tears until about 150 pages into the book - and I'm willing to wade through that if there's going to be some kind of pay off. But for me - there just never really was. Every time I thought I figured out where there was going to be an interesting plot line...ther ...more
This was one of the more beautiful books I've read in quite awhile.

Sarah, an elderly woman who's just lost her husband, is keenly feeling her age and what she perceives as being "useless" now. But life throws at her an abundance of those who suddenly "need" her in different ways.

One of the things I loved most about this book was the fully-developed character of Sarah. And the writing was gorgeous. It didn't trivialize nor romanticize the life of an elderly woman-- rather it showed her as a "whol
Jun 25, 2009 Relyn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women everywhere
Recommended to Relyn by: Elizabeth Berg
Oh. I liked this book. I really, really liked this book. I marked it five stars, but you know how picky I try to be with my five stars. This one is a four and a half star by my record keeping. Anyway.

I read about this book on Elizabeth Berg's blog. She discovered it and really enjoyed it. Me, too. It took my breath away, actually. Jeffrey asked me what it was about and I had a hard time answering. I finally said something like this: It's about a long, long marriage. About widowhood. About life
I've always loved the "and they lived happily ever after", but after having children of my own I started to look for something a little bit more. Thgere is so much of life left after the start of the "happily ever after". This book main charachter is 75 and I enjoyed her story. The prose was excellent and thought provoking, there were many passages throughout the book that were poignant in their simplicity and beautifully written. There were also passages I could have lived without, do I really ...more
Pauline Tilbe
I didn't know what to expect but the title intrigued me and the blurb sounded like something I'd like. Plus I loved the cover. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, the setting in Vermont and the descriptions made me feel like I was right there with them in the story. Sarah reveals her present and little bits of her past through the this story. Her ups and downs. I love how she came to acknowledge her faults and even how she resolved differences.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I'm so
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 07, 2014 Etcetorize rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: seniors
This was an interesting read and a peek into a change near the end of one's life that isn't talked about very much. When a spouse dies after a mostly happy lifetime together how does the person left behind even begin to comprehend a new life on their own?

Sarah's transition to independence occurs very slowly for the most part, which is quite natural. But there were parts of her story that I thought progressed a bit too quickly.

I was filled with a lot of anxiety each time I had to read about her w
I'll come right out and say it - I didn't care for this book. In fact, when I reached the halfway point and had no interest in any of the characters or the plot I put the book down. I ended up finishing the book out of desperation - I had 2 hours left in my flight and I'd finished my other book so begrudgingly, I kept reading Every Last Cuckoo.

I can state the 2nd half of the book is better than the first but it wasn't good enough to make me like the book. The writing is very simple, the characte
I pulled this off of my overdrive app because I had just read "Eyewitness Auschwitz" and this looked light and fluffy enough to forget Filip Muller's experience in the Nazi crematoriums.
I will say that the author is incredibly adept at descriptive narrative. This book will, at first, make you want to sell your shitty piece of suburbia and move to a country house and do something crafty like knit and make blackberry jam until you die, but the problem is that the descriptions can't carry the book
Alistair Baird
At 75, Sarah imagines her life to slowly wind down in the the company of her husband of 50 years Charles, enjoying her small circle of friends and the visits of her children and their families.. Charles' sudden death leaves Sarah trying to cope with her grief. After his death Sarah discovers the pleasures of the natural environment and takes long walks in the surrounding forests with her beloved dogs. The solitary life she envisaged for herself is interrupted by a series of " home invasions"; fi ...more
Lynett Heritz
Feb 24, 2014 Lynett Heritz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Darlene, Judy, Dyan
When searching for a new read have to admit the cover drew me in (being a lover of Fiesta Ware). Once I started reading I was transported to Sarah's life and home! Sarah's story is that of a 75 year old women and her husband Charles who live in Vermont. After Charles' death Sarah takes in an assortment of boarders for different reasons. Granddaughter, granddaughters friends, family friends cousin who rents a cabin on the property, a young couple down on their luck. Plus Sarah's story with her ki ...more
Billie Walden
I really wanted to like this book, as the scenario is one I relate to but few authors write about. The beginning was hard to read because of how much it jumped between flashbacks and current time without any way of knowing when the author shifted. Then, when the book finally got into the current plot of "what happens next" after her husband passes, the writing shifts to what seems like "omg, I only have three chapters left to get this to the printer, I better wrap it up quickly and neatly". If t ...more
Life's too short not to embrace it. Why does it often take tragic situations to truly feel this way?
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Charles and Sarah are an older married couple who’ve raised three children. Like most marriages, theirs has had its ups and downs, but they’ve settled into a happy, comfortable routine. Their three children are grown and successful, but Charles struggles with his relationship with their son David and Sarah and their daughter Charlotte have their differences. Their other son, Tom brings home a lovely young woman and life seems good.

When Charles passes away unexpectedly, Sarah finds herself at loo
Sarah is seventy-five years old and thought her life was settled and like a lot of elderly assumed that she and her husband, Charles, would live out their old age together in their rural Vermont home. Sarah is an amazing character and has a wonderful relationship with her family and her friends.

After the death of her beloved husband Charles, Sarah must learn how to love again and that loving means learning to love through loss but she finds she is unable to find ‘peace’. Slowly, Sarah begins to
"Sarah Lucas imagined the rest of her days would be spentliving peacefully in her ruralVermont home in the steadfast company of her husband. But after Charles dies suddenly, seventy-five-year-old Sarah is left inconsolably alone -- until a variety of wayward souls come seeking shelter in her big, empty house. As Sarah and this unruly flock form a family of sorts, they nurture and protect one another, discovering unsuspected strength and courage.

"... a wise and gratifying novel about a woman who
A novel about a 75-year-old woman who, after her husband dies, finds her life and outlook changing. She takes in a series of strays (first her rebellious granddaughter, then various other people who need temporary housing), she begins wandering the woods and taking photos, and she reconsiders important relationships of her past, slowly coming to terms with some difficult memories. Towards the end of the book, she sits down with some of the young people in her house to watch the Canadian movie St ...more
You know, there were reasons women fought to expand their worlds beyond home and family. If you every need a refresher on the issue, pick up this book. It is a celebration of that small world and so filled with details of the minutia of home and family it made my teeth hurt! It isn't that Maloy doesn't write beautifully; she does. It isn't that her characters aren't fully drawn and probably interesting people; they are. But . . .

We know from the back cover that Sarah will be widowed in her mid-s
i had a love/hate going the entire time i read this book. it was totally character-driven, very little plot. in the midst of serving both sets of aging parents & as that is a chief topic of conversation between me & lots of my friends, it felt like a good reminder that age doesn't mean without value or less than human or lacking in joy, dreams, questions, uncertainty, & on & on. i cried some. there was also a character who reminded me of that movie that disturbed me so much & ...more
A cuckoo bird will sometimes put itself into the nest of another bird and make its home there. After Sarah (75 years old) loses her husband, she struggles with how to make a new life for herself without Charles. She does so by inadvertently taking in a house full of borders who need somewhere to live. The “cuckoos” in her house include family (her granddaughter), friends (more teenagers) and strangers in need. One includes an Israeli man who left his country to write a book. Another is a couple ...more
Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy

Challenges read for: Goodreads, EBook

Book cover: Wonderful--all the brightly colored earthenware reminds me of all the varied types of people that come into Sarah's life.

Seventy five year old Sarah Lucas suddenly finds herself alone and grieving for her extraordinary Charles. This is a story that brings together several generations and all the baggage that comes with them.

Sarah is lost and lonely after the death of her husband, Charles. Circumstances bring her Lot
Mar 14, 2013 Gary rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: More thoughtful people
Recommended to Gary by: Book group
This book read like a Jan Karon novel, except without the Christian thought behind it. The book lets the reader understand that us old people do have a life which we value and which can be found fulfilling. Life does not stop at 60.

Maloy says that the book is for her Mom and Grandmother, as well as her aunt whom she thinks Sarah resembles. As I am reading the book, I gathered that Maloy also hopes she can turn into the woman which Sarah develops into after her husband's death. There is a certain
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 69 70 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
cover photo 2 24 Feb 13, 2009 01:58PM  
  • Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy
  • The Ghost at the Table
  • The Only True Genius in the Family
  • How Dolly Parton Saved My Life: A Novel of the Jelly Jar Sisterhood
  • Love Marriage
  • The Ra Material: An Ancient Astronaut Speaks
  • Low Magick: It's All in Your Head ... You Just Have No Idea How Big Your Head Is
  • Starting out in the evening
  • Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing About Me
  • To Heaven by Water
  • Sima's Undergarments for Women
  • The Blessings of the Animals
  • Two Rivers
  • The Death of the Adversary
  • Juno's Daughters: A Novel
  • Day for Night
  • Any Bitter Thing
  • Searching for Eternity
Kate Maloy is the author of the memoir A Stone Bridge North: Reflections in a New Life. Her work has been published by,, and the Readerville Journal. She has forthcoming pieces in the Kenyon Review and two anthologies: For Keeps and Choice. She lives with her husband on the central coast of Oregon.
More about Kate Maloy...
A Stone Bridge North Toward A New Science Of Instruction Birth or Abortion?: Private Struggles in a Political World Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, and Abortion

Share This Book

“Her memories were beads jumbled loose in a box, unstrung.” 4 likes
“Sarah, though, was still sometimes ruled by stark pain, lost to everything else. Grief slipped away, only to attack from behind. It changed shape endlessly. It lacerated her, numbed her, stalked her, startled her, caught her by the throat. It deceived her eye with glimpses of Charles, her ear with the sound of his voice. She would turn and turn, expecting him, and find him gone. Again. Each time Sarah escaped her sorrow, forgetful amid other things, she lost him anew the instant she remembered he was gone.” 0 likes
More quotes…