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Every Last One

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  26,556 Ratings  ·  3,941 Reviews
In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Times bestselling 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, whose three teenaged children come first, before her career as a landscape garde
Hardcover, 299 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Random House (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Raw. Powerful. Real. Not for cynics or sissies.
If you have experienced a devastating event that has permanently divided your life into a "Before" and an "After," this book will really speak to your heart. I know it spoke to mine. If you're fortunate enough not to have been through the fire, there's much to be gained here in understanding another person's pain and knowing how best to help them.

For maximum impact, it's best to know as little as possible prior to reading the book. When I brought
Nov 05, 2015 Deanna rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I can't believe I forgot about this book! Granted I read it over 5 years ago, but when I saw a friend had recently reviewed it, it all came flooding back.

I remember after I read it, it was all I could think about for days.....

Mary Beth Latham is a devoted mother of three children. Lately she finds herself thinking more and more about how fast life goes. She feels like her children have grown into teenagers almost overnight.

Told from Mary Beth's point of view, the first half of novel is
Lisa Vegan
Apr 22, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, reviewed, novel, aaalt
I recommend reading this book knowing very little about it. I always read the cover and inside covers first and what I learn usually whets my appetite and rarely am I disappointed to have the information. However, the inside front cover of this book revealed more than I wanted to know. Perhaps that’s just me; I don’t know.

Quindlen is a fine writer and a skillful story teller; I learned so much about these family members and those they knew incredibly rapidly.

The story is beautifully written, wi
Apr 26, 2015 Elyse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
UPDATE: 4/26/2015 I read this book years ago --and had given it 3 stars at the time...

I came back today to give it 5 stars ---My reason for changing it --is because its very clear this book left a lasting impression on me. A message in the book is strong. It 'wasn't clear to me at the time -it is 'now'. I HIGHLY recommend this book for MOTHERS who have daughters (especially if they still have daughters living at home with them).

I have many thoughts about this book---
but the most important is thi
Mar 27, 2014 Alecia rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 07, 2013 Delee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, own, reviewed
When I read EVERY LAST ONE by Anna Quindlen I was told by a few people that something terrible was going to happen, and to stick it out in spite of the somewhat slow pace of the first half. As happy as I was to get this advice I didn't need it, because I grew to love these characters through their day to day humdrum lives. I am grateful that I didn't know what that something terrible was, so I will keep this review brief-not to give anything away.

Read this book! It is wonderful! But be warned: H
Ruth Turner
May 14, 2015 Ruth Turner rated it it was ok

Where to start?

The writing was rambling and disjointed. I got to page 80 and then went back to the beginning to try to make sense of what I was reading. Didn't help.

The characters, all of them, were cardboard cutouts with no emotional depth. And none of them seemed to have their own voice. Often after reading a sentence I'd have to stop and think...Wait...Which one are you again?

And the story line? It moves oh sooooo slowly towards the climax of the book, and oh sooooo slowly to the finish.

A qu
Mar 26, 2016 Tania rated it really liked it
A loose end - that's what we women call it, when we are overwhelmed by the care of small children, the weight of small tasks, a life in which we fall into bed at the end of the day exhausted from being all things to all people.

I've read three of this author's books before, and absolutely loved all of them, but this was a long time ago. I'm glad to say that I loved this quiet and beautifully written book. Her writing still has the ability to hook me on the first sentence, even when she is only d
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Compelling story! I use this phrase sparingly, as the story has to be one that completely ensconces me into its plot line and characters. Every Last One accomplishes that to perfection. Quindlen has an amazing talent for developing characters in which the reader becomes emotionally invested. I don't want to sound trite, but the characters really do come alive for the reader. Quindlen also has quite the knack for writing about an important issue that exposes it but doesn't preach or judge, a natu ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Laurel rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was my first Quindlen book. I became curious about her after reading her high praise of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones (another book I didn't particularly enjoy). It's sort of funny because I felt these two books were quite similar in tone and even (partly) in subject matter.

Every Last One is hard to describe without giving too much away, but it deals quite intensely with issues of death, tragedy, depression and grief. In that sense, it's not what I would call an enjoyable read. Some of i
Apr 19, 2010 Marcia rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, x2010
The first half of Every Last One by Anna Quindlen is best described with the adjective quotidian. Mary Beth Latham and her family (husband, Glen; daughter, Ruby; twin sons, Alex and Max) go through the daily routine so familiar to anyone who has had kids in middle school and high school and who remembers (fondly or not) the soccer games and practices, the having to be at opposite ends of the town at the exact same time, the crises of young love, etc. And so, the first half of Every Last One lull ...more
Jul 27, 2010 Lara rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult-fiction
Anna Quindlen should fire her editor. She used the term 'abstracted' until page 190 and then substituted it for 'distracted' for the rest of the book. Given the context, I'm fairly sure she should have been using 'distracted' throughout. There are a few other weird words that she uses. Can a character be 'agnostic' about the word 'shrink'? Seems like he should be 'undecided' or 'ambivalent'. I forgive Alex his misuse of 'dubious' because he's a teenager and it's a fad word. But the shrink? C'mon ...more
Just before one of my favorite indie bookstores closed its doors for good, I went on a book-buying spree. This was one of the books I got, picked without even reading the back cover, simply because I've liked much of Quindlen's works. Once I started reading, I almost put it down; I could see horrific disaster looming. I just wasn't sure how I'd handle that type of personal tragedy, even though it's been almost 2 years since my family's fatal night. But I, too, have a survivor in my life, and she ...more
Jun 12, 2010 Diane rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-books-read
A few friends had mentioned that they thought Every Last One: A Novel was an excellent, so I decided to give it a try. I wish I had passed; here's why:

It's a story about a mother, Mary Beth Latham, who is totally devoted to her (3) teenage children. Even her husband Glen, an Opthamologist, feels she is to involved in the daily lives of twins Alex and Max, polar opposites. Alex excels in sports and is very outgoing, and Max is quiet and obviously depressed. Daughter Ruby. has suffered an eating d
Aug 03, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane Chamberlain
Apr 25, 2010 Diane Chamberlain rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. Not much happens in the first half, yet I was engaged from the start because Quindlen made me want to know her characters. She drew them so realistically, they felt like my neighbors which makes what happens to all of them that much more devastating. You often wonder how someone can go on living after a tragedy. Quindlen has taken on the challenge of exploring exactly that, with compassion, heart and skill.
Sep 17, 2010 Jlaurenmc rated it did not like it
I hate to post in less than a week's time that I abandoned yet another book. I'm especially pained to admit that I stopped reading Anna Quindlen's latest novel Every Last One. And yet here I am, telling you exactly that. The truth is, my reading life is simply too full -- there are too many fabulous reads out in the vast space that is this world -- for me to spend time reading books I don't enjoy. So, after reading Every Last One more than halfway through (and loving it so much that I was up at ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Kristina rated it it was amazing
If you intend to read this book, don't go fishing around on the internet unless you want to know what happens. I liked not knowing. This is the second book I've read by her and thought the first was okay, but this was totally different and kind of blew me away. The author is obviously a mother and wife herself to garner the dead-on insights into her main character. Even though my children are still small, I could appreciate her descriptions of mothering teenagers. It reminded me how being the mo ...more
Chris Antenen
Apr 20, 2010 Chris Antenen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kindle
I just finished this book and am again in awe of Anna Quindlen's ability with the written word. I don't believe her novels have the same appeal to me as her essays, but in her fiction she has a way of walking slowly through reality. She builds the characters in such an intimate way that when the story unfolds, the reader feels and thinks with them. In spite of foreshadowing, I didn't see events unfolding as they did. The very trite 'couldn't put it down' fits here. Highly recommend reading Every ...more
Jennifer Masterson
May 27, 2014 Jennifer Masterson rated it really liked it
This book was extremely disturbing and sad (not in a Stephen King sort of a way). I actually had to take a break from it for a couple of days because of what happens in the middle of the book. It's not for everyone so be forewarned. I will not give anything away but it deals with love and loss. It's brutal.
Jul 19, 2010 Gwendolyn rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 27, 2010 Edith rated it really liked it
This is Anna Quindlen’s latest book…had to reserve it and wait a couple weeks. First, I would definitely recommend not reading ANY reviews or even necessarily the jacket blurb before beginning this book if you want to get maximum impact from the story. Anna Quindlen is a good writer and leads you ever so calmly into her story…I was compelled to keep reading because I knew something BIG had to happen; you sense something coming, but it takes its time. You will be halfway through the book before t ...more
Melissa Crytzer Fry
Sep 27, 2010 Melissa Crytzer Fry rated it it was ok
Even though the story ended on a better note than it started, I must say, I am disappointed. The first 160 pages are exposition told through flashback after flashback as the character is driving – to work, to school to pick up her kids, to summer camp to pick up her kids.

Additionally, because we see the characters through only the protagonist’s eyes and rarely through active scenes, I never felt much of a connection to this woman and her children. The dialogue, too, when it existed, seemed some
Dec 08, 2011 Roxanne rated it really liked it
I recommend you do not read the book's jacket, or, any book reviews. Just read this book! Be patient, the first half of the book builds to the climax of the novel.

I did not pick a very good time to personally read this book. Our family has recently been rocked by a "before" and "after" event and it was very emotional to actually read this. Some reviewers describe Anna Quindlen's novels "dark." They are anything but, they are honest and real. Maybe you have just been lucky enough to have not exp
Artemis Nitzband
May 19, 2010 Artemis Nitzband rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kasa Cotugno
May 25, 2010 Kasa Cotugno rated it really liked it
Anna Quindlan, like Jodi Picoult, writes deftly of normal families caught in moments of crisis. Unlike Picoult, who takes her subjects from headlines or hot current topics, Quindlan spends a long time building a backstory before exploding the forward momentum. In an interview she says she looks for the telling details, the details that reveal. In this case, her microscopic attention to detail slows the pace almost to the point of inertia. It only becomes apparent later what she is trying to do, ...more
Every Last One is the worst book I have read this year, and perhaps, the worst book I have ever read. It was SO boring that I fell asleep reading it...three different times! I always try to start a review with the positives of the book, but I am coming up with nothing.

There were several things that caused my dislike of the book, and they are:

1)The constant flashbacks. Without warning all of a sudden it wasn't the present anymore, but Mary Beth's memory and then after a short while, again with o
Aug 02, 2010 M rated it really liked it
I will preface this review by saying that I could see why a lot of people would not like this book. In fact, I can't think of a single friend I would recommend it to, as its structure is essentially: monotonous details of people's lives for 200 pages, then huge senseless tragedy, then angst/recovery. This is however also why I consider this novel a triumph for Quindlen, who was able to make (for me, that is) a most enthralling world out of details.
Throughout the novel, I reflected on Quindlen's
Feb 11, 2016 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-book
I was enjoying listening to Anna Quindlen's Every Last One until tragedy struck. Yes, I was shocked by it when it happened.. but the aftermath left me feeling sad yet bored. All in all, this one just wasn't for me in the long run.

Ruby was a great character that I like to think I'd be friends with in real life, though, so I definitely want to applaud Quindlen on doing such a great job creating her.
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Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. She is the author of eight novels: OBJECT LESSONS, ONE TRUE THING, BLACK AND BLUE, BLESSINGS, RISE AND SHINE, EVERY LAST ONE, STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS, and MILLER'S VALLEY. Her memoir LOTS OF CANDLES, PLENTY OF CAKE, published in 2012, was a number one New York Times bests ...more
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“Here is one of the worst things about having someone you love die: It happens again every single morning.” 118 likes
“Sometimes I remind myself that I almost skipped the party, that I almost went to a different college, that the whim of a minute could have changed everything and everyone. Our lives, so settled, so specific, are built on happenstance.” 69 likes
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