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299 pages, Hardcover
First published April 13, 2010
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.What seems like a normal happy life for an ordinary family of two parents and three children, turns out to be something totally different when the mother's idea of happiness is exploding in her face. She always tried to make everyone happy, but it turned out that nobody was happy. The backlash of the events following a terrible tragedy, forced her to discover the rest of the icebergs hidden from the naked eye, which everybody managed to conceal for so long. In order for her to heal, she had to understand the second personna in all her friends and family. We all have them. And we all hide it. But sometimes it simply is not possible to do so, especially when the door closes behind us and we're alone...
Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother, 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 woman’s 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.
Deborah: Mary Beth, you're my best friend. I'm in a hopeless condition right now because I lost my little child in a swimming pool accident. I can't take care of Kiernan just now, can you do it for a couple of days.
Mary Beth (with a patient voice): Oh honey, you know that's not such a good idea! He needs to be with you and your husband now.
Deborah (almost falling down with grief and medication for grief): Look at me, Mary Beth. Do you think I'm in any position to handle him? He says he wants to stay with you guys...
Mary Beth (still with the patient voice): You know that's not such a good idea...
If I were Deborah, Mary Beth would get a fist in her face, but she gets lucky as always. Deborah (snarling): Fair weather friend!
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.