Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
There is a lot about this book that we can not put in the review, as it would spoil your read.
It is best to know as little as possible before reading the book. This makes this review very hard to describe without giving too much away.
The book is narrated by the central character Mary Beth, Mary Beth is married to Glen, an ophthalmologist (an eye doctor!). She runs her own garden landscaping business but she’s first and foremost a mum. Ruby is the oldest of the kids; she’s in her last year at school before leaving for college, she has a good bunch of friends and is in a relationship with Kiernan, though she’s gradually outgrowing him. Then there’s Alex, an outgoing lad and budding sports star, and his twin brother Max, who loves drumming and comic books and is a sensitive soul.
The first half of this book is very slow going because of all the detail, and stories of every day life in America and mundane family troubles.
A lot of the group wanted to give up after reading 100 pages in. But you have to keep going! When you get to the second half you will see the reason for the relatively bland first half.
After “the event” in your life, whatever it may be, you long for the ordinariness of that “Before” time and resent yourself for having been so complacent.
The book deals quite intensely with issues of death, tragedy, depression and grief and we compared the book the Alice Sebold’s Lovely Bones.
Some of it is quite difficult to get through, and there is sometimes too much detail describing each character. Anna Quindlen is an author who uses ten words where many would use two!
However, most of the characters felt authentic to us and we were easily pulled into their story and all their various dysfunctional relationships.
The books final words of wisdom that is said by Mary Beth makes sense of the situation “Maybe crazy is just the word we use for feelings that will not be contained”.
Doesn’t everyone feel a little crazy at points in their life?
You will find that you will be unable to put it down once you have got through the scene setting and character profiles.
We all felt that Mary Beth was nothing inspiring and somewhat boring definitely not Bodecia! The book is very disturbing and bleak, so much so that one of our members said that she felt sorry for the book!
So, get your Kleenex ready. If you have had any losses in your life, you’re likely to get emotional when you read this book.
We gave Every Last One 4.5 / 10
The book we are now reading is The Ghost Road by Pat Barker