Every Last One

Quindlen, Anna

  12 Reviews

The Lathams are the quintessential successful family: Mary Beth with her landscaping business, husband Glen an ophthalmologist, and their three enviable teenagers. It's hard to imagine anything upsetting the smooth trajectories of their lives, but when it does, it is in the aftermath of tragedy that the survivors' true mettle becomes apparent.

Insightful and easy to read, this is a story about living through the unthinkable.

Comments from Groups

A good book. Most of the characters were vividly drawn. The storyline seemed a little `humdrum` until the `punch` half way through. Easy to read. Auckland 174

Lee Murray, a local author, read and discussed the book with us. Everyone enjoyed the book and expressed concern that we all tend to overlook or ignore signs of depression or stress. Lee gave an authors `slant` to the writing and content of the novel. We all agreed that no matter what kind of tragedy strikes, we all experience some guilt that we could have possibly done something to avert the tragedy. Tauranga 023

Wonderful book, well crafted. Masterton 004

Most of us were compelled to finish the book-despite it being an American family (and the mother too good to be true for some!). It handled the grieving mother very well and the characters were totally convincing, especially the daughter and Mum. Would definitely read more of Anna Quindlen's work. Renwick 001

Our members were very impressed with the style of Anna Qundlen's writing, and her portrait of family life and how the unexpected can happen at any time. A long discussion ensued. Auckland 058

Almost everyone read the book and found they couldn't put it down once they got to the terrible part. Napier 005

Some thought it was a very good portrayal of the grief process and middle class family communication. Others thought it was a portrayal of a dysfunctional family, and found it too slow. Wellington 062

What a read! The characters slowly develop over the first half of the book, but the reader senses (hopes) something is going to happen. When it does however, it is like a punch to the solar plexus. At this stage we lost one of our members who refused to read any further. Although the story itself is grim, it is based in reality. It is a picture of a woman going through various stages of grief, how people behave around her and how she herself handles the traumatic events of her life. The discussion was heated but well rounded for our group.We (except for the one member) enjoyed the book and the discussion that followed. We differed in our thoughts of how we would react under similar circumstances, and continued the discussion as we left for home - a sign of a thoroughly engrossing read. Auckland 006

We enjoyed this book despite its tragic story. It took a while to get into it, but as the story developed we saw how important the first pages were in character development.The characters were all believable and sympathetic. Even Kiernan's background and family dynamic made his later behaviour explicable. We were still able to have some understanding of him. Lower Hutt 004

While everyone agreed that this was a tragic story, plumbing unimaginable levels of grief, most felt it was over-written, and certainly didn't live up to the description of "spellbinding" on the cover. Everyone felt, however, that the characters were convincing, especially the teenagers. One member loved it, savoured it and wept as she read. Great discussion. Tauranga 016

Mixed opinions. Majority didn't like it. However, after a spirited discussion with relevant and insightful comments from those who DID like it, the "majority' were less critical, and took on board the more positive aspects. Wellington 134

This book delighted us, not for its subject matter but for the author's ability with language - many phrases you wanted to read over and over just to enjoy. The feel on your tongue was very satisfying - like a great coffee! Christchurch 219



CHCH 299
Most enjoyed this book and saw it as well-written, although several were unable to finish because of the harrowing nature of tragedy and found it too confronting. A good discussion book.
AUCK 050
Everyone had read the book which must say something about the author's ability to write. Some enjoyed the first part and not the rest. Others found the first part boring and the second part engaging. People thought the author must have experienced loss in her life, and this is true. Mostly the characters and situations rang true.
NAP 023
Most of the group liked this book and found the style of writing engaging. Much discussion of the characters, and the way the early part of the book showed a relatively normal family relationship gave the lie to the horrific outcome. The later chapters which dealt with Mary Beth and Alex's attempts to remake their lives, and the support (or lack of) which they received were very credible.
Some found this book difficult to cope with. Good discussion though.
Well-written - a book of two halves. A harrowing story.
Wow. What a surprise. Just when we thought it was yet another family saga, we were shocked by tragedy. Very well-written and compelling in the second half. All enjoyed.
Lots of discussion with some of us finding it quite a depressing read - maybe too close for those who are dealing with grief in our own lives. Others thought it well-written and found it a gripping read.
Not many of the men had managed to read all of the book, but they seemed to enjoy the discussion we had about it.
The group generally really liked the book; thought the characters were believable and it kept us guessing what would happen. Some thought the beginning was a bit long in getting to the "action", but enjoyed the book overall.
NELS 022
Generally a good read with twists and turns. We did find it believable and it was an easy read.
KURO 001
Slow to reach any climax, however an interesting read.
NEWP 016
We felt the book's characters were very typically American. We thought the characters could be better developed. We did like how the events of the story unfolded, but we felt critical of the naivety of the mother, and of the family dynamics. We liked Max. An okay story.