Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
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.
Me? Trying to do a serious book review? Why? Because I really liked this book.
I like Quindlen's writing style, altho I have only ever read one other book by her, "Black and Blue". Both books have a melancholy feel to them ... but not in a bad way, if that makes sense.
In the back of the book, in the Reader's Guide, Random House asks, " What made you want to write about tragedy striking an ordinary family?"
Quindlen goes on to answer that, but I had to ask myself, what made me want to read about tragedy striking an ordinary family.
I guess I can only answer that we are all ordinary, and all of us in one way or another are not immune to tragedy. And how this certain ordinary parent/family reacts to it, is the gist of the plot. I guess that what Quindlen does, is she shows that even in loving families, nothing is what it seems and we (looking at something from the outside) don't always know it all. We don't have all the answers for other people. Even tho we think we do.
I think overall this book is about relationships. It raises questions about parenting, raises questions about relationships with older parents, friends and spouses. It's about change and starting over.
Okay fine! I'm still just telling you why I like the book, aren't I? How do you book blogger reviewers do it?
Let me just say, I did like the book. I think the author has a talent for looking deeply into people's souls, with all their good and bad, and then making them likable characters.
I think YOU should read it. With Kleenex.