Every Last One by Anna Quindlen, 299 pages
review book from Random House Canada; A - Zed Challenge (E title)
Published April 13, 2010
Do you have an author you associate with a particular friend? Jill at the Magic Lasso has always written about how much she enjoys Anna Quindlen's books, so when I saw this book, I decided to take a chance on the author, knowing nothing about the book, trusting Jill's book opinion. That Jill sure is a great recommender!
Whenever I've read a book knowing nothing about the plot, I hesitate to reveal much of anything because I think that my experience was based on that lack of knowledge, and I suppose everyone should have my same experience. So, not much of a plot summary from me today. This was a very emotional read, the kind that had me staying up too late, reading, sobbing in bed, trying not to wake my husband, and waking with red-rimmed eyes. And to be clear, this makes it a great book by me!
I like a book that immerses me into the life of the narrator, in this case, Mary Beth, the mother of three teenagers. She narrates her fortyish life, with a melancholy, a midlife reflecting of what her life is now that her children are growing and her role is changing. I just liked how Mary Beth looked at life, I recognized her feelings and reactions, even while not always liking her or her actions. Quindlen does an amazing job of balancing the emotional aspect with the plot. She didn't spell everything out, but gave just enough to keep things moving.
I tried to describe the setting of this book in my It's Tuesday, Where Are You? meme last week, but the setting isn't a key part of this book - it's a home, with a family, with married parents and teenagers, and it's about a woman's life and how she deals with a terrible event that changes everything she thought she knew. I feel like all the cliches about writing- effortless, readable, identifiable characters, are what I want to use to describe Every Last One. And that is why it was such a great read - it was all those things and made such an emotional connection without being manipulative, (I hate when I feel manipulated into an emotional reaction.)
also reviewed by
Jill at the Magic Lasso
Lesley at lesley's book nook