This was a wonderfully written book. I absolutely could not put it down. I loved the characters, and cried continually because of the pain they suffered. The ending is satisfying and realistic. Read this book if you are a parent. Read this book if you have a heart! Kudos to the author!!
Judy Larsen touched my soul with this book and that is not something I say lightly. Reading this book was like being with a friend through a horrific ordeal and holding her hand all the way. A mother loses a son - what then? I've read other books with this theme - this one made me live it. I read a lot and this book touched me in ways no book has in years. As a mother, as a friend, as another human - I felt for the characters in this book. Highly recommended!
Wow! Amazingly powerful book. I loved every minute of it. The characters were wonderfully developed and realistic. I could see pieces of myself in the main character and picture my close friends as those depicted in the book. The story moved at a great pace and the flashbacks were nicely placed and not confusing to the story. I openly cried reading of the pain and suffering of the family reduced to mother and one son. Larsen did a great job with this novel. I was hoping that Ellen would end up with the prosecutor, but I'm glad that story line was not explored because it would have taken away from the grief. I have never read a book that accurately portrayed the loss of a son from a mother like this one. A fabulous read! You will love it!
Full of real-life emotion and elements that move you ... tragedy, forgiveness, redemption, all that good stuff.
THis is a poignant story of the unimaginable loss of Ellen's youngest son James through a Jet Ski accident. It takes you through her toughest time with her oldest son Daniel and their eventual learning to cope, helping each other along the way. It's well written, sad of course but worth reading.
I really enjoyed this book. It is not often that a book will bring me to tears, but this one did. I'm sure any parent would react much the same way, the emotions within All the Numbers are just that strong. I'm a confirmed fan of Judy Larsen's and I eagerly anticipate reading her next book!
Excellant story - tissues are a must while reading. Very emotional subject about the loss of a child and coping as best as you can. The book grabs you right at the beginning and keeps you reading till you finish. Looking forward to reading other books by this author
What an absolutely beautiful book! A completely unpretentious yet honest look at grief and allowing your life to move on after tragedy. Captivating from beginning to end. Cannot wait for more from this author!
Ellen Banks is a high school teacher who is spending the last weekend in summer, before the start of the school year, with her two sons at a friend's lake house. This is a ritual they have followed for many years. Unfortunately what starts out as a lazy summer day ends in tragedy with Ellen's son James being hit by a jet skier and suffering a catastrophic brain injury. So begins Ellen's journey into the unthinkable, the loss of a child.
Larsen expertly weaves a tale of unbearable tragedy. Step by step we walk with Ellen, as she transfers her eleven year old son to the hospital, through the air lift to another medical center, surgery and the heart breaking decision to take James off life support. We are one with Ellen as she tries to comprehend what has happened to her, as she tries to be strong for her remaining child, Daniel, himself only thirteen. We understand her anguish as she decides to donate James' organs, although the deed offers her no solace. We watch as she collapses, crawls into bed, weeps and goes through the motions. All the while Ellen's sole objective is to get justice for James by bringing the boy who caused his death to trial for manslaughter.
This is what my mom used to call a âthree hankie tear jerker'. I cried so much at some points I had to put the book down. Although I had some minor problems with the book, overall it was engrossing, heart breaking and ultimately uplifting. Knowing someone who lost her teen age son to a similar accident it was a slice of real life for me, and a book I'll not soon forget.
I read this book over 2 days. I haven't stopped thinking about it since I finished it. This book is everything a novel should be. You not only connect with the characters,you FEEL what they are going through. The loss,grief,anger and healing are described in a way that is so utterly real and emotional you can't help but empathise. I think anyone that has ever lost someone special to them should read this book. Totally Amazing.
Sad story that takes you in very quickly and never disappoints you. The main character's pain if very real and you can almsot feel waht seh feels. The writing is great. Highly recommended.
This was such a good book. I read it in under 2 days. It was so "real-life" and emotional. None of the unnecessary fluff or fillers, it moved right along bringing you through the year following Ellen's horrible tragedy. I absolutely can't say enough about this book, execpt it's one of VERY FEW that made me cry. The ending left me feeling so complete, which is also a rarity when reading!!! Please read this one!
I loved this book - I was able to finish this over a weekend. The author captures the feelings and emotions any parent would feel in such a situation. I cried during parts of this because her words were put together so intense. I felt like I was there just observing what was happening to the mother.
I passed this book to my mother and a co-worker (both reading fanatics like me) and their feelings were the same.
I wonder if this happened to me if I would react the same in the end. ??
Excellent book! Very emotional. Will make you cry. It makes you look at your life a little differently and make you more appreciative of what you have. The love for a child is like no other and the way she describes her feelings and emotions through the book are exactly as one would imagine. It is a book that will captivate you and touch your heart. Reading it you forget it is a fictional story and can see yourself grieving along with the mother and praying that you never have to deal with anything like it. 5 Stars!!
I cried my eyes out from beginning to end with this one. So unbelievably well written and heart wrenching, and just impossible to put down. I have two sons very close in age to the main characters sons, and the authors descriptions of these two boys were very similar to mine, so this book was very emotional and difficult for me to read, but incredible, none the less. Hope your lucky enough to have someone to hold you while you cry when your done with this one, because it is a MAJOR TEAR JERKER.
This was a very moving, well written story about a mother's worst nightmare...the loss of a child. Well worth reading, but keep the tissues handy, you will need them.
All the numbers is a masterfully written book. Judy Merrill Larsen takes you on an emotional rollercoaster of a familys grief of losing an 11 year old boy named James. We first come upon Ellen when the event has already happened; right away the book pulls you into its emotional current and prepares you to hang on.
From that emotional beginning we move backwards and start where the evens would begin. We follow Ellen as she does the regular things we all do, she goes to the DMV and has a scuffle with the clerk about coffee. She goes shopping; she picks up her kids and listens to their demands. Dont all of us do these same things everyday? And most of all she is looking forward to the yearly trip to the cabin. How she to know this was would be the summer all of it would change? How would any of us know?
You will cry when you read this book. You will cry as you watch Ellen make choices none of us would want to have to make about her youngest son and his death. You will cry when you see how she tries, and sometimes fails to be strong for her older son Daniel. Judy Merrill Larsen writes this book in such a way you can not help but picture it all. You can not help yourself but to feel the true raw emotion behind it.
Ellen also learns a lesson in that family is not always just blood. Her friends thats she has known for many years stand by her through all of it. Anna and Sam are like rocks to her, and a friend she didnt know could be made in a nurse named Laurie from the hospital. As the story continues the grief of fighting for a criminal trial introduces her to a wonderful lawyer named Bob. She feels guilty for her feelings towards him. Guilty that her sons death should bring her close to someone who might bring her happiness.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something good to read. The content is heavy, but it does have its bright points. There are happy moments, in memories and in learning how to live again after tragedy. This book teaches you that although life will not be the same, you can still live it
This book looked like a really good read but I got about 10 pages in and started bawling. I couldn't finish it. Judy appears to be an excellent writer and maybe another time, I'll try to read it again but it's just so emotionally charged you have to be in a good frame of mind to delve in. If you have any difficulties reading books about children who have been hurt, mistreated, abused, die, etc. this book may not be for you. Very intense.
This is an absolutely wonderful story about a terrible subject; the unthinkable loss for a mother, brother, family & friends. I dare you not to cry at this one. Thanks to PBS for introducing me to this book.
I loved this book. I love to read about people overcoming great hardships to find happiness.
This book was so good, but at the same time heartbreaking. My son was around the same age as the boy in the book, & it really affected me. I don't usually tear up when reading, but this book had me crying like a baby all the way through.
I picked this one up after reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and gave up after about 50 pages. I honestly cannot understand the great reviews. Neither the story or the characters, as written, grabbed me. I found Ellen to be one dimensional, the writing sophomoric and lacking in originality. Many of the scenes did not feel real - the younger son's shoe shopping expedition, the talk with Melanie at Union Terrace. She calls her sons "babe", her friend calls her "babe". And on and on ..... I thought that I was in the middle of a poorly written, made for TV movie. Stories about the loss of a child have been done before by far better authors. Larsen's book has been compared to Jaqcueline Mitchard's "Deep End of the Ocean" and Judith Guest's "Ordinary People". Do yourself a favor, skip this one.
As a child, Ellen Banks' son Daniel would ask his mother, "How much do you love me?" Ellen would always answer, "I love you all the numbers."
What begins as a beautifully sunny August afternoon on a bucolic lake, suddenly turns tragic when a Jet Ski swerves fatally close to the shore. It's a day Ellen Banks could never have prepared for, a day no mother should ever have to face.
From the moment her son James is killed, Ellen is thrown into a maelstrom of sadness and grief. She now must face the unimaginable prospect of living in a family that has been forever altered while somehow continuing to stay strong for her older son, Daniel. Daniel, who witnessed the fateful accident and blames himself for his younger brother's death.
Ellen's shock and grief soon give way to anger and defiance as lawyers and policemen who once vowed to support her quest for justice succumb to political pressure and back away. Still, Ellen is determined to see the reckless young man pay for his crime and to heal her family's deep wounds. But first she must heal herself.
This was quite a book. Touching and very poignant, the story was an extremely powerful one for me to read. While All the Numbers: A Novel was certainly sad, I enjoyed the book immensely and am eagerly awaiting Judy Merrill Larsen's next book with baited breath. I give this book a blazing A+!
A good book, but a real tear-jerker!
This book was great...a must read! Be ready with the tissues though!
Wonderful novel. It is a bittersweet story of a mother's loss of her child and the journey she goes through to find peace. This is the hardback version.
A Jet Ski swerves fatally close to shore. Ellen Banks' son James is kille.Ellen's older son,Daniel,who wittnessed the fateful accident blames himself.
Every parent should read this!