Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Search - Every Last One

Every Last One
Every Last One
Author: Anna Quindlen
In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Times bestselling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions. — Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother, whose three teenaged children come first,...  more »
Info icon
ISBN-13: 9781400065745
ISBN-10: 1400065747
Publication Date: 4/27/2010
Pages: 288
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 107 ratings
Publisher: Random House
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

natalietahoe avatar reviewed Every Last One on + 70 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I read Anna Quindlen's Every Last One with a little bit of hesitation -- I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book since I was one of the few people who wasn't the biggest fan for Quindlen's very popular book, Rise and Shine. I know, I know. I was one of "them."

Last weekend, I was on another flight coming back from Boston and I had just finished Raven Stole the Moon. I closed that book on the flight and thank goodness, I had Every Last One in my carry-on bag. Most of you all know that I cannot stand being on a plane when I've finished a book and then I'm stuck in the air with nothing to do but deal with all the "Bobs" out there.

In this recent Quindlen release, Mary Beth Latham is married with 3 children and lives in the suburbs. Her husband is an optometrist and Mary Beth owns her own landscaping business, and although a bit flawed, life is, for the most part, good. Ruby, her oldest daughter is going to go off to college soon, and her twin boys have just entered high school -- Alex is incredibly athletic and popular, and Max is musically-inclined and a loner. Their house in the neighborhood is beautiful. They have two cars. They have a dog. Life is...fine.

I opened up Every Last One and the first 100 pages threw me a bit for a loop -- I was drawn into it, but I just couldn't figure out why. Mary Beth's voice was so removed, almost like she was looking at her life through a camera and filming it -- distant, sad, disconnected. Usually something like this would frustrate me, but I couldn't stop reading it.

And then the last half of the book happened, and I will not give one hint away. It's good. It's really, really good. I couldn't read certain pages without tearing up or my throat closing over, and I shuddered and gasped at everything. I cannot in good conscience give a thing away.

Anna Quindlen has written with such an effortless manner to leave you completely stunned. With cunning ease, she has drawn you into the lives of one family in one town. And how quickly any one of us could be them.

Do not pass by this one. Pick it up. Drink it in. Hug your family.

AmazonBlonde avatar reviewed Every Last One on
Helpful Score: 3
What I loved most about this book is Anna's keen ability to draw you in with her writing. She is so very gifted. I had post-it notes on pages where there was a word I needed the definition of; so reading this book really increased my vocabulary!
I love this book so much I got the audio version as well!
All of Anna's books are tremendous.
megt avatar reviewed Every Last One on + 178 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I agree with some other reviews that the back of the book was somewhat of a spoiler, luckily for me I didnt read it before I read the book. This was a great and moving story. Well written and very emotional, classic Anna Quindlen.
reviewed Every Last One on + 952 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I really enjoyed this book about a suburban mom of teenagers because Quindlen nailed the experience exactly. "Snowfall is one of the best things that can happen to a family. The centrifugal force of daily life that flings us in different directions will be stilled."

As other readers have commented, I wish I had not heard about the big "bad thing" that happens in the novel because it interfered with my reading experience. (Is this going to be the chapter when the "bad thing" happens?) Nevertheless, I liked the writing, the voice, and the ultimate message of the story. I'm one of the people who needed tissues.
reviewed Every Last One on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was pretty far into this book, when I thought to myself, I have no idea who some of these characters she's writing about are. That usually means I'm losing interest & skimming along. Then all of a sudden I was sucked in. And then 'the big thing' happened. I'll just say that the rest of my afternoon was spent in my reading corner, mostly crying. Some of the parts of the story were to me a little needless, out of place & unrealistic. But at the end of the story, I was glad to have read it & it certainly makes one more appreciative of every person in their life & every minute with them.
Read All 21 Book Reviews of "Every Last One"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

jasoncavallaro avatar reviewed Every Last One on + 68 more book reviews
One of the best books I've read this year
reviewed Every Last One on + 7 more book reviews
Not one of Quindlens's best. The story concept is solid, but she populates it with too many people who never fully develop...or develop very late in the book. I found myself wanting a list of 'who's who' to help sort the characters when they popped up. Distracting.
emeraldfire avatar reviewed Every Last One on
For Mary Beth Latham, the loving mother of three children and wife of a very successful eye doctor, nothing is more important to her than her family and their well-being. She is first and foremost a mother to three teenaged children - daughter Ruby, and fraternal twin boys, Alex and Max. Her own career as a gardener and landscaper, and to a certain extent, even her marriage to her husband, Glen, tends to take a backseat to her role as a mother for Mary Beth.

Caring for her family and preserving their day-to-day happiness in life is paramount. So, when one of her sons, Max, becomes severely depressed, Mary Beth focuses on getting him the help he needs - so much so, that she is completely blindsided by a shocking act of violence - the explosive consequences of what seem to be inconsequential actions.

What follows 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 every human being, one to another. Ultimately, Every Last One: A Novel by Anna Quinlen, is about facing every last one of our deepest fears, about finding a way to navigate roads we never intended to travel, and to live a life we never dreamed we'd have to live but must be brave enough to try.

I've read only three books by Anna Quindlen in the past, but am quickly beginning to think of her as one of my favorite authors. I must say that I absolutely loved Every Last One: A Novel. The plot was enthralling - capturing my attention from page one with likeable characters and heart-stopping drama. The story was also incredibly poignant for me. In my opinion, Anna Quindlen is a terrific author, and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.

I give Every Last One: A Novel by Anna Quindlen an A+! This book is a definite keeper for me, and is perhaps my favorite book of the month.


Want fewer ads?