This is an unusual book...the first part is interesting enough but I started to wonder if I had inadvertently ordered some "chick lit." Kept reading, and boy did it become deeper--way more of a story of a woman wondering about how her life has become about everyone else in her family. Don't want to spoil anything, but it becomes shocking and heartbreaking. Not sure if I would recommend it to people who want light reading.
When my daughter Angie read this book she labeled it "gut wrenching." The unabridged audio book had been on my shelf for a year by then, and her comment pushed me to read it. "Every Last One" is a book that will stick with me for a long time. Quindlen's ability to introduce you to her characters in such a way that you want to know them is masterful.
I could completely identify with Mary Beth. Getting out of bed early to have some quiet time before her husband and 3 teenagers wake up, because then she will begin her hectic day of cooking, cleaning, managing the family activities as well as her own career as the owner of a landscaping business. Each day passes pretty much like the one before while you get to know the characters. Her life sometimes seems too much to handle, and sometimes it feels like not enough.
Mid book, everything changes from a nice family tale of daily life, to living a life you don't recognize. Like my daughter, gut wrenching describes my feelings about "Every Last One." I cried for a solid hour. I couldn't stop. The good news is I was listening to the audio book so I could still listen while I cried. Like others mentioned, I had not read the dust cover of the book and didn't know a lot about the plot, but I had read and enjoyed other Anna Quindlen novels and knew it would be at least enjoyable. It far exceeded enjoyable for me.
If you have ever known someone who has endured a terrible loss or been through a devastating experience, I would encourage you to read this book. It may help you to understand how to approach and support them and to possibly understand a little bit of what they may be going through.