Every Last One

by Anna Quindlen

{ 2010 | Random House | 299 pgs }

Do you remember I told you to read Cutting for Stone? Definitely don’t bother reading Every Last One.

It’s pretty tricky to find an author whose last name starts with Q. I was able to get Every Last One for the Kindle; it was recommended, well-rated, and short, so it seemed like a win-win-win. Unfortunately, I hated it. I can’t recall finding a book quite so pointless before. Because I hope you take my advice yet again and don’t read this, I’m going to tell you the plot.

Actually, there’s very little plot. The book is narrated by Mary Beth Latham, a middle-aged mom who has a landscaping business. The entire first half of the story is simply Mary Beth talking about her family (husband Glen; daughter Ruby; twin sons Alex and Max). At the exact middle of the book, everyone in the family – except Alex, who is on a ski trip with friends – is murdered by Ruby’s psycho ex-boyfriend who has been secretly living in their unfinished attic. The second half of the book is about Mary Beth’s attempts to recover emotionally from the murders and to move on in her life with Alex.

Not only did I find the plot uninteresting, but Mary Beth’s narration was slow and I felt like I’d rather die than ever reach middle age myself. There was so much…minutiae. Is my life going to be that boring? (This is going to sound horrible – but not even the violent deaths of Mary Beth’s loved ones made the book interesting or worthwhile.)

I can’t think of much else to say, positive or negative…so I’ll just remind you: skip this one.


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