Every Last One: A Novel

Every Last One: A Novel, by Anna Quindlen ($15.21)

Publisher’s Weekly: In her latest, Quindlen (Rise and Shine) once again plumbs the searing emotions of ordinary people caught in tragic circumstances. Mary Beth Latham is a happily married woman entirely devoted to her three teenaged children. When her talented daughter Ruby casually announces she’s breaking up with her boyfriend Kirenan, a former neighbor who’s become like family, Mary Beth is slightly alarmed, but soon distracted by her son Max, who’s feeling overshadowed by his extroverted, athletic twin brother Alex. Quindlen’s novel moves briskly, propelled by the small dramas of summer camp, proms, soccer games and neighbors, until the rejected Kirenan blindsides the Lathams, and the reader, with an incredible act of violence. Left with almost nothing, Mary Beth struggles to cope with loss and guilt, protect what she has left, and regain a sense of meaning. Quindlen is in classic form, with strong characters and precisely cadenced prose that builds in intensity.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Years ago I read another Quindlen novel, “One True Thing”, a marvelous book.  After listening to Diane Rehm interview the author yesterday (it’s wonderful to listen to two intelligent, reasonable, and charitable people talk about just stuff), I’m putting this new book on my short fiction list.  Quindlen, by the way, is a very interesting person.  She gave up her position as a columnist (she had no financial constraints, which helped), in order to make room for the next generation (On the other hand, if Michael Gerson was the person who the NY Times put in her slot, the made a pretty sorry choice).  — rls

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