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YOUNG DREAMER | TRUE BELIEVER

Book Review: Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

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Every Last One
 by Anna Quindlen is about a mother narrating her dilemmas, and struggles before and after the tragedy that changed her life.

Mary Beth Latham is a woman who performs her role as a mother to three teenagers and a wife to her husband. The first part of the story revolves around the common issues of teenagers – depression, various personalities, and love problems – that concern parents of and how they will deal with it.

When I was reading the first part, it was as if I was watching a family do their thing with their everyday lives through Mary Beth’s point of view: teenage sleepovers, prom, and camps; how her daughter, Ruby, talks about Kiernan who never stopped bugging her after she broke up with him; how Max and Alex, the fraternal twins, differ in personalities and likes; and how she and her ophthalmologist husband, Glen, discusses their problems with their children and think of a way to resolve it. Honestly, I got bored and I continued reading it just for the sake of finishing it.

But, by the time I reached the “twist” – the tragedy that changed Mary Beth’s life forever –, I didn’t want to stop anymore because I’m curious on what will happen next.

The second part is about how she struggles and handles the tragedy that has happened to her. Mary Beth shows hope not just for herself but also for her loved ones towards the end of the story.

Just like the other reviews, I also suggest that it’d be better not to read detailed summaries.

FAVORITE QUOTES/LINES.CONVERSATION/PARTS (some lines or conversation can give you a hint, or eventually know what happened. Don’t proceed if you hate spoilers. Just go to the very last paragraph ;D):

“One tree, two trunks. That is what we are to our children.” – Mary Beth Latham

“People don’t understand words – how empty, how useless, how awful they can be.” – Mary Beth Latham

“I’m sure sometimes it seems easier, or at least simpler, not to talk about it” – Olivia

“Here is one of the worst things about having someone you love die: It happens again every single morning.” – Mary Beth Latham

“First, I mourn people who had disappeared long ago… then I mourn imaginary people. I invent my own children.” – Mary Beth Latham

“I think every fear you ever have every one – thunder or spiders or roller coasters – they all fear of dying. Every last one.” – Mary Beth Latham

“You can’t run away from things forever,” she (MB’s mother) said. “It’s not forever,” I (MB) replied. I wanted to add, “Nothing is forever.”

“I have two selves now, too, the one that goes out in the world and says what sound like the right things and nods and listens and sometimes even smiles, and the real woman, who watches her in wonder, who is nothing but a wound, a wound that will not stop throbbing except when it is anesthetized. I know what the world wants: It wants me to heal. But to heal I would have to forget, and if I forget my family truly dies.” – Mary Beth Latham

And this is my FAVORITE part, when Mary Beth and her son met for a session with Dr. Vagelos:

Son: I talk to (twin). I put the covers over my head so you won’t hear me, and I talk to him at night.

MB: Oh honey. I do it too. I talk to them all the time.

S: I mean, I don’t talk about anything big. I go, like, ‘dude, that girl you liked? She really got cute over summer.’ Or like, ‘man, you should have seen how I schooled the kid in my math class who thinks he’s, like, a math genius.’ Or, like sometimes, ‘dude, I am in so much trouble with Mom, I was way out of line the other night.’

–> This part really touched my heart. And I was teary-eyed while reading it.

Honestly, I felt the feeling of Mary Beth when her loved ones died. I was like, “I was reading them in the previous pages. Now, they are really gone.” It is the reality. When one person dies, we’ll never get to see them again.

CONTINUE HERE 🙂

Every Last One is a good book. I advise those who can easily get bored with the slow transition of events (just like me) to be patient because the second half of the book is worth reading 🙂

*My very first book review. Pardon me if it’s not well-written. Promise to do better next time 🙂

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Author: jhabhabz23

YOUNG DREAMER | TRUE BELIEVER

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