Every Last One by Anna Quindlen is an absolutely stunning work of fiction. It's meticulously crafted, beautifully layered, and written in Quindlen's signature warm style. It's the story of a family, a normal, endearing, ordinary family.
The momentum Quindlen builds is key here. The first half of the book is just getting to know this likeable family: Mary Beth Latham, her husband Glen. and their three children, Ruby, Max and Alex.
I found Max particularly endearing. A bit of an outcast, depressed, creative and alone, he feels totally alientated from his popular twin, Alex. Their older sister Ruby is engaged in prom dresses, her friends, and plans for college.
And there is where I will leave you.
I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to ignore every review out there that could reveal any of the plot of this story (including the back of the book) and just go out, buy the book, and start reading. The plot and the pacing have been so artfully crafted that Ms Quindlen, and you, deserve the full impact of the story as it unfolds.
Having said that, I am so looking forward to the day when everyone on the planet has read this book, (I hope) so I can finally talk to someone about it without wrecking it for them. I am dying to discuss this book with somebody!!
Publisher: Random House (April 13, 2010)