Monday, February 26, 2007

All the Numbers by Judy Merrill Larsen

Title: All the Numbers

Author: Judy Merrill Larsen

Genre: Women Lit

Summary: A mother's worst dreams are realized when her son James is killed during a Jet Ski accident.

The Take-Away: This book should be sold with a box of Kleenex attached.

Larsen successfully laid the stage of an peaceful summer day, complete with kids playing the water and adults relaxing by the shore. Too perfect for a novel, so the reader is ready for the tragedy that occurs. The unexpected is the initial prosecutor's reaction - they won't try the case.

Instead of giving up, Ellen appealed and forced me to go through the heart-wrenching year of preparing for the trial, and its effect on the family. Larsen definitely captures the anguish, guilt and sorrow of several family members. Even though the story is told from Ellen's point of view, the grief of her other son, Daniel, is not over looked. Nor is that of her parents or the family members affected.

While I found the book to be excellent, I couldn't devour it in one sitting, to know that all is made better, if not right, by the end. Ellen's emotional roller coaster was conveyed so well, that I had to put it down. To move on and give my little ones a hug. Ellen experienced the worst and showed how to survive.

I don't want to spoil the ending, but once the trial is underway, the ending I wanted was delivered. It made the story bittersweet.

Recommendation: Have some tissues handy.

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