Dec 21, 2009

All The Numbers by Judy Merrill Larsen

All the Numbers: A Novel

All The Numbers by Judy Merrill Larsen

From Goodreads:

How much do you love me?” Daniel asked his mother.

“I love you all the numbers.”

What begins as a sunny August afternoon on a bucolic lake turns into a tragedy when a Jet Ski swerves fatally close to shore. It’s a day Ellen Banks could never have prepared for, a day no mother should ever have to live through.

The moment her son James is killed, Ellen must face the unimaginable while trying to remain strong for her older son, Daniel, who witnessed the fateful accident and blames himself. Ellen’s shock and grief soon give way to defiance as lawyers and policemen who once vowed to support Ellen’s desire for justice succumb to political pressure and back away. Still, Ellen is determined to see the reckless young man pay for his crime and to heal her family’s deep wounds. But first she must heal herself.

An unforgettable journey of power and emotion, All the Numbers poignantly depicts a woman’s reckoning with her own vulnerability and finding in the wisdom of motherhood the redemptive grace to begin again.


I have heard so many good things about All the Numbers that I was looking forward to reading it.  It has been compared to Ordinary People which is a book I love.  Well, I was a little disappointed.

First, All the Numbers is a tear jerker.  If you are going to read this, do have a box of kleenex in hand.  It was really sad when James dies, and I kept on thinking about my own kids, and I couldn't imagine going through what Ellen was.  As a mother this book touched me.

My problem with All the Numbers is it's originality, or lack thereof.  I've read this story before, and some were more better.  I think Ordinary People was a great book about grieving over the loss of a loved one.   Ellen was a mother who in the writers eye had no flaws, or only a few.  She was perfectly pieced together, and it bothered me.  I wanted more from her, not grieving because  I felt Ms. Larsen did a great job describing what Ellen was going through.  I wanted more of Ellen's realness.  I just thought the character of Ellen fell short.

All the Numbers is a tear jerker, though in my opinion it's not a great read, it's still worth the read.

Rating: 3/5

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