“All the Numbers” By Judy Merrill Larsen

Pages: 304      Publish Date:  July 2006
    I read this book because an author in my book club received copies for us from Judy. I much appreciate when an author takes time to do such a well-mannered thing, but will say this is not my favored genre at all. Regardless, I will always give books a chance when being given them. So that being said…..on with the show!!
    Let’s begin with the plot:  The story is about an 11 year old boy being hit by a jet ski while on holiday and dying of a head trauma as a result, thereafter the writer shows how the family grieves and copes with death & also a lawsuit against the 18 year old boy who hit James. This novel also tries to conquer the age-old question of “why me?”, but it goes nowhere near giving the reader answers, philosophical or otherwise.
    Now on to the characters (being Ellen-the mother, Daniel-the oldest son, James-the younger son who dies, Anna and Sam-friends that own the lake house  and Bob-the attorney) were all very commonplace and unexceptional in my opinion. The only character I truly fancied was Bob. He developed feelings for Ellen while working on her sons’ murder case. He seemed to me a very patient, kind-hearted, empathetic man/ lawyer.

Overall, I found that the novel was a lot like a Jodi Piccoult, child-suffering, work of fiction which seems to be the popular tone these days. This was the authors first published work, so it being somewhat amateur I feel it was plain & very predictable. I do not favor this kind of reading material, so that  probably explains why others I know cried & I did not. I’m hoping my lack of tears is not because I am so cynical, but only because this novel’s theme does not rate very high with me.


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