All The Numbers by Judy Larsen
Judy Merrill Larson, a Midwest mother of five and a high school English teacher makes her publishing debut with All the Numbers (A Readers Circle Trade Paperback; $13.95; July 25, 2006), an emotional novel that explores how one mother recovers after the sudden loss of her son.
“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.
I have to be honest in sharing that I have had this book on my TBR shelf for awhile. I have had mixed feelings about reading it and often picked it up to put it back on the shelf as I wasn't ready to read it. I "thought" that it would be a challenging emotional read as I could relate to the story in that I am a mother of a young son close in age to the boys in the book. This preconceived notion allowed me to postpone reading this book but I do wish that I had read it sooner. Yes...this is a book that pulls on your heartstrings as a mother as Ms. Larsen evokes such connection to the mother and children in this story. It was written in a way that was not violent or gratuitous rather in a respectful and heartfelt way. I knew what was coming and it helped prepare me for the story. I felt a deep connection to Ellen, the mother and could relate to her motherly feelings and focusing on the little things that are so precious as your children grow. For me, it was a testament to the love of mother and child and how important it is to stop and appreciate the small things along the way and not wish that your kids grow up too quickly. It captured me from the beginning to the end. It is truly a bittersweet novel of a mother's journey of the ultimate loss that one can experience in life. Yes, you will need a box of tissues handy but also you will be a stronger, more patient person after reading this book! I highly recommend it to all...don't delay as I did, pick up this book and you will also appreciate the wonderful writing and depth in this story.
Check out Judy Larsen's website here.