Every Last Cuckoo – Kate Maloy

Title: Every Last Cuckoo
Author: Kate Maloy
ISBN: 9781565126756
Pages: 304
Release Date: January 21, 2008
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Sarah Lucas’s husband Charles was critically injured on one of his daily walks in the woods behind their house.  When he succumbs to his injuries, Sarah is bereft – she and Charles were very much in love right until the very end.  As Sarah reflects on her life and the choices she made to lead her to this point, she allows her granddaughter to come live with her in order to escape some problems she is having at home.  Little does she know that is just the first of the lost souls she will take in, changing her life and their lives in the process.

Review:

My book club read Every Last Cuckoo in July, but since I was at Oxford during the meeting, I didn’t get around to reading it until now.  I knew that they all really enjoyed it, and generally I’ve heard good things, but I didn’t really know what to expect.  The fact that the main character was so much older than me made me hesitant as to whether I could sympathize with her or not.

I’m glad to say I needn’t have worried.  Every Last Cuckoo was a wonderfully written novel that was a thoroughly enjoyable read.  Sarah was a superb main character.  Despite the age difference, I could really identify with her.  She reflected on her life and her mistakes as the novel progressed, while also trying to build something new for herself. 

One thing I very much appreciated about Every Last Cuckoo was how real Sarah was.  Often in novels where the protagonist accepts people into her home, she is portrayed as a saint.  However, Sarah isn’t one – while she tries to do good things, she often gets frustrated by the number of people in her house.  She doesn’t especially want to mother a brood of people and makes sure they are looking after themselves.  She spends her time being increasingly selfish, but in a wonderful way.  Though she does open her home and her heart, Sarah makes sure she is putting herself and her needs, while not first, very high on her list. 

I also liked that Sarah wasn’t a perfect mother.  She admits to making mistakes with all of her children here and there and does her best to acknowledge them and move on.  The result is a startlingly real woman who is incredibly well fleshed out.  Sarah was a wonderful character, and I loved getting to know her.

Every Last Cuckoo is a sweet novel that’s really enjoyable and easy to read.  It’s hard to believe this is Kate Maloy’s debut novel, since the characters are so impeccably drawn and it’s so well-written.  I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Comments

  1. This book sounds really interesting and I love the cover! It’s going on my wishlist. Thanks.

  2. This book sounds really interesting and I love the cover! It’s going on my wishlist. Thanks.

  3. This book cover was my cover attraction post! I loved it and was wishing, it was a good one!

    I am glad, it is really good! Someday I will get my copy with this cover 🙂

  4. This book cover was my cover attraction post! I loved it and was wishing, it was a good one!

    I am glad, it is really good! Someday I will get my copy with this cover 🙂

  5. Wish you had been at the meeting. I really loved this book and thought there were so many good lessons. And had no trouble relating to Sarah, even though she is also quite a bit older than I am.

  6. Wish you had been at the meeting. I really loved this book and thought there were so many good lessons. And had no trouble relating to Sarah, even though she is also quite a bit older than I am.

  7. I totally agree, it was amazing how much I could relate to Sarah considering what different stages of life we are in. Maloy is quite talented. This seems like it would be a great book to curl up with on a cold, blustery day, because it just seemed so comfortable.

  8. I totally agree, it was amazing how much I could relate to Sarah considering what different stages of life we are in. Maloy is quite talented. This seems like it would be a great book to curl up with on a cold, blustery day, because it just seemed so comfortable.

  9. YAY! I’m so glad you liked it! I was a little surprised by the mixed reviews from book club, but I thought it was a beautifully written novel!

  10. YAY! I’m so glad you liked it! I was a little surprised by the mixed reviews from book club, but I thought it was a beautifully written novel!

  11. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it as much as some of the other book club members did. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

  12. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it as much as some of the other book club members did. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

  13. There is something very appealing about this cover. 🙂 Thanks for the review!

  14. There is something very appealing about this cover. 🙂 Thanks for the review!

  15. I love this cover but haven’t actually gotten around to reading it. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  16. I love this cover but haven’t actually gotten around to reading it. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  17. I added this to my wish list a while ago simply because the cover is so gorgeous. Glad to hear it’s a good read, too!

  18. I added this to my wish list a while ago simply because the cover is so gorgeous. Glad to hear it’s a good read, too!

  19. I almost bought this book based on the cover alone. I guess I should have!

  20. I almost bought this book based on the cover alone. I guess I should have!

  21. I almost bought this book based on the cover alone. I guess I should have!

  22. I almost bought this book based on the cover alone. I guess I should have!

  23. Like everyone else, the cover totally grabs me! I’ve seen this one a few times but never read a synopsis. It sounds great!

    I can totally relate to what you mean about the age gap between myself, as a reader, and the narrator… that can often make a big difference in my ability to empathize with their situation. Plus, not being a parent, I have a harder time getting into the heads of mothers/fathers… for obvious reasons. Though I am someone’s child, of course, so that helps me relate! 🙂 hehe

  24. Like everyone else, the cover totally grabs me! I’ve seen this one a few times but never read a synopsis. It sounds great!

    I can totally relate to what you mean about the age gap between myself, as a reader, and the narrator… that can often make a big difference in my ability to empathize with their situation. Plus, not being a parent, I have a harder time getting into the heads of mothers/fathers… for obvious reasons. Though I am someone’s child, of course, so that helps me relate! 🙂 hehe

  25. thanks for this review. i’ve had this in my pile for a long time and you’ve made it sound very appealing 🙂

  26. thanks for this review. i’ve had this in my pile for a long time and you’ve made it sound very appealing 🙂

  27. It’s funny, I saw the cover and the first name of the author and thought it might be a sequel to Friday Night Knitting Club…
    This sounds really good, and I’m glad you addressed the age issue. I like main characters I can identify with, and it’s nice to know that won’t be an issue. And the fact that she is not a perfect mother is reassuring! We need more characters like that in fiction!

  28. It’s funny, I saw the cover and the first name of the author and thought it might be a sequel to Friday Night Knitting Club…
    This sounds really good, and I’m glad you addressed the age issue. I like main characters I can identify with, and it’s nice to know that won’t be an issue. And the fact that she is not a perfect mother is reassuring! We need more characters like that in fiction!

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