Genre: Women’s Fiction
Published by William Morrow
Publication Date: Feb 5, 2019
Review Copy From: Publisdher
Edition: ARC TPB
My Rating: 5
Synopsis (via GR)
The New York Times bestselling author of The House Girl explores the lives of four siblings in this ambitious and absorbing novel in the vein of Commonwealth and The Interestings.
“The greatest works of poetry, what makes each of us a poet, are the stories we tell about ourselves. We create them out of family and blood and friends and love and hate and what we’ve read and watched and witnessed. Longing and regret, illness, broken bones, broken hearts, achievements, money won and lost, palm readings and visions. We tell these stories until we believe them.”
When the renowned poet Fiona Skinner is asked about the inspiration behind her iconic work, The Love Poem, she tells her audience a story about her family and a betrayal that reverberates through time.
It begins in a big yellow house with a funeral, an iron poker, and a brief variation forever known as the Pause: a free and feral summer in a middle-class Connecticut town. Caught between the predictable life they once led and an uncertain future that stretches before them, the Skinner siblings—fierce Renee, sensitive Caroline, golden boy Joe and watchful Fiona—emerge from the Pause staunchly loyal and deeply connected. Two decades later, the siblings find themselves once again confronted with a family crisis that tests the strength of these bonds and forces them to question the life choices they’ve made and ask what, exactly, they will do for love.
A sweeping yet intimate epic about one American family, The Last Romantics is an unforgettable exploration of the ties that bind us together, the responsibilities we embrace and the duties we resent, and how we can lose—and sometimes rescue—the ones we love. A novel that pierces the heart and lingers in the mind, it is also a beautiful meditation on the power of stories—how they navigate us through difficult times, help us understand the past, and point the way toward our future.
I apologize upfront that this is a very vague review because I do not want to spoil anyone’s experience in reading this 5 star novel.
As an avid reader, and reading for SO many years, once a book is read I will admit that down the road I may not remember it and have to read my review about it to refresh my memory. I can honestly tell you, that is not the case with this book. It will stay with me for many years to come!
It’s 2079 and the youngest of the Skinner siblings, Fiona, at the age of 102 is attending a Q&A for her book of poetry, now a major best seller. The Love Poem being the one that does describe her family throughout the years.
The Skinner siblings, Renee, Caroline, Joe, and Fiona, lives changed when their father passed away unexpectedly at a very young age. Not only did they lose their father, but in a way their mother too. For 3 years Renee at the age of 11 cared for her siblings due to a deep depression, or as they called it “The Pause”, that their mother emotionally retreated.
The siblings always spoke of “The Pause” but really never deeply discussed it. Fiona felt that The Pause meant “failures in life”. It affected all the siblings from their tender ages to the time of their deaths.
How well does one know the depths of their family members? Or does one want to see only the good traits and dismiss the flaws?
An extraordinary read that as emotional, poignant, and gripping. A book that I read in a 24 hour time frame because I just couldn’t put it down. The author’s descriptive writing was fluid and allowed this reader, not only to create vivid imagery but be able to feel and witness emotions.
If you enjoy reading about family dynamics that span years, then you need to read this book.