Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Well, I liked it. Or, I at least like it better than last month’s Book Club selection. The women of the family were all interesting and Joe, well, Joe I wanted to kick down the nearest flight of stairs. I’m not quite sure the author delivered on her premise, that when we fall in love with the right person everything works out. Also, she finked on Fiona’s poetry, giving us only a hint about her work (for a book that pulls off the narrative plus the invented poetical works, see AS Byatt’s Possession).
What I really could have done without was the frame narrative, which was jarring whenever I would come back to it. We had enough of the omniscient narrator from the future, the frame narrative could have been easily cut.
Read for the BN Book Club (and this time finished more than 2 hrs ahead of the meeting 😂).
Dear FTC: I read a paper galley of this book from the publisher provided for the BN Book Club discussion leader.