Happy Monday! Today I have a review of The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, a new work of literary fiction from William Morrow and publishing tomorrow, February 5, 2019!
At the risk of being overzealous, this book is everything!
The Last Romantics is the story of four siblings and their love. Fiona Skinner is a famous poet, and when she is asked what inspired her most well-known work, The Love Poem, she shares the story of the four Skinner siblings, Joe, Caroline, Renee, and Fiona herself.
It all begins one wild summer in their Connecticut town; what the siblings call The Pause. Something occurs that changes their way of life, changes them, and they have to decide if they will emerge stronger, or will it break them apart. Their sibling bond survives the challenge and grows even more loyal.
Over two decades later, they will again be tested, and the Skinner siblings will have to decide what’s most important to each of them.
The Last Romantics stands all on its own as a wondrous work to which I deeply connected, but I have to mention it reminded me faintly of The Immortalists, a book I adored and still think about, in its epic portrayal of siblings, family, and love.
Overall, The Last Romantics is a glorious book from start to finish. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it is without giving it all away, so my best approximation is this book is an ode to sibling love. And I think that is more than enough.
Thank you to the publisher for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
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.
Have you read The Last Romantics, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR