Read advance reader review of The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

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The Last Romantics

by Tara Conklin

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin X
The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
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  • Published Feb 2019
    368 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 46 member reviews
for The Last Romantics
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  • Melissa S. (Rowland, NC)
    So Many Voices
    I found myself engrossed in Conklin's "The Last Romantics" from the first page. The setting with which the novel begins hooked. At first, the reader feels this novel will take on a futuristic society, when in fact, the future only comes back to the scene at the very end. The pages in between take the reader on a roller coaster of emotions as she/he travels through both the childhood and adult lives of four siblings who were forever changed by their father's untimely death and the ensuing "pause" the summer afterward. I found it hard to keep each character's life and "complications" straight because each sibling's childhood evolves into such a richly complicated adulthood. Conklin's ablility to develop characters of depth and real-life grit is abundantly evident in her second novel. She gives the reader everything he/she needs to feel as if they are living the life drama alongside the four siblings. My only negative in the entire novel is the futuristic aspect. I was left a little confused as to what was going on in society in 2079. Was it governmental unrest, wartime, civil fighting. The scenes seemed out of place and abrupt in such a touching story of family love and bonds. However, do not let that deter you from reading "The Last Romantics." Conklin's craft of character development left me in tears one minute and wanting to slam a door out of frustration the next - just like life in a real family.I have a feeling this second novel will be just as wildly successful as her first, "The House Girl."
  • Tracey S. (Largo, FL)
    Great Story!
    I had read "The House Girl" a while back and that is why I requested to review this book by Tara Conklin. It was not a disappointment at all! The story of the 4 siblings, their mother and how the death of their father affected them grabbed my attention after the first few pages! There was a lot of disfunction in their family but they all loved each other despite their tragedies. I highly recommend it!
  • Penny P. (Santa Barbara, CA)
    The Last Romantics
    I was excited to get this book because I loved The House Girl by the same author. I think this would create a good conversation for book clubs. I also think anyone who has siblings or who had a parent die or leave when they were young would identify. The author did a very good job of expressing the uncertainty children feel when losing a parent. The bond between siblings, both the good and the bad were an intergal part of the story. I loved the fact that the story was told over a period of years, starting when the children were young, picking up when they were adults. A family crisis once again calls for the siblings to come together. What I liked most about the story is that I think it is a realistic portrayal of families and relationships. I thought a very thoughtful and well written novel.
  • Connie L. (Bartlesville, OK)
    The Last Romantics
    I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully-written novel, in which a renowned poet looks back on the trajectory of her life - the tragedy that traumatized her family when she was just a child, and the effects it had on each of the three siblings.

    This is literary fiction. The characters are distinct, well-developed and complex. Right from the beginning the author creates a sense of foreboding. The poet's story is revealed slowly, and with an atmosphere of mystery and suspense.

    An interesting feature is that the book starts in 2079, and goes back in time, with hints about what the future would hold.

    Women's book clubs will find this a solid selection, with plenty to discuss - family relationships as well as a love story, and the conflicts and decisions of a full life.
  • Diane T. (Slingerlands, NY)
    Not enough Romantics
    This is the story of 4 siblings and how death affects their lives. The author has developed her characters,bringing the reader into their lives from the first page. The issues that these siblings live through are not only believable but heartbreaking. This is definitely a book club book with discussion - and glasses of wine - going on well into the evening!
  • DeAnn A. (Denver, CO)
    Character-Driven Family Saga
    This book was beautifully written, with realistic and flawed characters. This sweeping novel covers a family of four siblings through challenging childhoods and through the realities of adulthood. We get to know Fiona, Renee, Caroline, and Joe. We follow the Skinners through a funeral that changes their lives. The family ties are strong in this book and those connections are forged in childhood for the Skinners. The story alternates between a dystopian future and chapters from the past for each character. A memorable tale with characters that will stay with you even after you've finished the book.
  • CathyZ, Dallas,TX
    Last Romantics Family Saga
    The Last Romantics is a family tale of 4 siblings and their relationships throughout life. The siblings experience 2 traumatic events. They have to survive together on their own during "the pause" when their mother checks out of life for a few years. The author does a great job developing the characters and exploring their relationships with each other. I was drawn in to the story from the beginning. The book reminds me of Commonwealth, which I really enjoyed. I highly recommend this book.


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