Read advance reader review of The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, page 6 of 7

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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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Page 6 of 7
There are currently 46 member reviews
for The Last Romantics
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  • Randi H. (Bronx, NY)
    Hard to put down
    The Last Romantics is a story of four siblings, set over a period of nearly 100 years. The relationships between the family members are relatable and the characters are well developed. The story drew me in very quickly and has continued to linger since I finished it. Recommended to readers who enjoy family sagas.
  • Marion W. (Issaquah, WA)
    This is a strange book, beginning in 2079, when the narrator is 102 years old, and jumping back to her childhood with three older siblings. The kids' lives take various tangents, as one might expect. The mood throughout is sombre, with the feeling that disasters are inevitable. Although the writing is good, I found the characters unappealing and the plot wandering. I was left feeling frustrated, and wanting more reader involvement somehow. Sort of a bleak read.
  • Gretchen M. (Martinsburg, WV)
    All Over the Place Reaction
    I was really intrigued by the development of the 4 main characters as children experiencing and surviving the death of a father and debilitating depression of a mother. The story takes a dark turn as the siblings grow into adults. Joe's decline into drug and alcohol use was steeped very much in reality and the tone of the book changed drastically. The author introduces a touching twist toward the end that I loved, but can't say I agree with Fiona's decision to keep it from her sisters. Had she really evolved enough to make such a mature choice? The dysfunction depicted in this family seemed realistic- sad and normal at the same time. I would like to have seen more time devoted to a Noni as an empty nester and how she came to view her children as they encountered their complicated adult lives and if she ever attributed The Pause and her part in it as a cause of her children's difficulties. She acknowledges it at her death but too little-too late for me. I agree with a previous review- the last page and last paragraph save the book.
  • Celia A. (Takoma Park, MD)
    The Last Romantic
    I enjoyed that depiction of the relationships between the siblings - how they came together as children to get themselves through "the pause" and how their relationships fell apart later. But I didn't think that the big reveal that Fiona built up to as she was telling the story really paid off. I also a nit to pick about the use of historical details to set the time. She says that their father's funeral was in March 1981 and that Jimmy Carter was president. Reagan was inaugurated in January 1981. That detail has absolutely no bearing on the plot, but if you're going to include a historical detail, please get it right. I saw no evidence that it was meant to show that Fiona's memory was failing. Overall, I liked Tara Conklin's first book, The House Girl, much better.
  • Melanie B. (Desoto, TX)
    Contemporary Novel Set in the Future
    This novel presents a story of contemporary familial dysfunction in a setting covering the years 1981 to 2079. Fiona is the narrator with the voices of her older siblings and mother also telling aspects if their individual perspectives. While I could relate to many of the family dynamics since arguably the old dysfunctional family is now the new normal, the story peaks about three-fourths into the book and then rolls downhill until the end. I think the novel presents several interesting dilemmas and situations that will facilitate lively conversations for book groups.
  • Bobbie D. (Boca Raton, FL)
    The Last Romantics deals with a family coping with the loss of a family member and a change of finances is how this novel develops. One of them "pauses" their life and the others must find a way to survive. The characters are well developed. The book was interesting but I can't recommend it.
  • Janet H. (Long Beach, CA)
    Review of The Last Romantics
    I enjoyed reading about the Skinner family in Tara Conklin’s latest book. The characters are very well developed, and the techniques used to introduce you to the family members and their activities are well done. The siblings are familiar in some ways, due to the timeline, and unfamiliar in others – odd, crummy and tragic things happen to this family. The author deftly illustrates the impact of those events. Because of these underlying tragic events, the book struck me as a bit of a downer. Basically, every single family member had sad things happen to them, and it seemed like upbeat events did not counteract the feeling of sadness. I wondered: why did the author write this way? Why are we having to read about weird and crummy things such as Fiona’s blog that was 10 months old, and described the first 78 men she slept with. Huh?

    As well-written as this book is, I don’t recommend it. It wasn’t until the very last page that I discovered the answer to my question: why did she write this? That last page was absolutely excellent.


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