The Last Good Paradise: Book summary and reviews of The Last Good Paradise by Tatjana Soli

The Last Good Paradise

by Tatjana Soli

The Last Good Paradise by Tatjana Soli X
The Last Good Paradise by Tatjana Soli
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2015
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From New York Times bestselling author, Tatjana Soli, comes The Last Good Paradise

On a small, unnamed coral atoll in the South Pacific, a group of troubled dreamers must face the possibility that the hopes  they've labored after so single-mindedly might not lead them to the happiness they feel they were promised. Ann and Richard, an aspiring, Los Angeles power couple, are already sensing the cracks in their version of the American dream when their life unexpectedly implodes, leading them to brashly run away from home to a Robinson Crusoe idyll. Dex Cooper, lead singer of the rock band, Prospero, is facing his own slide from greatness, experimenting with artistic asceticism while accompanied by his sexy, young, and increasingly entrepreneurial muse, Wende. Loren, the French owner of the resort sauvage, has made his own Gauguin-like retreat from the world years before, only to find that the modern world has become impossible to disconnect from. Titi, descendent of Tahitian royalty, worker, and eventual inheritor of the resort, must fashion a vision of the island's future that includes its indigenous people, while her partner, Cooked, is torn between anarchy and lust.

By turns funny and tragic, The Last Good Paradise explores our modern, complex and often, self-contradictory discontents, crafting an exhilarating story about our need to connect in an increasingly networked but isolating world.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Passions ignite and plots are hatched as Soli's wise, piercing insights into human nature ground the novel and make it a rewarding read." - Booklist

"Though the characters seem somewhat stereotypical at first, Soli (The Lotus Eaters) takes this story into unexpected places, with each character revealing hidden dimensions as the plot progresses." - Library Journal

"As progressively less plausible crises proliferate, some very real sharks get jumped. Aside from the exotic setting, Soli's idiosyncratic prose style is the main attraction here." - Kirkus

"Funny, sad, and hauntingly moving, Soli's brilliant new novel is about fractured dreams, broken people, and our desperate yearning to grab for that elusive second chance, no matter the cost." - Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

"The Last Good Paradise is at once a study in ambition, and a rollicking entertainment...and a page-turning survey of modern technology." - Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here

"Hilarious... melancholy... Tatjana Soli's new novel is a wild ride across the ocean and a dangerous dive into desire and greed and revelations about revenge and ultimately, love." - Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author of Highwire Moon

The information about The Last Good Paradise shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Nancy L. (Zephyrhills, FL)

Paradise Found
Who among us doesn't dream of running away to a deserted island, leaving behind our problems, big and small? When Ann, an intelligent attorney, and her husband Richard, a talented chef, run away from their financial woes to the South Pacific, they encounter a cast of memorable characters. Indeed, "The Last Good Paradise" by Tatjana Soli is a character driven novel with an aging rock star, his beautiful young girlfriend, and a reclusive island owner, among others. Although at first glance, some of the characters seem to be stereotypes and/or caricatures, Soli manages to inject multi-faceted and, at times, unexpected dimensions to their personalities. A contrived, political plot twist more than halfway through delivered the only hiccup in an otherwise immensely readable book.

Vicky S

Better than others thought
I was engaged in this book at the beginning. I appreciated the imagination used to create the initial characters and their back stories. It was pretty believable until about mid-way to 2/3 of the way through, though I did enjoy the read. There were some strong female characters who still had flaws. There was almost too much going on though with the personal stories as well as the ecological/social protest. I'm glad I read it.

Eileen P. (Pittsford, NY)

Frolicking in Paradise
Soli has written an entertaining, unpredictable tale about how people's ideas about what will make them happy are often what prevent them from actually being happy. Full of entertaining characters, and a lot of food and drink, she shows how economics and technology influence even our most basic choices. Set primarily in a resort on a remote island in the South Pacific, she aptly shows the human need for connection, and how being forced outside of our comfort zones can reveal what really matters. It would be a fun book club selection.

Susan J.

Not My Paradise
I haven't read the author's other books, but since they were reviewed positively I was eager to read this book.

I do not fault the writing quality, but I could not find a character to admire or even care about. Much of the plot was unbelievable, beginning with an attorney leaving herself vulnerable to a restaurant partner's debts. I did find the second half more engaging than the beginning.

Linda N. (Dallas, TX)

The Last Good Paradise
This is the quintessential dream of escaping…escaping from dead end jobs, from lost broken relationships, from failure to either grasp or hold on to the illusion of the American dream of success, from the deflating of romantic passion in the pursuit of the dream, from financial ruin and confused relationships, from festering alienation and miscommunication. It is a geographical escape where each of the characters still must meet their demons even as they seek paradise on a remote Polynesian island resort. And as intriguing as all of this may be, the story is predictable. While the characters are colorfully revealed, I I was disappointed that the primary relationship between the primary antagonists is not developed with the depth that validates the conclusion.

Barb (Mount Joy, PA)

Needs more focus
While I enjoyed the refresher on ecological & social issues, my willing suspension of disbelief in plot & characters was overwhelmed. I feel the book would benefit from fewer minor story lines & tighter focus on the main characters & plot. Still it will make a good winter diversion for those of us snowbound & dreaming of island vacations.

...7 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Tatjana Soli Author Biography

Tatjana Soli is the bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters, The Forgetting Tree, and The Last Good Paradise. Her work has been awarded the UK's James Tait Black Prize and been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her books have also been twice listed as a New York Times Notable Book. She lives on the Monterey Peninsula of California.

Link to Tatjana Soli's Website

Name Pronunciation
Tatjana Soli: tat-YAH-na so-lee

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