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A WORD OF ADVICE -- Don't give the story away in your reviews!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am in the middle of reading this book and was glancing through the reviews out of curiosity...THANKS FOR RUINING IT!!
VERY CONFUSING AND POORLY WRITTEN
My first Anita Shreve book was The Pilot's Wife and I really enjoyed it; It was well written and certainly engaging. I then went to the library looking for more, but I'm starting to think I may have better left well enough alone. From the reviews, I seem to be in the minority here, but I am addicted to the drama in her books, but always pay a price for it. The ending to Weight of Water was so unexpected and emotional that I swore off (unsuccessfully it seems) Anita Shreve altogether. I agree with the earlier post that it is best to read Last Time first. I read Weight/Water first and, upon discovering that this is a kind of sequel, had high hopes that something redeeming might come out of Thomas' life after all the horror of Water (no, unfortunately, I did not immediately recall the revelation from Water to solve the mystery of Last Time which might have at least kept my hopes of redemption lower).
Oh my!!!! Once again Anita Shreve has proved herself a master storyteller! Having read the Weight of Water, I should have known the conclusion, but merely ascribed what I knew to have happened to poetic license on the part of the author. The reverse chronology of the book coupled with its surprise ending left me with so many questions after the first reading. It took a second reading to see some of the foreshadowing and subtle hints that Shreve left her readers along the way . . . the fact that the dialogue was in italics when they were 52 and 26, but in quotes when they were just 17. The intensity of their relationship, her description of life in Africa, the weaving of a plot in reverse order and the startling conclusion . . . Even after the second reading, my head is still spinning! The Last Time They Met is one of the best books I've ever read!
I think this is one of the best books I've ever read. This book really touched me and I can not stop thinking about it. I thought the book was wonderfully written. Shreve created such a powerful and emotional love between Linda and Thomas . I was completely blown away by the ending. I was in shock and emotionally overwhelmed as well as a little confused. I kept going back in search of clues that would have led up to this unexpected ending. What confuses me is the fact that this book is based on descriptive details of two separate lives lived and the three times they met, some of the time seen through Linda's eyes and then only to assume it's based on Thomas's vivid imagination. The way I interpreted this book's ending made me really sad just thinking how hard it must have been for Thomas all those years and the burden he had to carry with him on his journey through life. I would love a couple of minutes with the author just to discuss the book a little further as I do have some unanswered questions! I will definitely be rereading this novel.
Halfway through the last page of The Last Time They Met, I started crying. I have never read something so stunningly beautiful and penetrating. The story of Thomas and Linda, particularly the last section at age seventeen, is beyond words. I felt such pain for these two lovers, and shock at the book's surprise conclusion. This is a spectacularly woven story, harsh and aching, and dripping with realism. The Last Time They Met is certainly the best book I have ever read. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Words cannot begin to describe how moving this novel is. I find it so difficult to imagine that anyone could write something so incredibly beautiful. The love shared between Linda and Thomas is one so eternal ... it is a love that every woman in the world wishes for with all her heart. This novel is at once a harsh reality and a dream that is so wonderful, it couldn't posibly be real. I'd have to say, it would be a great shame if The Last Time They Met didn't become a literary classic for future generations.
I cannot express how much emotion was felt when I read Shereve's dazzling novel. It was beautiful, so simple, it is engraved in my mind forever. Never before had I read a book so real and full of life I felt it touch me on my shoulder. I desire to write a script to give all the characters in her novel physical life because they scream for it. This novel has given me a new light. It has defined what love trully is or what it is meant to be. The novel is based on a love so pure-
" A simple posture, accomplished thousands- no millions- of times a day, and yet so serious you could hardly breathe".
I cannot rate this out of 5- that number is too insignificant for such a marvellous novel. I urge you must read this. It is a bible, a Mona Lisa.