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I cannot praise this novel highly enough. I found the prose truly breathtaking, and the intensity of feeling between the two main characters, Linda and Thomas, left me wondering about both Shreve, her life and her loves, and my own relationships. The ending left me shaken and in tears, and I have often thought of it since putting the book down with a sob months ago. It's one I know I'll re-read.
This book is beautifully written. I spent a weekend reading and relating to the book, the last few pages and the conclusion is heartstopping. I felt numb with grief, after putting the book down. Anita Shreve writes with an intensity and passion, and the magic of true love. This book made me look at my own relationships and made me think again. The book opens up new vistas of layers in a relationship.....some deeper than most. A glorious read, and a wistful ending.
I just came back from a meeting of our book club. We read The Last Time They Met. We are a group of savvy High School English teachers, and we've just had one of the most spirited discussions we have ever had. Some interpreted the book as [edited]. Others of us (myself included) completely missed this. Some felt manipulated by the ending if indeed it was to be taken literally. Others interpreted it figuratively. If it is to be interpreted literally, the ending generates many questions. Most of us liked the book; some loved it. But the ending seemed a neat contrivance to tie up a book rather than admit that life doesn't always give us happy endings. Anita Shreve's writing is exquisite, but one feels manipulated after this heart-wrenching journey. Please comment and let me know your feelingsl, at email@example.com.
I started reading this book Sunday night, and finished it Monday night(I could not sleep at night becasue I wantedt o finish it)...this book was the first I have read of hers and will not be the last. She uses words in a way that I have not seen very often. The ending left me speechless, and I want to reread it again to once again expereince the magic of this authors imagination and words.
I just finished the book ... like Margaret Atwood or Louise Erdrich, Shreve's writing is compelling, lyrical, beautiful. The rhythm of her sentences alone is enough to keep me turning the pages. And I loved the story, right up until an ending that left me feeling mystified and manipulated. The reviewer who called to mind the dream sequence year of the TV show, "Dallas," hit it on the head. I appreciate that Shreve was not likely driven by the same craven motives as the producers of "Dallas," but to seduce the reader with such a rich, detailed story of lovers whose life together, the reader discovers in almost the last paragraph, [edited], feels like a betrayal of trust.
I loved this book. It was the first I have read from Anita Shreve but certainly won't be the last. I was really over whelmed by the ending and immediately wanted to go back and read it all again just so that I could appreciate the little hints and also the inspired structure better. It was a very clever construction and brilliant how it was able to hold back until the very last few paragraphs.
All the way through the last section about the early stage of their relationship, I kept thinking we were going to be going back (forward) at some point to pick up Linda and Thomas in the current day again (and hopefully seeing them spending more time together and then the rest of their lives - possibly reflects MY lack of imagination!). But then we didn't. We never got to see them again. I was left with a sense of loss, shock and grief; themes which were evident throughout the book.
Love can be a bummer! Impossibly powerful, liberating but constricting and ultimately painful. Can you love without loss? Anita Shreve made me cry and want to rush out into the street and tell anyone who happened to be walking in the neighbourhood how sad love is. But instead, I saved it until morning for you guys!!
A must read!
AAAAWWWW, the naivete of optimism. Maybe the shock of reading his poetry that was based on a fantasy love that didn't really exist was too much for him. I remember at the beginning he supposedly humiliates himself at a panel but then he talks about it so lightheartedly to Linda....goes along with the delusions he's suffering from. No, she really [edited], Rhett never gives Scarlett another chance and Ingrid Bergman prefers financial stability to a moody restaurantier. Life is sad and love is almost always tragic.
Anita Shreve’s book creates an overbearing, emotional, and powerful response in readers. Reading through this book, I became completely engulfed in the love affair between Thomas and Linda. I loved the section about Africa, and Shreve’s descriptions of the environment, people, and culture made me anxious to visit the land myself. Towards the end of the novel, I kept wondering how Shreve was going to tie everything together. I was very surprised by the ending. It had such a strong impact on me. I immediately thought of many questions I would love to ask Shreve! I was especially thrown off because some of the novel takes place from Linda’s point of view, thus making the ending even more of a shock. After rereading the last page of the novel five more times (and then crying), I feel like I need to reread the novel in search of foreshadowing to the ending.....content deleted to remove plot spoiler..... To those of you who have not read the book, I recommend it entirely. It is passionate, suspenseful, and, most importantly, full of love, sorrow, and happiness. The novel will leave you with a kind of emotion too powerful to name. To those of you who have read the novel, I would love to discuss it with you. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.