Reader reviews and comments on The Last Time They Met, plus links to write your own review.

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The Last Time They Met

by Anita Shreve

The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve X
The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2001, 320 pages
    Jan 2002, 320 pages

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There are currently 59 reader reviews for The Last Time They Met
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Rebecca (07/07/02)

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
Amy (07/01/02)

Once again Anita Shreve blew me away with her book, The Last Time They Met.

I would like to think that when Linda died in the car accident it was a symbolic death, in that she had just liberated herself by discussing the rape with the priest and was now able to give herself to Thomas. She was in a sense reborn.

Thomas' suicide was the self imposed misery after losing Linda and not being able to see her after the accident. He merely went through the motions and really did not live his life.
The other interpretation for this ending is too much like the dream sequence "Who Shot J. R.?"
Any one else with me on this one?
Jenny (06/15/02)

It was simply a mesmerizing pece of work. However, I was very intrigued by the way it's ended. I would love to ask an author herself about it, since she is the only one who can answer this one for sure.
But meanwhile, you can interpret it in the following way: maybe Linda thought she was dying and her life flashed before her eyes? But she didn't actually die. One thing that supports this interpretation is that Thomas commits suicide. How could he commit a suicide right after his daughter dies and still attend the festival in Toronto?
I would very much like to accept this intrerpretation since I have grown to love the main chatacters so much in the course of the book that I would hate to lose them. Although both ways of interpreting are quite realistic.
Highly recommend this novel, especially if you are into drama and romance and most important of all if you ever asked yourself "what if" as the authoer herself puts it - "infinite possibilities of a life not llived".
Heather (06/02/02)

Well I have to say, I'm with all of you. This was an excellent book! Just finished it a few minutes ago.

I was completely caught off guard by the ending too. I kept checking to see how many pages were left, and was very curious as to what was going to happen. I can tell you, I was not prepared for the ending I did read!

Like many of you, I had to go back and reread parts to see if I missed something! It drove me nuts wondering what happended and how they met in the beginning, and yet how she could have died at 17. I was left hanging and thought I was the only one. I was relieved when I found this site, and even more so when I learned that I wasn't the only person confused by the ending.

I have decided, as a few of you have already said, that Thomas must have made up the rest of Linda's life to get through his own. Knowing this makes the impact of the book that much greater. To think that all of those moments with Linda were made up by him, which seemed to keep him alive for so long, is especially heart wrenching. I have to admit, I did start to feel a tear or two when I understood this all. The book just suddenly took on a completely different meaning.

This was a powerful book, and understanding the ending the way I do now, made me feel pretty sad thinking that's the way it turned out. Let's just say I was hoping for the "off into the sunset" ending. :-)

I can see how so many of you wanna go back and reread it, looking for "clues" or things that might explain the ending better. I have read Anita's other book, The Pilots Wife. Another great book! I couldn't put that one down either! What a great writer! I look forward to reading her next book, Sea Glass. I might have to break down and buy the hard cover book though, don't know if I can wait a year for the paperback to come out!
Betsy (05/29/02)

This book had the most incredible and dramatic ending I have read in a long time. It's one of those books that you want to go back and re-read because the ending ties everything together, and you wish you had paid more attention. The love story was real and true to the characters. I loved it.
Anonymous (05/27/02)

i cannot stop thinking about this book and what an amazing author anita shreve is. the end is so incredible, it is one of the only books i am reading again just to see how it all fits together and make sense of the journey that i was taken on. i am sure i will smile upon rereading knowing what a fabulous character thomas janes is and how the strength of true love can haunt the imagination to such creativity that we will all be truly touched by reading this book.
Clare (05/02/02)

If you're choosing between Fortune's Rocks and The last Time they Met? I'd say read them both!

Apparently Fortunes Rocks is part of a triology with Pilot's Wife and Sea Glass, but I think its just a connection with the actual property they live in...rather than the characters.

The Last Time they Met does share a character with Weight of Water and I'd say you definitely need to read The Last Time first ( I read them the other way around and The Weight of Water gives you information that if you catch on would highlight the twist in The Last Time they Met! - fortunately I just put it down to artistic licence and didn't catch on!)

The Last Time They Met is definitely one of Anita Shreves best novels...I read the last page of the book and was so amazed by the ending that I just sat with my mouth wide open for about 10 minutes...definitely one that I would read again.
Jessie (04/06/02)

What a brilliant novel! I finished this morning and have been in shock the entire day. As soon as I closed the cover I felt like crying. Anita Shreve is absolutely amazing.

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