MLA Gold Award Site

Reading guide for The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Last Time They Met

by Anita Shreve

The Last Time They Met
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2001, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2002, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. "She peered into the mirror. Tonight she would wear long earrings of pink Lucite. She would put her lenses back in and use a lipstick that didn't clash with the Lucite, and that would be that. Seen from a certain angle, she might simply disappear" (page 8). How would you characterize Linda's self-image at age fifty-two? What events and circumstances in her life have contributed to Linda's sense of self and, in particular, to her impulse toward self-effacement?

  2. Speaking about love, Linda says, "I believe it to be the central drama of our lives. For most of us, that is.... It's something extraordinary that happens to ordinary people." Do you agree? To what extent is love the central drama of your life? Of the lives of the people around you?

  3. What is the significance of Linda's success as a poet? How does it color Thomas's response to her when they meet again at the writers' festival?

  4. Linda and Thomas feel an abiding passion for each other over many years. And yet Linda is also deeply in love with Vincent; her marriage to him was ostensibly happy and of profound importance to her. Do you believe it's possible to be passionately in love with two people at the same time?

  5. Discuss Linda's relationship with her children. Do you consider her a good mother? Is there more she could or should have done to help Marcus? Why does Linda feel that every conversation with one's child, even one's adult child, must be a "mix of truth and lies" (page 58)?

  6. Why is Thomas ambivalent about living in Kenya? How and why is his response to Africa different from Linda's? From Regina's?

  7. Linda and Thomas have very different family backgrounds. Why is the teenage Thomas immediately drawn to Linda when she walks into his high school English class? Why, soon after, is she drawn to him? Is this a case of opposites attracting?

  8. Thomas's most celebrated collection of verse is entitled The Magdalene Poems. Why do you think he chose this title?

  9. How do you interpret the novel's ending? Identify passages throughout the novel that might have prepared you for what is fully revealed only at the very end of the book.


Copyright 2002 by Time Warner Bookmark

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Back Bay Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Lost Child
    by Caryl Phillips
    The Lost Child is a modern novel constructed within a historical frame, invoking one of the most ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket
    Bad Country
    by CB McKenzie
    If author CB McKenzie's decidedly noir debut novel Bad Country were chocolate, it would be at ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Since She Went Away
    by David Bell

    A chilling novel of guilt, regret, and a past which refuses to die...

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Charmers

The Charmers by Elizabeth Adler

"This tale of romantic suspense makes the perfect beach read."
—Library Journal

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.