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 by Anita Shreve X
The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
  • 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


Book Club Report

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!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Educated
    Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Voted 2018 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Tara Westover had the kind of ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Voted 2018 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Towards the end of Madeline Miller...
  • Book Jacket: Children of Blood and Bone
    Children of Blood and Bone
    by Tomi Adeyemi
    Voted 2018 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    What would you do if, in a ...
  • Book Jacket: Where the Crawdads Sing
    Where the Crawdads Sing
    by Delia Owens
    Voted 2018 Best Debut Novel Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Where the Crawdads Sing was a ...

See all Award Winners & Top 20

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Code Girls
by Liza Mundy

The riveting story of the USA's courageous and accomplished WWII female American code breakers.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Kinship of Secrets
    by Eugenia Kim

    Two sisters grow up bound by family but separated by war; inspired by a true story.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7 ½ Deaths of
Evelyn Hardcastle

"Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day...quite unlike anything I've ever read." - A. J. Finn

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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.