The Last Romantics
by Tara Conklin
Read: July 6 – July 9, 2019
Blurb: When the renowned poet Fiona Skinner is asked about the inspiration behind her iconic work, The Love Poem, she tells her audience a story about her family and a betrayal that reverberates through time.
It begins in a big yellow house with a funeral, an iron poker, and a brief variation forever known as the Pause: a free and feral summer in a middle-class Connecticut town. Caught between the predictable life they once led and an uncertain future that stretches before them, the Skinner siblings—fierce Renee, sensitive Caroline, golden boy Joe and watchful Fiona—emerge from the Pause staunchly loyal and deeply connected. Two decades later, the siblings find themselves once again confronted with a family crisis that tests the strength of these bonds and forces them to question the life choices they’ve made and ask what, exactly, they will do for love.
A sweeping yet intimate epic about one American family, The Last Romantics is an unforgettable exploration of the ties that bind us together, the responsibilities we embrace and the duties we resent, and how we can lose—and sometimes rescue—the ones we love. A novel that pierces the heart and lingers in the mind, it is also a beautiful meditation on the power of stories—how they navigate us through difficult times, help us understand the past, and point the way toward our future.
Review: This one is on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide. I remember when it came out back in February I was interested in it, but it sounded a little outside of my wheelhouse so I wasn’t entirely sure that I would enjoy it. So I put it in the back of my mind and moved on. Then when I realized that it was sitting on my library’s shelf, immediately available, right before I went on vacation I thought – why not? So I checked it out and took it down to Florida with me.
When I was finally able to pick it up (I had two books on deck before it) it was the day before we left for home. I was completely swept up in the story. I ended up reading a very large majority of this book while we were on our 15 hour drive home. I could barely tear myself away from the story. I felt like I was right there with the Skinner’s as Fiona weaved her story through the years. I cheered them on, I grieved with them. This book elicited the gamut of emotions out of me. It is so, so good. Such a great story.
I really and truly enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it! It’s definitely going to go on my “best of” list at the end of the year. Seriously … read this book!