From the New York Times–bestselling author of The House Girl comes a novel about our most precious and dangerous attachment: family.
In the spring of 1981, the young Skinner siblings—fierce Renee, dreamy Caroline, golden boy Joe and watchful Fiona—lose their father to a heart attack and their mother to a paralyzing depression, events that thrust them into a period they will later call “the Pause.” Caught between the predictable life they once led and an uncertain future that stretches before them, the siblings navigate the dangers and resentments of the Pause to emerge fiercely loyal and deeply connected. Two decades later, the Skinners find themselves 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 what, exactly, they will do for love.
Narrated nearly a century later by the youngest sibling, the renowned poet Fiona Skinner, The Last Romantics spans a lifetime. It’s a story of sex and affection, sacrifice and selfishness, deeply held principles and dashed expectations, a lost engagement ring, a squandered baseball scholarship, unsupervised summers at the neighbourhood pond and an iconic book of love poems. But most of all it is the story of Renee, Caroline, Joe and Fiona: the ways they support each other, the ways they betray each other and the ways they knit back together bonds they have fractured.
In the vein of Commonwealth, Little Fires Everywhere and The Nest, this is a panoramic, tenderly insightful novel about one devoted, imperfect family. The Last Romantics is an unforgettable exploration of the responsibilities we bear both gracefully and unwillingly, and the all-important, ever-complex definition of love.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
At the heart of Tara Conklin’s novel about a Connecticut clan’s collapse and rebuilding is a tender exploration of the complexity of family: its comforts, commitments, resentments, and betrayals. After their father’s sudden death, the four young Skinner children sink into a lengthy period of neglect as their mother falls apart. Nearly a century later, acclaimed poet Fiona Skinner reveals how that traumatic time impacted her and her siblings for the rest of their lives. Actress Cassandra Campbell’s stately narration strikes the perfect balance between refined and emotional, underscoring the lyrical beauty of Conklin’s elegant, richly detailed storytelling.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Last Romantics
This was my first audio book. The story was fine and kept my interest throughout the book. I did not like the narrator, the voices were distracting and is the reason why I rated this a three star.