The Last Book Party
*A July 2019 Indie Next List Great Read*
*One of Parade's Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2019*
*An O Magazine Best Beach Read of 2019*
*A New York Post Best Beach Read of 2019*
“The Last Book Party is a delight. Reading this story of a young woman trying to find herself while surrounded by the bohemian literary scene during a summer on the Cape in the late '80s, I found myself nodding along in so many moments and dreading the last page. Karen Dukess has rendered a wonderful world to spend time in.”
—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six
A propulsive tale of ambition and romance, set in the publishing world of 1980’s New York and the timeless beaches of Cape Cod.
In the summer of 1987, 25-year-old Eve Rosen is an aspiring writer languishing in a low-level assistant job, unable to shake the shadow of growing up with her brilliant brother. With her professional ambitions floundering, Eve jumps at the chance to attend an early summer gathering at the Cape Cod home of famed New Yorker writer Henry Grey and his poet wife, Tillie.
Dazzled by the guests and her burgeoning crush on the hosts’ artistic son, Eve lands a new job as Henry Grey’s research assistant and an invitation to Henry and Tillie’s exclusive and famed "Book Party"— where attendees dress as literary characters. But by the night of the party, Eve discovers uncomfortable truths about her summer entanglements and understands that the literary world she so desperately wanted to be a part of is not at all what it seems.
A page-turning, coming-of-age story, written with a lyrical sense of place and a profound appreciation for the sustaining power of books, Karen Dukess's The Last Book Party shows what happens when youth and experience collide and what it takes to find your own voice.
Dukess's vivid debut travels back to the summer of 1987 when an aspiring writer lands a job as an assistant for a well-known writer. Eve Rosen is a secretary at Hodder, Strike and Perch, a publishing company. While staying in Truro, Mass., with her family during the summer, Eve is invited to a party at the home of writer Henry Grey, where she meets his carefree son, Franny, and the two engage in a brief affair. After realizing that her secretarial position is a career dead end, Eve takes Henry up on his offer of a research assistant position for the summer. Though she enjoys working for Henry, and he begins to value her opinion, their friendship changes into an affair they both understand will likely end once the summer is over. Henry and his wife, Tillie, meanwhile, continue to plan the their end-of-summer party where everyone dresses up as their favorite literary character. Eve's novelist friend Jeremy Grand comes for the party, but not all goes as planned, as Eve discovers some disturbing things about the origins of the plot of Jeremy's novel. Clever characterizations bolster this enticing coming-of-age story.