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The Last Romantics

A Novel
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

From the New York Times best-selling 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 neighborhood 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.

©2019 Tara Conklin (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

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Profile Image for Mari
  • Mari
  • 12-03-19

One of the best.

I downloaded this book because of Jenna Bush Hager and I am so happy I did! What a wonderful love story that travels through decades and the closeness that a family feels for each other whether together or apart.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Plundered treasure
  • 16-02-19

Maybe the best book I ever read

I am not a reader of romance novels Please do not mistake this book for a genetic love story. This book is an autobiography of every family headed by a strong woman. In reading this book you are a visitor that's allowed to share their story as they grow & change and negotiate their lives thru the struggles any family goes thru lifetimes of experiences.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • shafagh
  • 09-07-19

Boring

Long winded with no plot. Narrator does this annoying switch to child a like voice for all dialogues for grown up women. Very odd

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Colleen
  • 08-04-19

Great story...even better narrator

I always will look at at a book that Cassandra Campbell has narrated, she is one of my favorites, and I think does such a great job with any story. The same was true here. The story caught my attention from the beginning, the story of the 4 siblings and their unusual upbringing, and how it affected them throughout their lives. I really enjoyed the story, with one caveat I felt as though it really floundered a little bit after "the accident" (don't want to give away spoilers). It was almost metaphorical..the siblings floundered after the accident, and so did the book. However, it did recover nicely, and I thought wrapped things up overall by the end. The setting of the older Fiona giving a lecture in the future I thought was a bit irrelevant. It brought nothing to the story, but always giving the expectation that some big "reveal" was going to happen, but never did. I think telling the story as a memoir point of view would have been fine. Overall, the story was very good, and the narrator was superb, definitely give this one a try!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Terese
  • 28-03-19

I promised myself to finish every book I start

Can't remember the last book I found this boring. Thank goodness audible allows listener to speed up narration. My synopsis of book, dysfunctional mother raises excuse ridden dysfunctional children. 3 Sister having unnatural love of idolized difunctional brother. All characters blame others for their own sorry life. Now just drag it out, and on, and on.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • JoJo46
  • 15-03-19

I love Cassandra Campbell.

She was wonderful in Lilac Girls and Where The Crawdads Sing and equally good in this. I think I would not have enjoyed the book as much if I had read instead of listening.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Verdant
  • 04-10-19

Shallow development of the inner characters

Nothing new here, no discovery or enrichment. What difference did it make to know outward appearances. Character development is left to the reader's imagination.

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  • Cranberry
  • 05-09-19

Family Saga to the Year 2079

It feels like almost every novel my book groups read these days jumps around in time which is sometimes challenging to follow in an audiobook. This audiobook makes it easier to track as chapter titles announce the year, taking us as far as 2079 with a character who is 102 years old. Flashbacks reveal the challenges faced by her and her three siblings as their mother falls into a deep depression following the sudden death of her young husband. We follow their struggles in finding themselves over their life spans after this tragedy as their needs and self-awareness change. Each character is developed in depth.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-09-19

But disappointed

This just did not fulfill my expectation
Jenna - you can do better with your suggestions

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  • Martin Norris
  • 23-08-19

Very Enjoyable!

If you like long novels about family, love, loss and fulfillment, you will like this!