Rarely do I read realistic fiction, especially about troubled families. I don’t watch tv dramas about troubled families, I hate reality tv, and the books I’ve read in the genre just drive me bonkers. I hate reading about discord. It’s not a mental escape for me. So when I recommend a family drama, you know it must be a great one.
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 to ask what, exactly, they are willing to 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 guide us through difficult times, help us understand the past, and point the way toward our future.
The characters in this book weren’t obnoxious, which was the selling point. Any family drama has to have some humor and levity to it for me to become engaged. And although the characters were flawed, knowing their childhood struggles was key to understand who they were at their cores. The writing style is just beautiful, and I really enjoyed the book overall.