Rating: 4/5 Stars
“The Last Romantics” written by Tara Conklin is a novel about the Skinner family which is a collection of four children and a mother who is widowed in the beginning of the book. The story follows the four kids as they grow up and tells of their experiences as they deal with loss, grief, family antics and love.
This book which spanned decades, carefully and purposefully develops the four main characters in a meaningful and touching way. The author uses descriptive language and metaphors to transport the reader into the story and make these characters not only believable but also extremely relatable. The tale in itself is a bit slower to develop, but paints a realistic picture of what it means to be a “family” and it allows the characters to naturally evolve.
The story uses several different points of view which I found to be interesting. As I read the book, I felt as though I understood Renee’s character (the eldest sibling) the best. Her fierce love and protective nature for her siblings was apparent and well explored. Her bravery during the early parts of the novel left me cheering for her.
This book really snuck up on me. I knew that the writing was good within a few pages, but I wondered if I would like the book because it was a slower moving novel. I continued reading on and subsequently lost myself in the story. I only realized this when I found myself choked up during a difficult ordeal near the end of the book. I would recommend this book because it explores humanity and love in a real way instead of the typical glossy version. It uses a gritty and harsh light, but the illumination of love mimics reality in a way that strikes this reader as honest and beautiful.
Recommendation: While reading this novel, I listened to an album by Mumford and Sons. It really added to my literary experience! Click here for more details on this album and other book/music pairings!