Sunday, September 29, 2019

Review: The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess

Title: The Last Book Party
Author: Karen Dukess
Published: July 2019, Henry Holt & Co
Format: ARC Paperback, 256 pages
Source: Publisher

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, The Last Book Party shows what happens when youth and experience collide and what it takes to find your own voice.

My thoughts: I admit that what drew me to this book is the title...I am absolutely a total sucker for any and all books about books, plain and simple. And I am sure that all my fellow book lovers will agree - we all love books about books and this one was an absolute delight - the perfect palate cleanser to read between all the heavier reads I've been devouring lately.

This is a great coming-of-age story of a young woman who is trying to find herself as both a woman and a writer. All the characters, including our main protagonist, Eve, are equally fascinating, and it was easy to be pulled into this story. Plus, you all know how much I love when family dynamics are involved in a story and we get that in spades here!

I loved the idea of the big book party held at the end of the summer - how I would have loved to have gotten an invitation to that party! The entire time I kept wondering just who I would dress up as...and I'm still not quite sure. This definitely is not a decision to make on the spur of the moment because everyone has to guess who you are without you telling them!

I enjoyed this book and will definitely be keeping an eye out for what comes next from Karen Dukess.  


1 comment

  1. The author and book are both new to me. I enjoyed your review. As you say books about books are lovely reads.


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