The Last Life

The Last Life

by Claire Messud
3.3 4

Paperback(First Edition)

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Overview

The Last Life by Claire Messud

Narrated by a fifteen-year-old girl with a ruthless regard for truth, The Last Life is a beautifully told novel of lies and ghosts, love and honor. Set in colonial Algeria, and in the south of France and New England, it is the tale of the LaBasse family, whose quiet integrity is shattered by the shots from a grandfather's rifle. As their world suddenly begins to crumble, long-hidden shame emerges: a son abandoned by the family before he was even born, a mother whose identity is not what she has claimed, a father whose act of defiance brings Hotel Bellevue—the family business—to its knees. Messud skillfully and inexorably describes how the stories we tell ourselves, and the lies to which we cling, can turn on us in a moment. It is a work of stunning power from a writer to watch.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780156011655
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.02(d)
Lexile: 1130L (what's this?)

About the Author

Claire Messud was born in the United States in 1966. She was educated at Yale and Cambridge. Her novels include When the World Was Steady, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1996, and The Last Life, which was widely praised and has been translated into several languages.

Hometown:

Somerville, MA, USA

Place of Birth:

Greenwich, CT, USA

Education:

BA in Comparative Literature, Yale University, 1987, MA in English Literature, Jesus College, Cambridge University, 1989

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Last Life 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing styke was really distracting for me. Almost every sentence gad five, six, seven commas and a hyphen or two. Made it hard to focus on story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was OK until I read what she did to a family member. It was so terrible, so disturbing, it ruined the book for me. I still get a bad taste in my mouth when I think of this novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Last Life was movingly written; not happy, but affecting. The last third of the book was the best, as the protagonist reflects on what has happened and the personalities and motivations of family members driving the story's action. For me as a young middle-aged adult, the book raised a lot of interesting -- sometimes painful, but also hopeful -- questions about identity, choice, 'starting fresh,' and many other issues. Sagesse, the narrator, did a beautiful job of communicating the (often frustrated) desire to have others 'do what they say they're going to do, and be whole.' I was also struck by the truths, which many of us in our independence-minded society are loathe to admit, that 'freedom is a terrible thing...,' that 'we long to be sentenced,' and that 'our constrictions define us.' Lots of food for thought and feeling here.