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Last Lovers
     

Last Lovers

4.3 3
by Wharton
 

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This love story, by the author of Birdy and Dad, is set in Paris in 1975. Jack, 49, and American, has walked out on his fast-lane corporate career and troubled marriage to return to his first love, painting. He lives a hand-to-mouth existence in Paris, struggling to express his long-suppressed feelings through his art. While painting in the park (and blocking the

Overview

This love story, by the author of Birdy and Dad, is set in Paris in 1975. Jack, 49, and American, has walked out on his fast-lane corporate career and troubled marriage to return to his first love, painting. He lives a hand-to-mouth existence in Paris, struggling to express his long-suppressed feelings through his art. While painting in the park (and blocking the sidewalk), an elderly blind woman walks into him, knocking him off his feet and getting herself smeared with paint. Mirabelle, 71, is small, elegant, and radiant.

They fall slowly, carefully, and improbably in love, and into a tender physically passionate affair. While Mirabelle's tremendous sense of life inspires Jack to paint with new vision and freedom, he shares with her the mysteries of passion, and frees her from the traumatic event that blinded her in childhood.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this touchingly whimsical tale darkened by the undercurrent of a serious parable, Wharton ( Birdy ; Franky Furbo ) explores moments in which sexuality and art intersect. As in Wharton's previous novels, the protagonist is an artist, here, American expatriate painter Jack, 49, who is recovering from a broken marriage and years of scrambling in the corporate rat race. Now penniless, Jack subsists as a squatter in a Paris attic and paints in a public square, where he meets Mirabelle, a blind, 71-year-old, self-appointed pigeon lady who cares for the birds who flutter about his easel. Between Jack and Mirabelle springs a friendship that deepens into an improbable but impassioned sexual union. Mirabelle's blindness is psychological; its sudden onset occurred at age 14 when her mother committed suicide. While their love is often heavily belabored (``In your blindness you taught me to see,'' Jack tells her), it does produce miracles. Difficulties arise when Jack's wife wants him back, but Mirabelle's frailty in the end helps him solve his dilemma. Jack's bizarre homage to Mirabelle at the story's close somewhat redeems the novel from sentimentality. (May)
Library Journal
``Believing is seeing,'' proclaims Wharton in the epigram to this charming novel, and he then proceeds admirably to prove it. Jack is a fiftyish American in Paris. Having abandoned a too successful career and the family life that went sour because of it, he aims to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a painter. A chance meeting with a blind old lady--she inadvertently crashes into his easel--helps him realize his dream. For Mirabelle is a remarkable woman who, though hysterically blind since witnessing her mother's suicide as a child, nevertheless demonstrates a penetrating comprehension of the world. As the newly dubbed Jacques tries to describe his paintings to Mirabelle and she tries to describe her memories of a Paris she has not seen for years, he learns to see in a new way. Their friendship eventually blossoms into a tender yet physically passionate love far removed in its thoughtful depiction from the standard erotic entanglements of contemporary page and screen. The story may seem improbable, but Wharton makes us believe--and see. Highly recommended.-- Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal''

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374183899
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
05/01/1991
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
387
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.28(d)

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Last Lovers 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite ever. It is about you think can not happen between two very different people, than yet, the author can convince me it can be true from the begining to the end. You need three boxes of paper tissue. I read a hard cover book in Hungarian translation . Hope this audiobook interpretation will give me the same feeling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book when I was in 10th grade. I loved it. I was not a girl, not yet a woman, but the story of such a beautiful love has moved my heart. I recommend it to anybody who wants to understand the true meaning of incredible and the most important feeling in the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read 'Last Lovers' twice. Every time I shared different experiences and feelings while reading it. In my opinion this is a wonderful book about human nature and strugles in life. And most important this is a love story great for artists and people with open minds and hearts. You should read this book to discover the real meaning and beauty of life.