The Last Book Party

The Last Book Party

by Karen Dukess


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*A July 2019 Indie Next List Great Read*
*One of Parade's Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2019*
*An O Magazine Best Beach Read of 2019*
*A New York Post Best Beach Read of 2019*

The Last Book Party is a delight. Reading this story of a young woman trying to find herself while surrounded by the bohemian literary scene during a summer on the Cape in the late '80s, I found myself nodding along in so many moments and dreading the last page. Karen Dukess has rendered a wonderful world to spend time in.”
—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250225474
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 07/09/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 35,716
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

With a background in newspaper and magazine journalism, Karen Dukess spent nearly a decade as a speechwriter on gender equality at the United Nations Development Programme. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and lives in Pelham, New York. The Last Book Party is her debut novel.

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The Last Book Party 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
FrancescaFB 28 days ago
DianeD54 4 days ago
I liked the start of this book but then felt I knew how it was going to play out. It didn't grab me as much as I was hoping for.
Anonymous 16 days ago
The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess is a story about 25 year old aspiring writer Eve. In an effort to boost her creativity in her writing aspirations, Eve begins a job at a publishing house. She soon realizes that she will need to find other means so find inspiration for finishing her stories. She beings a job with a writer named Henry as his personal research assistant. Eventually, she gains an invitation to Henry and his wife Tillie's annual summer book party. On the night of the book party Eve realizes truths about herself and those around her that make her realize the mistakes she has made. This story was a coming of age story. I did not necessarily relate to Eve's personal choices along the way, but I did find her journey interesting. The prose is very whimsical, which makes it perfect for a summer read.
Anonymous 24 days ago
Great Book. Loved it....
3900980 29 days ago
The Last Book Party is a coming of age story about Eve Rosen, who is "stuck" in a position as an assistant to an editor at a book publishing company. When she is passed up for a promotion, which was given to a man, she begins to rethink her future as well as her past. Since middle school Eve has wanted to write stories...short stories and novels. But unfortunately her fear of failure has always gotten in her way and with her brother who is a math genius and who has always been cheered on by her parents, she is afraid of not being able to live up to what she perceives are their expectations for her. Then by chance she is invited to a party on Cape Cod where her parents summer and is introduced to renowned writer Henry Grey, his wife, a famous poet named Tillie and their handsome son Eric. And her life is changed. She quits her job and becomes Henry's assistant as he tries to complete his memoir. She becomes obsessed with their lives and their writings while always feeling she could never be as good a writer as Henry or Tillie. Seeing them only superficially and from the outside. As she assists them in planning their annual end of summer "Book Party" where everyone dresses as book characters, secrets begin to become exposed and Eve has the realization she has not been living her life as an adult, but as a girl who has barely grown up. Always living in her brother's shadow and having no confidence in herself she sees that everyone has flaws and she is not as alone as she thought.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I felt like I had known Eve and hoped against hope that things would work out for her.
bamcooks 3 months ago
*3.5 stars rounded up. This is the perfect kind of novel for summer reading: easy, quick and interesting--especially for book lovers. And aren't we all here?? In June of 1987, Eve Rosen, assistant to publishing editor Malcolm Wing, at Hodder, Strike, and Perch, attends a party on Cape Cod given by Henry Grey, one of the authors with whom she corresponds, a man who has written a column for the New Yorker for many years. She immediately falls in lust over Henry's handsome son Franny and they have a brief affair. When Eve is passed over for promotion at work, she decides to take Henry up on his offer to become his research assistant for the summer on Cape Cod. As she gets to know Henry and his rather standoffish wife Tillie, she finds them to be a strange match: 'a fact-heavy journalist with a taste for light satire' with 'a serious, obscure poet.' Things develop as you might expect (hence the reduction of a half-star in the rating) and events finally come to a head on the night of the Grey's big book party over the Labor Day weekend. Guests are expected to dress as a literary character and Henry does his best to guess each one. It is also a night when many secrets will be revealed. I enjoyed this story very much, especially the literary discussions that Eve and Henry have while working together. Eve's family is a bit dysfunctional and it's interesting how she deals with being the less 'brilliant' child in the family. Sometimes it's better not to be noticed. I received an arc of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Many thanks for the opportunity.
ColoradoGirl71 3 months ago
4 summer reading stars For me, this was a perfect summer read, a refreshing break from thrillers and historical fiction. Much is set on Cape Cod, a favorite summer location for me and the author does a great job of putting us in the setting. We meet Eve in the late 1980s as she’s toiling away as an assistant in a publishing house in New York. This was a fascinating look at life working in publishing, another dream of mine. Eve is an aspiring writer but can’t quite bring herself to write anything. Eve’s older brother is considered the genius of the family and this doesn’t help her self-confidence. She ends up meeting a glamorous Cape Cod literary family and decides to work for the author for the summer. There’s some summer love and betrayal in the story and Eve gets entangled in some complicated issues. Per the title, the Book Party hosted by the artistic family each summer is the big culmination of the storyline. I did enjoy how Eve did a lot of growing in the late part of the book and I enjoyed another character, Jeremy, a young author, as well. This is my first read from this author and I will definitely read more from Karen Dukess.
lee2staes 3 months ago
The Last Book Party is a powerful tale, a coming-of-age story of ambition and a bittersweet summer romance. It details Eve’s summer in New York as she discovers that the literary world she wanted to be a part of is not all that it seems. I really liked this book, it had great character development and heart wrenching twists and unexpected turns. It turned out to be a fascinating book that held my interest until the end. I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
CharJones2525 4 months ago
I absolutely adore this book! That cover of course, and the luscious writing, the engaging coming of age story of Eve, a publishing house assistant in the literary garden of 1987. Enveloped me like a cashmere throw, as I lost hours in the tale of this charming twentysomething’s transition to assistant to a renown Cape Cod writer. The beach, the books, the blow out party thrown by the author and his wife, both artistic luminaries in a storied world. Made me long for youth, a simpler time, a crazed creative tribe despite Eve’s complicated relationships and sobering truths learned. My TBR pile now groans with the many titles mentioned, as the author woos us with her literary love. 5 of 5 Glittering Stars! Dukess’ backstory compels as well: Tour guide in the former Soviet Union, magazine publisher in Russia, UN speechwriter on gender equality, degree in Russian Studies from Brown and a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia. Whew! Pub Date 09 Jul 2019. Thanks to Karen Dukess, Henry Holt & Company and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheLastBookParty #NetGalley
trutexan 4 months ago
The Last Book Party is a fun summer read for those who like bookish stories. Set predominately in Cape Cod, readers get immersed in the publishing world of eccentric writers, ambition and social pitfalls. Eve Rosen, the main character, is an aspiring writer that has been in a bit of a writing rut. She can’t seem to finish anything she starts, so she works as an assistant at a publishing firm until circumstances prompt her to leave the firm and spend the summer working as a research assistant to a famous writer. By the end of the summer when the writer holds his famous “book party” some difficult situations come to the surface that cause a fracture among some of the people in the group and prompt Eve to reevaluate her life and make some much needed changes. Readers will enjoy a peek into the world of publishing and all the references to other books that are made throughout the story. Many thanks to NetGalley and Henry Holt & Co. for allowing me to read an advance copy and give my honest review.
TeriLynReviews- 4 months ago
I enjoyed this. It's whimsical, nostalgic, illicit, peculiar, and worldly. The writing entrances you as it sweeps you to the Cape with a coming-of-age tale of a young woman discovering who she is and what she wants from life. She's weary and down trodden when the book opens which leads to questionable decisions and mistakes. It's an interesting dichotomy with this character because I didn't particularly like her but I liked her story, which makes not a lot of sense I realize but it's true. Even though I didn't relate to her or her choices I found her story interesting, mysterious, and compelling. I wish the ending was more conclusive however. I was waiting for a big revelation or something, maybe an epilogue. It feels incomplete although it's not, again I'm being contradictory, and really detracted from my overall rating for this review. However, as stated the plot was intriguing. It was fun to see how the other side lived in the 80's and what this young woman faced in becoming who she really wanted to be. It's told completely from her point of view and falls under the category of historical fiction. It's not solely a romance to me although there is some romance to it. More women's fiction. A truly engaging, unique read.
MarilynW-Reviewer 4 months ago
This was a very light and easy read for me and so nice to enjoy a book like this between so many thrillers and heavy dramas. Twenty five year old Eve Rosen wants to be a writer but lacks confidence, inspiration, and the hard work that can be necessary to write a book. She does work in a publishing house as an assistant, hoping everything about writing will rub off on her but actually is getting nowhere with her writing. When she misses out on a promotion that should have gone to her, she quits her job and takes a summer job as an assistant to famed New Yorker writer Henry Grey. Eve has already been more than just attracted to Henry's son Franny and then once she starts working for Henry, she becomes very attached to him, too. There is also Jeremy, a very promising author being published by her old publishing company and someone who her mom seems to think has real talent, as opposed to thinking of Eve's writing as her just dabbling in a hobby. As the summer comes to a close, these three men and others from her summer town, come together for a big book party. Deceits are revealed and truths are exposed, changing how Eve sees those around her and how she feels about herself. Thank you to Henry Holt & Company and NetGalley for this ARC.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Such a waste of money.