The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin
Reviewed by Sarah, Mona Vale
Stepping aside from crime, I picked up The Last Romantics and found myself immersed in the lives of the Skinner siblings Renee, Joe, Caroline and Fiona. Spanning five decades, The Last Romantics opens in the year 2079. Fiona Skinner, the narrator, is a famous poet, aged 102, and is in the midst of her first public appearance in 25 years. The world outside the auditorium is plagued by environmental decline, but inside the audience is focused on her iconic work, “The Love Poem,” the piece that brought her critical acclaim when she was still in her 20s. Luna, a young woman who shares the name of the poem’s protagonist, is firing questions, insistent on learning more about her mysterious namesake. The request prompts Fiona to tell her family’s story, one that she declares is “about the failures of love.”
I couldn’t put this book down. It captured me from the beginning. A rich, finely written book, Tara Conklin knows how to write about and understands the needs, strengths and fragility of family love.