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The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

February 2019

THE LAST ROMANTICS by Tara Conklin is the story of four siblings. It opens in the year 2079, which threw me at the beginning. I am not someone who enjoys futuristic books with a sci-fi feel, so I was trying to figure out why Tara opened here. It ends up it was to give readers a chance to look at the family and its dynamic way into the future. In the opening, Fiona Skinner, the youngest daughter in the family, is 102 years old. She is a poet of some renown for a poem she wrote called “The Love Poem,” which looks at the meaning of love. This opener gives her a vehicle to plunge back and tell her family’s story.

Tara Conklin, author of The Last Romantics

When the renowned poet Fiona Skinner is asked about the inspiration behind her iconic work, The Love Poem, she tells her audience a story about her family and a betrayal that reverberates through time. It begins in a big yellow house with a funeral, an iron poker, and a brief variation forever known as the Pause: a free and feral summer in a middle-class Connecticut town. The Skinner siblings emerge from the Pause staunchly loyal and deeply connected.