The Last Kings of Sark

Rosa Rankin-Gee. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-04535-5
After her graduation from St. Andrews in Scotland, a woman named Jude finds a summer job tutoring a 16-year-old boy on the tiny English Channel Island of Sark, where cars are illegal, the locals drive around on tractors, and feudalism existed until 2008. The Defoe family is as strange as the island: Eddy, the patriarch, is rarely home; his wife, Esme, almost never leaves her room and appears to subsist entirely on sparkling water; and their son, Pip, despite being a bright boy whose knowledge outstrips Jude’s, has no intention of completing the college exams for which she is allegedly preparing him. Jude is immediately drawn to Sofi, the family’s beautiful 19-year-old cook, and soon Jude, Sofi, and Pip are inseparable. Over the course of a magical summer, there’s very little tutoring and not a lot of cooking, but plenty of bicycling, night swimming, wine drinking, and bonding, in ways none of them anticipated. A few years later, all three have fallen out of touch, but each still struggles to fully understand the ways the summer, and their friendship, changed the courses of their lives. Rankin-Gee’s prose moves with a languid pace that vividly showcases Sark’s —as well as her characters’—peculiarities. Though the plot meanders and the island is populated with stock characters, hidden surprises and a beautifully written, bittersweet ending pack a vivid emotional punch.. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 07/08/2014
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4668-4400-1
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-250-06804-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4272-5966-0
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