The Last Post

Renée Carlino. Atria, $17 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-5011-8964-7
This uneven tale about a recent widow and a man just emerging from an existential crisis is full of stops and starts. In the opening chapter, Laya heads to Paris on a “second honeymoon” with her professional stuntman husband, Cameron, only to see him die. Grief-stricken, she leaves her surgery residency in California, holes up in one of her architect father’s New York apartment buildings, and obsessively publishes posts to her deceased husband on his Facebook page, despite his family’s pleas for her to stop. Meanwhile, Micah, a frustrated architect in her father’s firm, spends his time “visualizing my life as some giant novel with no meaning” and growing a beard that makes him look like the Unabomber. He fixates on Laya in a way that his twin sister describes as “stalking.” Carlino (Blind Kiss) manages a sympathetic presentation of both protagonists as broken, imperfect people who eventually, after numerous false starts, heal each other; this offsets the lovers’ excessive introspection and plot twists that strain credulity. (For example, after Micah and his sister have consecutive car accidents that land them in the same hospital, Laya ends up operating on Micah.) This angst-ridden story may appeal to Carlino’s fans, but many readers will find the slow-moving romance tedious. Agent: Allison Hunter, Janklow & Nesbit. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/03/2019
Release date: 08/20/2019
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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