The Last of Something

Susan Kelly, Author . Pegasus $21 (191p) ISBN 978-1-933648-08-8

Kelly's introspective, wistful lament on the passage of time and its disappointments for three 40-something women, best friends since college, is telescoped into a weekend and set in a ramshackle cottage on the coast of North Carolina. Awaiting the arrival of their husbands, their friend Ian and a hurricane, preppy Shotsie (Charlotte), earthy Bess and forceful Claire reminisce about "the portion of [their] lives when things were attainable, available, alterable—unlike the present." They dissect their flawed spouses—Shotsie's husband, Eric, is a white-collar criminal; Bess's husband, Laurence, is an alcoholic; and Claire's husband, Wes is neurotic and intermittently employed—while awaiting the arrival of Ian, a Peter Pan of a man whom they all continue to idealize as the one who got away. As for plot, the women go shopping for bathing suits, argue with spouses once they arrive, eat shellfish and watch the weather, which doesn't turn ugly until long after everyone is out of its way. Kelly's commentary (How Close We Came ) on aging, lost youth and the necessity of soldiering on makes for a nostalgic, uneventful novel. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/19/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
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