THE LAST ROMANTICS by Tara Conklin

102-year-old, Fiona Skinner had been out of public life for 25 years. Questions about her body of work were numerous at her first public appearance. Wanting to skip ahead to the end of the evening, Fiona was not prepared when a question came from one of the audience members, “Who was your inspiration in your book, ‘The Love Poem’?” Fiona tells an intimate tale of familial struggles and sibling rivalry; a personal story with universal appeal. Who hasn’t said the wrong thing or felt betrayal and disappointment within the confines of the people with which we share DNA? The question then becomes: how do we move forward?⠀

The Last Romantics is ripe with beautiful word imagery, deeply held secrets and recognizable familial challenges. The story is told from Fiona’s viewpoint, the youngest of four siblings. Readers are entranced by her stories that shaped and molded who she has become. The book details each sibling’s intersecting story and the way in which they forged their survival after loss and love and time. It is a celebration of siblings as well as an insight into the struggle that arises from this deeply connected bond. As family members we fall into roles that we both cherish and resent. We have shared stories that can, at times, be very differently interpreted. What keeps us together? What will pry us apart? What lengths will we go to protect each other?⠀

You will introspect. You will love. You will find a hard gulp in your throat. And then you’ll call your sibling and thank them for putting up with it all and for being a beautiful, integral part of your life story.

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