Tag Archives: Tara Conklin

‘The Last Romantics’ by Tara Conklin

This novel has good reviews and has been recommended as ‘ambitious’ and ‘absorbing’ but I must be an outlier on this, because I was disappointed. Even though I usually like sinking into family sagas, I found the drama bland and the characters two-dimensional. The author didn’t make me care about the characters or their dilemmas at all.

The story line is roughly this: three sisters and a brother are single-parented by a mother who is not coping. For three years the mother is emotionally and physically absent, clinically depressed, and rarely emerges from her bedroom.This is referred to in the book as The Pause. The children are pretty much left to fend for themselves during this time, and these parts were actually some of the best scenes in the book with their trips to the pond and their antics with friends. But when The Pause becomes pivotal and defining for the siblings as adults later on, it all fell apart for me and got really boring. It reminded me of the The Nest, which was also one I was in the minority by not liking.