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The Last September
by Nina de Gramont

Published: 2015-09-15
Hardcover : 320 pages
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“When I look back now, it hurtles toward us like a meteor. But at the time we were too wrapped up in our day-to-day life to see it. Charlie and I lived in a borrowed house by the ocean. Our daughter, Sarah, was fifteen months old. September had just arrived, emptying the beaches at the ...
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Introduction

“When I look back now, it hurtles toward us like a meteor. But at the time we were too wrapped up in our day-to-day life to see it. Charlie and I lived in a borrowed house by the ocean. Our daughter, Sarah, was fifteen months old. September had just arrived, emptying the beaches at the very moment they became most spectacular.”

Brett has been in love with Charlie ever since he took her skiing on a lovely Colorado night fourteen years ago. And now, living in a seaside cottage on Cape Cod with their young daughter, it looks as if they have settled into the life they desired. However, Brett and Charlie’s marriage has been tenuous for quite some time. When Charlie’s unstable younger brother plans to move in with them, the tension simmering under the surface of their marriage boils over.

But what happened to Charlie next was unfathomable. Charlie was the golden boy so charismatic that he charmed everyone who crossed his path; who never shied away from a challenge; who saw life as one big adventure; who could always rescue his troubled brother, no matter how unpredictable the situation.

So who is to blame for the tragic turn of events? And why does Brett feel responsible?

Set against the desolate autumn beauty of Cape Cod, The Last September is a riveting emotional puzzle that takes readers inside the psyche of a woman facing the meaning of love and loyalty.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

Because I am a student of literature, I will start my story on the day Charlie died. In other words I’m beginning in the middle. In medias res, that’s the Latin term, and though my specialty is American Renaissance poetry, I did have to study the classics. Homer, Dante, Milton. They knew about the middle, how all of life revolves around a single moment in time. Everything that comes before leads up to that moment. Everything that comes afterward springs from that moment. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. The Last September begins with the most dramatic event of the book, Charlie's murder, and then travels back in time as Brett tries to figure out how this could have happened. Why do you think de Gramont structures the novel in this way? How does that affect our understanding of and sympathy for Charlie? Or for Eli?

2. What is Charlie's appeal to so many people? And given that, why would more than one person have wanted to see him dead?

3. What is different about Charlie's relationship to Eli than his relationship to other people? What does Charlie bring to that relationship that we don't see elsewhere?

4. By the end of the novel, we've heard Brett's complicated story and also understood her role in all of this. How do you feel about her by the end of the book?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Member Reviews

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  "The Last September"by Silversolara (see profile) 09/23/15

Brett, Eli, Charlie, and Ladd....all connected and all a part of each other's ?lives and decisions.

THE LAST SEPTEMBER starts out in present day and heads back to the ?past when all four

... (read more)

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