The Last Time They Met
Author: Anita Shreve
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Published: January 2002
Paperback: 313 pages
Source: purchased at Friends of the Library sale
My Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads.com): In The Last Time They Met, Anita Shreve, author of Fortune's Rocks and the bestselling Oprah pick The Pilot's Wife, shows how the decisions we make can affect the course of our lives. It is with mixed emotions that poet Linda Fallon greets her old lover, fellow poet Thomas Janes, when they bump into each other at a literary festival. Devastated by their breakup years before, Janes chose this moment to reconnect and, if possible, reignite their romance.
My Thoughts: This book follows high school sweethearts Thomas Jane and Linda Fallon as they reconnect at two different points, later in their lives. Anita Shreve has written the book in three sections, with the first section taking place in the present-day, the second part set in Africa when Linda and Thomas are in their 20s, and the last section is when they are teenagers and meet for the first time. The first and last section are told from Linda's point of view and the middle section is narrated by Thomas. Shreve tracks their romance across the years, showing how strong their connection is when spread out across many miles and many years.
I typically enjoy Shreve's writing, finding it to be almost poetic. However, this book was too language-heavy for my liking. I felt like there was no action, that there was no pull between the characters. Shreve wrote of the connection between them, but I didn't feel it as the reader. I felt there was little connection between the characters and the reader. There was very little dialogue, and when there was, Shreve did not use quotation marks, but marked conversation with "-". A dash ... it just really threw me off. The whole book was just not to my liking. I felt like the plot idea was strong, but the writing just pulled it down and made it a long read. All that being said, I will still look forward to reading Shreve's work.