The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess
English | 2019 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB | 2.9 MB
The Last Book Party : A propulsive tale of ambition and romance, set in the publishing world of 1980’s New York and the timeless beaches of Cape Cod.
In the summer of 1987, 25-year-old Eve Rosen is an aspiring writer languishing in a low-level assistant job, unable to shake the shadow of growing up with her brilliant brother. With her professional ambitions floundering, Eve jumps at the chance to attend an early summer gathering at the Cape Cod home of famed New Yorker writer Henry Grey and his poet wife, Tillie.
Dazzled by the guests and her burgeoning crush on the hosts’ artistic son, Eve lands a new job as Henry Grey’s research assistant and an invitation to Henry and Tillie’s exclusive and famed “Book Party”— where attendees dress as literary characters. But by the night of the party, Eve discovers uncomfortable truths about her summer entanglements and understands that the literary world she so desperately wanted to be a part of is not at all what it seems.
A page-turning, coming-of-age story, written with a lyrical sense of place and a profound appreciation for the sustaining power of books, Karen Dukess’s The Last Book Party shows what happens when youth and experience collide and what it takes to find your own voice.
“Looking at the two of you is like flipping from Henry Past to Franny Future. You must get that all the time.”
“And looking at you is like downing a shot from the fountain of youth,” Henry said. “Another oyster?”
“OK, Henry, simmer down,” Franny said.
“Do you always call him Henry?” I asked, taking the second oyster.
“When it’s called for.”
Henry pushed his knife into the seam of a fresh oyster and opened it easily. He tossed the empty half in a bucket and, holding the filled shell in a gloved hand, flicked a few flakes from the flesh inside before setting it on a platter of ice at the end of the table. Looking at me, he spoke to Franny. “My boy, this young lady is a marvel of efficiency. And not at all what I expected. When I learned of her connection to Truro and invited her to join us, I was prepared to meet a skinny spinster in a cardigan sweater.”
Franny looked my way, shaking his head, and pointed his shucking knife toward his father. “He is such a relic.”
I stepped to the side of the table so other guests could get oysters but stayed close enough to continue the conversation. Bantering with Henry in person was more challenging than on paper, but I was determined to keep up. And it was easier than talking to Franny, whose good looks unnerved me.
“Is efficiency generally unattractive?” I asked Henry.
Still grinning, he nodded. “I have found it to be so.”
Franny took off his shucking gloves and tossed them on the table.
“OK, it’s time for a break,” he said, with a dazzling smile. “C’mon, Eve, I’ll show you around.”
Henry looked at Franny and then back at me. “Yes, of course, by all means, join our young brethren. But, Eve, really—if you ever need a job, I’m on the lookout for an efficient research assistant for the summer.”
I laughed. He couldn’t be serious. “It would be a tough commute from New York, but I’ll keep it in mind.”