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The Last Life

The Last Life

A “mesmerizing” novel from the acclaimed author of The Emperor’s Children that is “as artful as it is affecting” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times).

Moving between colonial Algeria, the south of France, and New England, The Last Life is Claire Messud’s “masterly” (Wall Street Journal) sophomore novel of lies and ghosts, love and honor. When shots from a grandfather’s rifle shatter the LaBasse family’s quiet integrity, long-hidden shame emerges: a son abandoned by the family before he was even born, a mother whose identity is not what she has claimed, a father whose act of defiance brings Hotel Bellevue—the family business—to its knees. Unforgettably narrated by a fifteen-year-old girl with a ruthless regard for truth, The Last Life is a “phenomenally controlled tour de force” (Sarah Kerr, Vogue).

“Messud textures her novel with all the sensory pleasures that bind us to life, and fills it with characters who helplessly respond to each other’s unspoken signals and nuances.”—The New Yorker

“Original, intense, and gripping.”—Gabriele Annan, New York Review of Books