The last laugh : a novel

by Freed, Lynn,

Format: Print Book 2017.
Availability: Available 15 of 16 copies
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Summary

*A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice*

From the award-winning author Lynn Freed, who's been called a "literary star" by The New York Times Book Review , comes a hilarious and brilliant new novel about the riotous, passion-filled adventures of three women who thought they were past their prime.

To escape their griping grown children, husbands and lovers, and an abundance of grandchildren underfoot, three self-proclaimed "old bags," Dania, Ruth, and Bess, head for a quiet island on the Aegean Sea. They'll spend a year by the water--watching the sunset, eating grilled fish and fresh olives, sipping ouzo. They deserve it, they say. After all those years, the three women will finally have some peace.

Except that they can't. For one, Bess, a pampered, once-beautiful inheritress, falls swiftly into an affair with a poetry-writing taxi driver--who has, of course, a territorial wife. And Dania, a therapist, begins to receive an increasing number of cryptically menacing phone calls from a psychotic patient. An ex-lover of Ruth's shows up unexpectedly, right before one of Bess's does--and then the women's children arrive, with their own demanding children in tow. As the island quicklybecomes crowded, the women's serene year in Greece devolves perilously, and uproariously, into something much more complicated.

With the wit of Maria Semple's Today Will Be Different and all the adventure of Deborah Moggach's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel , Lynn Freed's The Last Laugh is at once wildly funny and deeply perceptive, an exuberant story of friendship and pleasure, family and love.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Empty-nesters Ruth, Dania, and Bess have done what so many women dream of doing. Finally free from the demands of husbands and children, they decide to rent a gorgeous villa on a secluded Grecian island for a yearlong stay, where the three women forge new bonds through their shared triumphs and tragedies. Ruth's magazine column keeps a little money coming in, and Dania takes phone calls from a few therapy patients, but life is cheap and easy. Until it isn't. Bess falls in love with a married taxi driver, one of Dania's patients has become completely unhinged, and Ruth's ex-lover decides to fly halfway around the world to see her again. The Last Laugh is a perfect summer read for anyone who loved Delia Ephron's Siracusa (2016) or Emma Straub's The Vacationers (2014). Freed's narrative style is delightful, splicing Ruth's magazine correspondence and personal journal entries into the main plot. And the characters are relatable, bickering and compromising and loving each other all the same. Sun-dappled and sea-splashed, this is the best type of escapism.--Turza, Stephanie Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Three "mad old bags," all pushing 70, pool their resources to rent a house on a Greek island for a year in the drily whimsical latest by Freed (The Servants' Quarters). Narrator Ruth, a South African transplanted to the United States, has just given up writing a series of detective novels, and pens a magazine column about their Greek adventures called "Granny Au Go Go." Her half-sister, Bess, devotes herself to shopping and a fling with a local taxi driver, and Israeli Dania, a psychotherapist with a flair for misusing the English language (e.g., "Scrap the bottom of the barrel"), fends off a former patient with blackmail on her mind. Freed juggles a cast of interrelated characters that runs into the dozens, the most notable of whom is Gladness, Bess's Zulu best friend and the former nanny to her children, and which also includes several former still-hunky lovers. If the various children and grandchildren who pop in and out, testing their elders' patience, sometimes blur together, the core relationships stay strong, making for a pleasant and diverting read. Ruth's columns, which occasionally reveal more than she intends about her housemates, add humor. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Female friendship -- Fiction.
Older women -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :2017.
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description x, 188 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780374286651
0374286655
Other Classic View