From the Back Cover
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.
I love a good coming of age story and a good book about books, so I was especially eager to pick up THE LAST BOOK PARTY by Karen Dukess, her debut. Set in the 1980s, the novel follows twenty-something Eve as she quits her job at a New York literary agency to spend a summer in Cape Cod as famed writer Henry Grey’s assistant. Despite a few poor reviews and ratings, I was thrilled at the chance to read a novel with a main character who so closely resembles where I see myself in five years.
“I looked beyond the display to the tall bookshelves ringing the room, every inch of them filled with books, thick and slim, their spines shimmering in hues of brown and gold, blue and dusty red, black and green. In those books were more stories than could be counted – not just the stories on the pages, but the stories that had spurred someone to find the words and write them down. To bring to life imaginary people that, over time, had become as good as real.”
For me, THE LAST BOOK PARTY was just an absolute blast to read! I easily put myself into Eve’s shoes as a 20-something trying to find her way in the literary world, and I loved reading all about her summer as an author’s assistant on Cape Cod. Given the thin page count, and the simple (if not somewhat predictable) plot, I totally sped through this book, totally enthralled by the lives of Henry, Tillie, Jeremy, and all of the Cape’s summer residents.
THE LAST BOOK PARTY is a fast-moving and enjoyable read with a simple yet juicy plot. I fear this book won’t be particularly memorable, but it’s one of the most intelligent “beach reads” I’ve ever encountered and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it!