Paperback: The Last Time We Met by Anita Shreve

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The Independent Culture

Shreve's stratospherically successful bestseller saves all its punches for a shady last-page shocker. Two middle-aged poets, Linda Fallon and Thomas Janes, meet at an East Coast literary festival. No strangers to each other, the two versifiers share a passionate past stretching back over 25 years. Catching up on pillow talk in a harbour-front hotel, Shreve takes us back to the couple's doomed teenage romance, and a later extra-marital affair triggered by a chance encounter in Africa. A feel-good tragedy featuring car accidents, boating accidents and a dash of sexual abuse, Shreve's unsettling melodrama entertains, but ultimately dupes.

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