The Last Laugh

The Last Laugh

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"A witty new novel about three self-proclaimed "old bags" who run off to a Greek island ... Since their children left home, Ruth, Dania, and Bess have grown used to living wonderfully free lives. Only now they're beset by children again--this time, their grandchildren. In order to escape, they decide to run away to Greece together for a year. At first, settled on a glorious island, barefoot and contented, they think they've rediscovered the wheel. But then things begin to go awry. Dionysus, a local poet, takes up with Bess, at least until his wife gets wind of things. Dania, a therapist, is being stalked by one of her patients. And Ruth's ex-lover turns up out of the blue, closely followed by the man who lost Bess her fortune. It doesn't help when the children and grandchildren also start turning up whenever they feel like it. As Bess writes in one of Ruth's weekly "Granny à Go Go" columns, this is not an Enchanted April sort of year. Lynn Freed's previous novels have received rave reviews everywhere from The New York Times Book Review ("Makes us laugh while packing, finally, a punch"), to the Los Angeles Times Book Review ("Deeply absorbing and ambitious. Astonishingly vivid"). In The Last Laugh she returns with a beautifully written and funny novel about money, sex, friendship, and the pleasures and perils of children."--
"Three women in their sixties go off to live in Greece for a year, only to have their children, grandchildren, and past lovers invade what was supposed to be a relaxing getaway"--
Publisher: New York :, Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780374286651
Branch Call Number: FIC FREE
Characteristics: x, 188 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Their extended family is both a huge support network but also a complication making building a new life a challenge.

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Apr 26, 2018

I gave this book two stars after much debating. In the end, I liked the premise of the book, 3 women nearing 70 escape their lives to spend a year on a Greek Island, more than the actual characters or the plot line. Bess is obsessed with men and fashion, Dania is obsessed with her professional reputation and published works, and Ruth is haunted by her ex-husbands, ex-lovers, and her failed relationship with her daughter, Hester. Wronged wives, former lovers, ungrateful children, and a host of other characters intrude on the women's island escape. Most of the scenarios result in unflattering aspects of the women's character being revealed or amplified. The title is questionable if the last laugh refers to one of the characters getting away with two murders. I'm not inclined to try any more of Lynn Freed's novels.

Oct 26, 2017

Greek isles and Aegean Sea lured me to the tales of “old bags”, and memoirs of life lived to the overripe - perspective of one (of three), who’s more sane and also a writer. Too many points (age, relationship, family, life’s elusiveness, joyful sacrifice...) hanging there, fail to weave into a worthwhile (multi purpose? nice try, not even single use) net. Lukewarm funny with light laughter, ends with blissful comfort.
To me, Bess stands out.

Oct 09, 2017

Unusual, but freedom seeking, women of a certain age provide a humorous perspective of life in the present reflected by family and exes from their the past. These 4 women who stay in Greece want no responsibilities of their past selves. They have opinions on men, children, and grand-kids. The story seemed somewhat incohesive as the characters did their thing. I did enjoy the wit that comes from a 60+ generation.

Oct 05, 2017

OY !!! 'arlequin pot boiler about 'orny/ornery/restless grannies who had to deal with lovers/ex-hubbies, children/grandchildren, etc.....even the Greek island setting is zzzzz?

Oct 04, 2017

Tries to be Shirley Valentine without success.

Sep 29, 2017

very hard to follow

Sep 04, 2017

I guess I was expecting a mature version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants but the only connection between the two is the setting in Greece. I thought I’d have a lot in common with the three friends in their 70’s who come to Greece for an extended holiday, but I connected with none of them or their families.

jyaremchuk Aug 29, 2017

Wanted to be amused and entertained, but a group of "women of a certain age" complaining did not do it for me.


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