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The Last Kings of Sark

3.14 of 5 stars 3.14  ·  rating details  ·  180 ratings  ·  57 reviews
My name is Jude. And because of Law, Hey and the Obscure, they thought I was a boy.'

Jude is twenty-one when she flies in a private plane to Sark, a tiny carless Channel Island, the last place in Europe to abolish feudalism. She has been hired for the summer to give tuition to a rich local boy called Pip. But when she arrives, the family is unsettling - Pip is awkward, ove
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by St. Martin's Press (first published November 7th 2013)
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I got this book for two reasons - "My name is Jude. And because of Law, Hey and the Obscure, they thought I was a boy” – that is absolutely me (although I spell my username a different way) so how could I resist? The other reason being that I have always wanted to visit Sark but never made it. So far, so good…

So, Jude goes to Sark to tutor sixteen year old Pip, despite the fact that she is not a teacher. How did she get the job? Apparently through an agency – hmmm. Anyway, there she is, tutoring
Maya Panika
A book that seems to be about youth, love and loss, and the loss of youth and all that glory, told in three parts. I enjoyed the first bit, set on Sark and beautifully told with the yearning sense of days enjoyed with nostalgia even as they were being lived. It was a pleasantly poetic read, but one that never seemed to get where it thought it was going and in part two, it lost its way completely.
In the second part, the tale moves to France, where the three friends - Jude, Sofi and Pip - are a li
DNF at chapter 12 (30%)

ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

The blurb intrigued me to read this book, that's why I requested it from NetGalley in the first place. Somehow I was kind of wish that I'll get Jane Eyre-esque story, a beautiful-romantic with mystery kind of story.

Sark island interesting enough with its mysterious vibe. I think the author did a good job describing it. However it was hard for me to connect to the story and the characters.
Khamneithang Vaiphei
The Last Kings of Sark by Rosa Rankin-Gee is a gripping and expressive story about life, love and loss revolving around Jude, Sofi and Pip. Jude is 21, Sofi is 19 and Pip is 16. Jude was engaged to be Pip’s summer tutor, and in the process learned so much about herself, Pip and Sofi, and she got much more than what she expected. Spirited, buoyant, carefree and yet so tender, Rosa Rankin-Gee has hewed out of a simple plot a wonderful and beautiful story which will endear to many readers.

Funnily e
Review copy received from the publisher for an honest review.

Do you have memories of long careless summer days when you were young? I certainly do, as I’m sure many of us do. The Last Kings of Sark is a novel about such a summer – and how those days can leave a lingering taint over subsequent years – making you want to go back to those youthful golden days.

“My name is Jude. And because of Law, Hey and the Obscure, they thought I was a boy.
Not even a boy. A young man, and someone who could teac
Renee Lareau
My editor friend hooked me in with this description of the book:

"Do you remember those last days of summer, when the real world was tantalizingly just around the corner, but you were firmly planted in the sun and the glory and the beach and the friends you loved beyond measure? THE LAST KINGS OF SARK transported me back to those hazy, amazing, electrifying days and nights of pure love and fierce friendship, when all of us would last forever. If I close my eyes and reach back around the corner, t
Sarah Steely
I feel like this book had potential--the premise was good, but it was so disjointed at times that it swiftly became boring or painful to read. You could see where the story was headed but something is lacking that creates a cohesive narrative. Also, I never really quite figured out Jude's character. I feel like I should have had more of a connection since over half the book is told from her perspective. Maybe that's the point? All I got was that she is probably anorexic, she lies a lot about lit ...more
I was a lucky winner of this book on Goodreads Giveaways.
My thanks to Rosa Rankin-Gee and St. Martin's Press, as well as my apologies. I really don't like to give a negative review on a free book.

The writing in this book was pretty good, with lovely and poetic moments, but it was lacking in other areas. I found the characters very 2 dimensional and uninteresting. Jude was the least interesting one of the bunch, and that really shouldn't be the case for the protagonist (for the majority of the st
Tim Roast
“The Last Kings of Sark” is about love and about the long summers like you experienced when you were young and carefree. “The world was blond, the wind was warm. These were the days that were golden.”

The first part of the book is written from Jude’s point of view and sees her arrive in Sark at the beginning of summer to provide tuition to the only child, Pip, of Eddy and Esme. Things don’t start too well as they thought she would be a boy. (“My name is Jude. And because of Law, Hey and the Obscu
Ella Bowman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney Maum
Just finished "The Last Kings of Sark," and now I am listless, and in a saddened mood. This story, about three young people who forge a special friendship during what might have otherwise been a solitary summer on a remote island is a sensual hymn to youth, and innocence, to lust, to passion, to the thrill of cold water and skin warmed by the sun. My only regret is that I didn't get to spend more time with Pip, Sofi and Jude on the island of Sark-- I missed their hard won camaraderie in the seco ...more
I loved how this book evoked the minutiae of life so beautifully, yet so simply. Snapshots of time like super 8. Not at all in a precious instagrammed way. How young relationships imprint indelibly throughout a decade or even more, even as other people and things happen.
Amy Warrick

I cheated; I read a few reviews before writing this.

Unlike the majority of the reviewers I read (and they weren't many), I liked the latter half of this book better than the first. I'd give this 3 1/2 stars, really.

The first part describes the beautiful summer three young people experience on the island of Sark - the narrator, Jude, is a young woman hired to tutor a teen boy, Pip. Sofi has been hired to cook. Sofi and Jude share a room and then escapades as they explore the island; Pip is a
a love story and paean to being young (and dumb, but sexy, curious, special, insatiable, know-it-all, scared, fearless.....) for a summer in sark. a rich boy needs a tutor, so jude gets hired, unknowingly that jude is a young woman, opps. the 'polish' cook too, from ealing, is 20 and a goddess, so that goes well with the 16 year boy, as he is a god.
so the idyllic summer passes with much bike riding (no cars allowed on sark), not much tutoring, a master gone on business, and the mistress never le
This is a book that cries out for a book club. It's a discussion book. There's an elegance to the earthiness of this tale - it's a very literary mainstream novel that bobs quietly from moment to moment. And let me be very clear - this is a series of moments tied together with deliberately vague impressions of the time and space that links them together.

The book succeeded at drawing me in and making me participate in the storytelling process. I had an understanding - not necessarily the "correct"
Three very different people, each on the brink of adulthood, share an idyllic summer of freedom and discovery on the tiny island of Sark. Jude,timid and bound by a correct upbringing, is hired to tutor Pip, a young man who has led an isolated life on Sark. The glue which binds them is Sofi. Polish in origin but claiming to be from Ealing, she is a free spirit hired as cook and general dog's body by the man of the house. She is up for any adventure and it is she who transforms the trio into fast ...more
Yann Rousselot
The novella which makes up the first part of the novel is a beautifully crafted coming of age story: loss of innocence, yes, but also a bit of a jab as class distinction and the strange and often antisocial idiosyncrasies of the super-rich. The setting is painted in a way that resonates in each character. The way a location changes you, how you evolve to adapt, to fit, to blend in, but also to stand out, to be an individual: relatable to any traveler. The narrator has a certain charm, but I coul ...more
(I am very conservative with my stars, reserving 5 stars for my absolute favorite books, so please note that 3 stars means I enjoyed a book.) I received this novel in a Goodreads giveaway. This would make a good pick for a book club as I would have enjoyed discussing and dissecting it a bit with others. The author succeeds in writing a book that reads easy without being simplistic. I found the character Sofi a charismatic and interesting individual, the other two main characters less intriguing. ...more
I received a copy of this from a goodreads giveaway.

The first part of this book, a little over half of it, reads like a slice-of-life adventure. Nothing big, just three young people on a channel island with no cares and (almost) no responsibilities. There's youth and sunshine and beaches and laughter and drinking and ocean and bicycling and more sunshine and youth. There's not too much to it -- no conflict, and the characters don't have pasts or futures. They are just there, suspended in an idyl
I like Rosa Rankin-Gee's style of descriptive writing, and I like the first half of the novel better than the second. The problem is that the first part of the novel has a clear, continuous plot; the second is written as a series of disconnected snapshots of the three lives post-main-story arc. While I was able to develop empathy for the characters in the first half, the snippets shown in the second pretty much squashed it. I had less interest in the characters in the end than I had in the begin ...more
I didn't know if I was going to like this book. The story of three young people, 2 girls and a boy on the island of Sark was intriguing. Sofi is the cook, Jude, the tutor, and Pip is the son of the man in whose house they live or work. The story is bittersweet and sad at the same time. Older with different life experiences, they each look back on that summer with a sad sense of nostalgia. This book made me feel a little sad too, just like the characters. That is a good thing in that I could ide ...more
Rachel Stevenson
I picked up this book because I once spent a few days in Sark and loved it. Rosa Rankin-Gee descriebs the island beautifully and accurately in terms of geography, people, topography, although she does replace the Barclay Brothers with “Farquart & Fathers” – perhaps she didn't want to get sued.

Appropriately for an island that only abolished feudalism in 2008, the novel is concerned with class: Jude, the privately educated tutor, sits with the family to eat and drink and is treated respectfull
Four very solid stars. I have to take away one star for the format of the book. I'm kind of an old-fashioned reader who likes my story sequential with obvious transitions. This novel is divided with a feel of short story chapters that combine to make up a whole book. We start with Jude on the first day of her summer tutoring job, and then more or less follow a timeline that spans 10 or so years. Unfortunately, I did feel a little lost sometimes. So, four stars it is.

The first chapter focuses on
Anna Coossa
3 stars

I received this book as book giveaway on Goodreads. Thank you
I surprised myself to give a 3 stars to this book. It has no plot whatsoever, the narrator’s so unlikeable and detached/devoid of emotions.

The biggest problem I had reading this book was the point of view. I could not get my head around the first point of view from Jude then getting her as a ‘she’ (if she was narrating the book, does she think herself in the third point of view?) then in the final chapter as ‘I’ again. As an exa
Patrick Neylan
The much-quoted first line about Jude's name neatly makes the point that Rosa Rankin-Gee is a good writer with a deft touch. Even if the book doesn't live up to its potential, we're in for a good read. Sark rises out of the sea "like a soufflé"; 'The Last Kings of Sark" rises, but doesn't quite rise all the way. Three stars is a bit harsh, but it's a kind of compliment, because the writing hints at how much better Rankin-Gee's later books might be.

It's easy to concentrate on the flaws. Even if
I was lucky enough to have a review copy of this book sent out to me and am so pleased that I didn't delay in reading it. Once I started I found it impossible to put down and finished it in less than a day. The first section follows Jude, Sofi and Pip as they spend a sun drenched summer together on the channel island of Sark. Jude is there to tutor Pip, while Sofi is the 'Polish' help hired to manage the house; however when Pip's father is called away on business the three of them take advantage ...more
Holy hell what a boring book. I kept waiting for it to begin and then it would just start another long tired internal monolog. Who the heck thinks about what other people do, think, wear, taste like hecks everything! There was so many place in the story it could have been good, but nooooo let's dive in to another dry diatribe about of how pale Pip is and how golden the polish girl is. oh and fuck because it's shocking to say.
The last kings of Sark is a tale of 3 young people: a lonely rich boy, an unprepared private tutor, and a household cook of questionable kitchen hygiene. All are young, though on different sides of the dividing line between child and independent. All step outside their official roles as both the boy's parents absent themselves (in different ways) over the course of one summer. When the season ends, they separate; they spend much of the next decade trying to recapture something they cannot quite ...more
Carolyn Thomas
What grabbed my attention initially was the fact that the story took place on Sark. one of the Channel Islands, and then the opening line reeled me in, but although it was beautifully written I really did not "connect" with any of the characters (wrong generation, I suppose). What is wrong with Pip's mother? Why is Pip the way he is? How did Sofi ever get hired as a cook? Too many questions. Not enough answers.
A short and delightful read about three people who meet on Sark for a summer, Sofi a cook, Jude a tutor and Pip the student who lives on Sark. The summer ends and the three go their own ways but all end up in France in later years but never meet again until the final section where Pip has a son called Jude and reconnects with Sofi. Jude, the tutor returns to Sark as an adult for its memories.
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