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One Last Look

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  29 reviews
After several wretched months at sea, Eleanor Oliphant arrives in Calcutta with her brother Henry and sister Harriet. It is 1836, and her beloved Henry has just been appointed England’s new Governor-General for India. Eleanor is to be his official hostess.

Despite the imported English gowns and formal soir?es, India makes a mockery of Eleanor’s sensibilities. Burning heat,
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 12th 2004 by Vintage (first published 2003)
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Nothing much happens in this book, and yet its aggregate effect is haunting. The language is beautiful, there are some truly weird and unsettling things going on with the narrator (of whose journal entries the novel is comprised), and the fact that so much sordidness is hinted at but never explicitly acknowledged is ultimately pretty powerful. I'm not sure that I'd recommend this to many people, though--maybe to Meghan Lee, who I don't even think is on here.
lovely. One of the best things about Moore is the heavy atmosphere of sexual potential--a constant in stories of otherwise very different subjects and execution. Moore's heroines often have a mordantly funny voice and this one's even funnier than the rest.
Farhana Faruq
Jan 07, 2009 Farhana Faruq rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who don't mind an uneventful read
"Our journey has been most uneventful." (pg. 281) - I couldn't agree more! One Last Look is rich in description, and that's about it.
Susanna Moore used the letters and diaries of three Englishwomen in India at the time of the Great Game with Russia as basis for this novel, sometimes using their actual words. The result is a sly, funny, sad, and moving story of transformation and Empire.

Eleanor Oliphant, her sister, and cousin, accompany her brother to India in 1836. The King has appointed brother Henry Governor-General of the colony to help the noble Oliphants after the loss of the family fortune. After all, everyone gets ric
I haven't made up my mind about this book. On the one hand, I imagine Moore has done her research in detail, and believes she has come to an understanding of what the historical characters experienced. And she certainly makes me want to go to the original sources and get my own sense of the lives of the English Governor General and his family in early Victorian India.

Likewise I imagine that the form of this novel, and her writing is deliberately obtuse. So when, as a reader I feel I'm looking a
Thanks to Hazel for the intriguing review of this book which I enjoyed in an off-beat way. The narrative (and the emotional tone) was slippery and hard to grasp. The language was often obscure which lead eventually to an overall hallucinatory state (perhaps consistent with the eventual opium addiction of the narrator).

Lady Eleanor with her sister Harriet accompanies her brother (Henry) to India where he has been appointed Governor-General. Eleanor's incestuous relationship to Henry motivated thi
We zien alles door Eleanors ogen, waardoor je soms zelf dingen moet raden en het niet duidelijk is wat er juist is gebeurd. Wél overduidelijk is de incestueuze relatie tussen Eleanor en Henry…
De aparte, ironische kijk op de dingen rondom maakt Eleanors dagboek speciaal. Je krijgt gedetailleerde fragmenten, scherp geanalyseerd en geviseerd, over hun leven in en verre tochten door dat verre, onbegrepen land.

Er is ook voor een einde gezorgd, fijn vind ik dat: de familie keer na 7 jaar terug naar hu
There's a real dream-like quality to this novel, which takes the form of a journal written by Lady Eleanor, who accompanies her brother to colonial India when he's appointed governor-general in 1836. India is an epiphany for the English: a swirl of sounds, smells, and color from which they never recover. Susanna Moore's grasp of the history is impeccable. Her characters are vibrant, excepting, maybe, Henry. Her writing is precise and at times lively:

"We sat there in a silence sufficient to extin
This book was a little odd with its subplot of incest (I never quite figure out exactly what was going on there) but I did enjoy reading about how two eccentric high society women adapted to colonial Indian life.
I vaguely remembered one of Ms. Moore's books being published by Knopf right before I started working there; it didn't get much attention because (I believe was said) of the low sales of her previous book, published back in 2001, which seemed to be one of that fall's many 9/11 casualties, put out right at that time when none of us could pay attention to things like novels.

Anyway, I came across "One Last Look" when my sister and I decided last year to try to travel to India in 2009 and I began lo
The thing about this book that I loved was that it was written from the perspective of a modern woman, yet the world she evokes in her journals is very much that of an earlier time when the world was much bigger and more mysterious. Books set in India generally appeal to me...something about the richness of detail in everyday life. There was plenty of that here, along with a sense of what it may have been like to be among the most privileged class during the Raj.
The topic was interesting, Brits in India in the early 19th Century, but I'd prefer reading the actual letters of Fanny Parks and Emily & Fanny Eden from which the author got her story. Moore is an old favorite of mine for her beautiful, evocative writing and she did not disappoint in that aspect of the book, but I found the characters lacking.
Actually "read" is an overstatement. I got to page 37 and gave up. It's fine if you don't want to disclose what your book is about within the first 30 pages, but at least make it enjoyable to read until you get to the meat of the matter. It's ridiculous how awkwardly written this diary-style tale of a British(?) woman in India is.
Jen Klug
For the first third of this book, I kept thinking ... "This is boring. I think I'm going to stop reading it." I kept thinking that, and I kept not stopping, and I ended up liking it so much. I felt totally bonded with the narrator by the end, and the whole story is really sticking with me. It was a very hypnotic read.
The book was not compelling, but I am glad I read it. Lots of glimpses into what life was like in India in the mid 19th c. for the British colonials. Also who knew that women couldn't eat cheese in public and wrapping gifts was uncooth. Lots of historical details about hygiene (bathrooms, periods, etc.).
The 'voice' of the diarist is so witty that I enjoyed the book, despite finding some of the antics the British in India got up to slightly incredible. She paints a vivid picture - enchanting and appalling at the same time - of colonial life in India when Victoria had just become queen.
Janis Williams
I have owned this book for several years and I think this is the fourth time I have read it. Every time there is something new to notice and relish. Plus it is India and very hot. Everyone is sweating through their violet silk gowns. A good way to stay warm in the winter.
Disturbing account of British occupation of India from 1836-1843. Mostly set in Calcutta, told from Lady Eleanor's perspective. Supposedly historically accurate, very lush descriptions. Ultimately discusses the failure of imperialism. Strange book, but nicely written.
Life for the sister of the governor general in 1836 India is a series of revelations about the country and about herself that make for intriguing reading. I learned not just history but also how snobbery about another culture can, over time, change to appreciation.
This book had vivid descriptions, but was soooo sloooow. The story does show tensions rising prior to the Great Mutiny, but it's not obvious without knowing the history beforehand.
Its a very interesting time and place, but I couldn't stand the main character. For a more palatable telling of the same era read Thalissa Ali's trilogy.
Another historical novel set in India, this novel also incorporates the British culture your favorite books indicate you enjoy.
Somehow I don't think much has changed in India since 1835, from the point of view of millions of Indians. Cows rule.
Michelle Charles
Jane Austin in India - with about 100 pages left I got bored with their antics and returned
the book to the library.
Found when searching for fiction books about India for Mom. So guys, what are some good fiction books set in India?
Jan 12, 2010 Gitte marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I only managed to read 70 pages. They were all awful.
I really enjoyed this book. I give it a 3.75.
Kelly, have you read this?
Patricia marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2015
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Susanna Moore is the author of the novels One Last Look, In the Cut, The Whiteness of Bones, Sleeping Beauties, and My Old Sweetheart, which won the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her nonfiction travel book, I Myself Have Seen It, was published by the National Geographic Society in ...more
More about Susanna Moore...
In the Cut The Life of Objects The Big Girls The Whiteness of Bones My Old Sweetheart

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