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The Last September

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  967 Ratings  ·  193 Reviews
Set against the desolate autumn beauty of Cape Cod, The Last September is a riveting emotional puzzle that takes readers inside the psyche of a woman facing the meaning of love and loyalty.

Brett has been in love with Charlie ever since he took her skiing on a lovely Colorado night fourteen years ago. And now, living in a seaside cottage on Cape Cod with their young daught
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Algonquin Books
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Lori Shearer Yes I agree about the hollow or shallow Charlie, but I think Brett was fully aware and accepting of his limitations. I don't understand, however, why…moreYes I agree about the hollow or shallow Charlie, but I think Brett was fully aware and accepting of his limitations. I don't understand, however, why she was completely obsessed with him, especially since he flip-switched his devotion to his mother right to Brett after having ignored her for years. Every woman with sense knows you don't commit to a grieving man. I wouldn't call Brett or Eli "hollow" but I agree there's an overall lack in the depth of character development here.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Diane S ☔
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.75 When the unthinkable happens, Brett must confront the truth about her marriage, her love for Charlie and where the responsibility lies in the tragic events unfolding. From the very first we know something terrible happens, so I would not call this book a thriller. It is narrated by Brett, how she and Charlie met, her friendship with his brother who was since college her best friend and his subsequent mental deterioration. But could he have really hurt Charlie, regardless of his mental state ...more
Larry H
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Many thanks to Algonquin Books for making it available!

"Homer, Dante, Milton. They knew about the middle, how all of life revolves around a single moment in time. Everything that comes before leads up to that moment. Everything that comes afterward springs from that moment. In my case, that moment—that middle—is my husband's murder."

From the moment she met him, Brett loved Charlie. The eas
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Brett, Eli, Charlie, and Ladd....all connected and all a part of each other's lives and decisions.

THE LAST SEPTEMBER starts out in present day and heads back to the past when all four friends met and events began to unfold.

Brett was the main character. We find out about her involvement in all three of the men's lives both past and present. The murder of Charlie, how Charlie affected many lives, and the mental illness of his brother are the main focus.

The background of each character and their li
Dale Harcombe
I do wish publishers would be careful about the quotes and hype they put on books. This one is compared to The Girl on The Train, slated as 'a literary whodunit' and 'impossible to put down' among other things. None of those did the book any favours. It is a readable story about Brett who has been in love with Charlie for a long time. They marry, have a daughter and live in a seaside cottage on Cape Cod. All sounds idyllic. But the marriage in reality is far from idyllic. The book opens when Cha ...more
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, arc, june, hillsbororeads
I can already tell this book will suffer from its cover and Claus von Bülow/Presumed Innocent sounding blurb on the back cover. It's not a murder mystery, or a psychological thriller, or a look at mental illness; it is a rather quiet, introspective look at love, friendship, and family told through the lens of long-time friendship, a love triangle, a marriage hitting a rough patch, and a brutal murder. A smart beach read.
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, arcs, 4-stars
The Last September, by Nina de Gramont, is a novel of personal introspection framed within a murder mystery. Charlie Moss has been found dead at his family’s vacation home on Cape Cod, and though the easy answer to “whodunit” would seem to be his schizophrenic younger brother, Eli, there is a much longer list of people who would have had cause to harm Charlie. As the police conduct their investigation, Charlie’s wife Brett examines the past few years in an effort to make sense of their perpetu ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was sure this would be a literary thriller, and I was looking forward to it, especially since I received an unexpected ARC from a giveaway. However, this book ended up being a disappointment for me, although it was a decent enough read. I finished it over the course of a single day, and it kept me entertained to the end. There were a lot of characters I just hated for the entire book, mostly for their selfishness, but that part didn't bother me about the book. At the end I cou ...more
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this novel through Goodreads First Reads giveaways

This was a much quieter novel than I expected, and one that's a bit hard to classify. It begins with the murder of Charlie, Brett's husband and the father of their toddler, Sophie, but it's not a murder mystery or thriller. The main suspect Eli, Charlie's brother and Brett's best friend in college, suffers from severe schizophrenia, but it's not a book about mental illness. After the murder, Brett looks back on the years, mon
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarything
When I read the blurb on this book, I thought it might be a sappy, romantic novel and I wasn’t sure I should give it a try. But something about it said “read me” and I’m glad I did. The writing is excellent, the characters are well developed, the setting is beautifully described and I completely fell under its spell.

The love story is an intense and tragic one and the characters are human and flawed. This author has a keen sense of human nature and a knack for realistically portraying her charact
Ilyssa Wesche
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Here's what I was confused about - was I supposed to like Brett? Because I really, really did not. Every step of the way she was self-absorbed, thoughtless with other people's feelings, and just generally annoying.
Angel Hatfield
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, mystery
**I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review**
Brett's specialty was American Renaissance poetry. Her husband Charlie had been murdered when their daughter Sarah was 15 months old. Brett knew Eli, Charlie's brother, first. She met Charlie when she was 18. Eli told Charlie Brett was one of his best friends. Brett and Charlie had one night together then she didn't hear from him in a long time. 7 years later, Brett was engaged to Ladd and saw Eli again.
Brett was the kind of pe
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won this book on Goodreads....loved it! A murder, an emotionally puzzling analysis of a marriage broken for some time, and a moving story of a woman's search for self-acceptance make for a great novel of suspense! Will definitely look for more from Nina de Gramont!
Laura Rash
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is what I call a no-bookmark needed book! I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! Devoured it in one afternoon! Highly recommend!
Jennifer Collins
Sep 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I received The Last September from Librarything's Early Reviewer Program, and while I've had excellent experiences with their matching me up with books before, it was a struggle for me to finish this one.

The book advertises itself as something of a love story, something of a murder mystery. It advertises itself as a book where the woman at the center is examining her life, trying to make sense of her husband's murder and whether or not she may have been complicit. The books is said to be 'moving
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was looking for a distracting and entertaining book and this one fit the ticket! Thrillers often do, as they are designed to grab you and suck you in.

You learn int he first few sentences that Brett's husband Charlie, has been killed. What lead up to that, who did it, and why, of course are the rest of the book. And we flash back...

In college Brett and Eli were best friends. One night at a party, Brett met Charlie, Eli's older brother, a ladies man. Eli tried to warn Brett off but she was head-
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Full review at:

The Last September by Nina de Gramont was one of my favorite reads of the summer. It’s hard to describe – it’s about the demise of a passionate marriage, but it’s also a suspenseful murder mystery. Brett and Charlie meet through Charlie’s younger brother Eli when Eli and Brett are in college together. Brett falls deeply in love with Charlie, despite Eli’s warnings that he is a womanizer who can’t commit to a relationship. After one night to
Virginia Campbell
I have always loved the beach in Autumn. It's quiet and clear, and the sky is still blue. The grays of Winter have yet to come, and the window of Time holds open the end of Summer. Such is the mood and setting for author Nina De Gramont's contemporary Cape Cod murder mystery, "The Last September". At just eighteen, Brett Mercier's young heart had been stolen by the golden charm of Charlie Moss. Years later, when Brett had become engaged to Ladd Williams, Charlie came back into her life, and this ...more
Gail Cooke
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Seldom has a mystery combined three elements so brilliantly - murder, marriage and mental illness. Related in flashback form The Last September is a beautifully written gripping story set in Boulder, Amherst and the stark fall beaches of Cape Cod. In its own way it is also a coming of age story, although Brett does come of age in a difficult, sometimes frightening way.

Brett has been in love with Charlie, a handsome, charismatic, unpredictable fellow, since their first meeting. She was 18-years
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This book started off great, but then got worse and worse till I was happy to be done. Too bad, it had promise.
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of Nina de Gramont's fictional novel, The Last September compliments of Algonquin Books via LibraryThing's Member Giveaway and appreciated the opportunity.

The novel is part psychological thriller, part romance; a journey that includes love, tragedy, betrayal, mental illness, murder... with a level of mystery and suspense that kept me craving more. It was a quick read, a page turner right to the very end. The tale toyed with my emotions, the raw truth about lost love and incompr
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
What is this book? As a mystery it's not very good, as a novel it's just downright depressing.

And why is every character in this book so....unproductive? Brett has spent EIGHT YEARS studying "The Poet" and still doesn't have her shit together (because she can literally think of nothing but Charlie). Charlie is just...lazy? I dunno. And Ladd has all the money he'd ever need so he just spends his days doing whatever.

It's hard to relate to these people, so it's hard to care about their problems.
Tanya TAG
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
The story's main character, Brett, doesn't grab my attention. Brett is characterized as a very educated person who loves and studies literature. She tends to compare her life to classic characters. However, Brett doesn't make any wise decisions in her life. This story was only intriguing because of Eli, who suffers from a mental illness. The story does not have any suspense. I expected something different.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
While reading the description for this book I assumed it would be a murder mystery, which it is, but it was also so much more. It is a story about love, life, and death in all it's messiness.

I really enjoyed this book. I think that the author did an especially awesome job portraying schizophrenia. My heart broke for Eli and his family.

The only problem I had with it was the end. I felt that it wrapped up too neatly and I didn't like the identity of the killer.
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
No one writes tragedy like Nina de Gramont. This book is brilliantly executed. Brett is a mousy, bookish girl who has a one night stand with a golden boy who is the brother of her best friend. The book opens with his murder and we go on from there. De Gramont is a master of language and atmosphere. You must read all of her books. :)
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
I think I read a different book than those who gave it 4 & 5 stars
Apr 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This story is told by the main character Brett who has loved Charlie since
she first saw him. She was warned by her mother not to marry him,but
does so anyway. Other characters involved are Eli, Charles's younger
brother, and Ladd a friend. The setting is Cape Cod in the fall and deals
with the Brett's love and loyalty and how the murder of her husband is
found. Sarah is Brett's daughter. The tale opens in the middle and then
goes back to their earlier years of friendship and then later the murder.
Bev Rosenthal
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story above all others

I was so impressed with this novel. It spoke to me. It was real. Long ago in a different place I loved someone like CHARLIE. The description of her feelings were so similar to mine. How did she know? I read into the night. Mesmerized.. This book gets a bravo from me. I highly recommend this book.
Annie McDonnell
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nina de Gramont writes with such a pleasurable touch. Her words flow beautifully, and make this book such a joy to read. I admire an author that uses words so movingly.

This is a truly suspenseful story that will have you on the edge of your seat. She writes of love, loyalty, family, devotion, mental illness, and murder. We watch her main character, Brett grow in to a woman from a teenager, and the transformation is rather engaging. She is a bit all over the place with her heart, but that is what
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-reads
Set against the desolate autumn beauty of Cape Cod, The Last September is a riveting emotional puzzle that takes readers inside the psyche of a woman facing the meaning of love and loyalty.

Brett has been in love with Charlie ever since he took her skiing on a lovely Colorado night fourteen years ago. And now, living in a seaside cottage on Cape Cod with their young daughter, it looks as if they have settled into the life they desired. However, Brett and Charlie’s marriage has been tenuous for qu
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thank you for an advanced copy of The Last September by Nina De Gramont in return for my honest review.

The Last September is a hypnotic story that draws the reader in from the very first page. It is a beautifully written novel addressing emotional topics such as marriage, family, infidelity, mental illness, and love. This is a story about Brett, Charlie and Eli. Brett and Eli were best friends in college. Eli and Charlie are brothers, Charlie and Brett are married. There is a lo
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