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The Last Time They Met

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  16,892 ratings  ·  1,420 reviews
Traces the extraordinary resonance a single choice, even a single word, can have over the course of a lifetime. Seen through the eyes of young Linda Fallon and the young man who loves her.

Anita Shreve, the bestselling author of The Pilot's Wife, returns with a dazzling new novel about love, forgiveness, and paths not followed.

Linda Fallon encounters her former lover, Thom
Paperback, 325 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Little Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2001)
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Liz Nield what happened at the end - I was listening to it on audio - did she die in the car - how did that work - was it all a Dallas style dream - I don't get it!!
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,892 ratings  ·  1,420 reviews

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Sep 07, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like it when love doesn't work out.
Shelves: stuffmalenttome
Fuck this book.

First of all, it's broken into three sections- the characters at 52, 28 and 17. It goes backwards, which might work in some stories, but it's utterly annoying here. You end up not knowing the characters at all. Plus, it was like a wanna be Out of Africa. I'm so annoyed with this book. Anita Shrew I mean Shreve is all about the depressing love stories, but this was ridiculous. I liked the other one about this character much better and THAT one wasn't even that good. Jesus.
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: project-52-2011
"Such extraordinary emotions in the space of paragraphs." - Thoughts on The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve

I hate you, Anita Shreve.

I hate you for writing The Last Time They Met. For making me fall in love and breaking my heart, all at once, on the same (last) page. I hate how you pretty much destroyed my hope in finding love as perfect and enduring and dangerous as that of Linda and Thomas. I will now probably end up an old maid with delusions of love so grand, there is no possibility whatso
May 20, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

This had a solid spot on my mediocre-books-I'll-never-remember shelf until I read the last two pages where an appallingly bad ending forced me to violently throw it into the books-so-bad-they-make-me-angry trash.**

While still fuming about one of the lamest and most manipulative endings ever written, I had to remind myself that I believe there is a purpose to occasionally reading a bad book. As a reading hobbyist, my main motivation to read is for joy. For the euphoria that comes when I immerse m
Cathrine ☯️
Read for my book club; it has been a while since I read this author. It tells the story of a consuming love between a man and woman; or does it? Recounted in reverse order in three parts beginning with the present tense. Part one was slow going, using as one of my friends pointed out, overwrought phrases like “…the small trapezoidal carton of nachos” and later “a day without you seems a day un-lived, bearable only because I summon memory, mine subject to the merest oxidation, a faint rust blowin ...more
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I see a lot of people did not like this book. I understand why, but there are certainly parts or rather a sentence that I HATED but I loved this book. I read it a few years ago and it still haunts me. I would recommend reading it with a friend or group, because you WILL want to discuss this with someone in the know when you finish. This is a book that I will re-read. I think what I like so much about it, besides the wonderful writing, is that it is very different from anything I have ever read.
Debbie Petersen Wolven
Jul 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Anything Anita Shreve [Anita Shreve] has ever written has moved me. I am thrown into the storyline because of her writing skills. No other writer has ever been able to make me see what is being written. I can picture each character, house, town, etc as though there are photos on the side. There's just something about her writing. I get involved in the story and the characters. When there's a new Anita Shreve book, I get ready for a sleepless night because I can't put the book down.
Jess Van Dyne-Evans
Mar 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
You know, I've read other stuff by this author, and liked it. Liked it a lot. This is actually the fifth book if hers I've read.

Absolute dreck.

The characters are wooden and unbelievable, like something out of a Russian novel of the last century. They give undue weight to their actions (should I or shouldn't I have this glass of wine?) and are clunky.

Not one of them is memorable.

Really, really disappointed.
Lee Goldberg
Apr 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
I'm a big Anita Shreve fan...and eagerly await each new book she writes. That said, however, this one is truly terrible. Was this really written by the author of the incredible "The Weight of Water"??? She forces the comparison, since this book is a vastly inferior sequel. Both books had a gimmick at their core, but the gimmick is all this sequel is about. This isn't the first book of hers that's poorly plotted, but usually her moving prose and intricately-drawn characters more than compensate f ...more
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Time They Met is a haunting, compelling and beautiful story about a love that is timeless. A love found, lost and then found again through the reliving of memories. A love that is renewed and where future possibilities are inevitably created and visited through the imagination. An imagination that is impossible or improbable without a certain bias and influence of the past, of memories, both weighted with actions and consequences leading us to question the whys, what ifs and the could h ...more
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 20, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ron Charles
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
Part III

Remember the last time we read Anita Shreve's "The Last Time They Met"? As you'll recall, it's a love story told in three parts - in reverse. Pretty clever, eh?

Linda Fallon is a shy, minor poet preparing to read at a literary festival in Toronto. It's tangled with the usual collection of snobs, frauds, and sycophants. Fretting in her hotel room, she wishes she could write anonymously, but she knows these strained social engagements are good for her career and her confidence.

Since the dea
One of my favorite books. This is haunting, beautiful, magical and shocking. This is one of those books that is best appreciated by those who are past their 20s. You look back on your life and wonder about the what might have been, what ifs, if onlys. You know that one moment or one event can change the whole course of your entire life.

This tells the story of intense love between Linda and Thomas who first meet as high school teenagers then as young adults and much later as adults just past the
Diane Chamberlain
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved the altered time line in this book and admire the skill that went into pulling it off. Plus, the story of these two lovers engaged me right away. A funny thing about Shreve's ratings on goodreads: I seem to love the books that are rated lowest and vice versa (I never made it through Resistance, for example). ...more
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really, really enjoyed this book. Wonderful prose, paradigm shifting angle. Thought provoking story.
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: beachreading
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosemary Ibekwe
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I do not even know where to begin with this book. I checked out this book a year ago and 20 pages into the book I gave up on it. A week ago I see the book for sale and I am wondering to myself that this sounds like an interesting read. I read the first couple of pages and it hits me that I tried reading this book and found it boring. Even though I thought this, I kept on reading, and to be honest I am very glad I continued reading.

This book is brilliant and beautiful. It is the perfect balance o
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I find that Anita Shreve has such an unusual style of writing that it takes me several chapters to get ‘into’ her books but then I’m totally hooked. The idea of working back in time through the characters lives doesn’t always work but I felt it was necessary, in this novel, in order to produce the impact at the end. I literally had goosebumps as I read the final couple of pages. I loved the section set in Kenya, the description really made those scenes come alive. Really enjoyed it!
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shreve writes beautifully, but it is the ending that really sold me to this book which sometimes slowed and moved around so I got a little lost/bored/unfocused. Great story which I had to go back and read bits again to try and work it all out. Rather wonderful.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
Spoiler alert-- Waste of time. I was never able to get that into it anyway and then the ending was ridiculous. If anyone understands the ending any better than me let me know. I am assuming that the whole book was "linda's future flashing before her eyes." I read in Anita Shreve's interview at the end that there were supposed to be clues to the ending throughout the book, but I can't think of any. Also why does every book these days have to have some form of child abuse in it? I am kind of sick ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
And in the last sentence it all made sense

I struggled with this style of writing and didn’t gel with this book but the last two pages kind of made it all make sense

This works backwards so starts with Thomas and Linda in their mid 50s as they bump into each other at a literary festival and the what could have been conversations start. You kind of build a picture of what may have happened and then flip back over 20 years to them being 26 when they had last met and finally to 17 when they first me
Pam Jenoff
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
ow to choose a favorite among Shreve's books? Not easy, but I'm going to recommend this nostalgic yet ambitious story of star-crossed lovers who meet across nearly four decades. If you love stories of first love and second chances and what might have been, do not miss it. ...more
Melinda Freeland
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is by far my favorite book by my favorite author! Anita Shreve's voice in all her books is wonderful and unique. Her ability to write scenes that I absolutely can envision, as if I'm in the same room, is a skill that not many master! Someday, when I become a famous author, I hope I can write with the quality and emotion that Anita Shreve does in all her novels, and that readers will enjoy my writing just as much as I enjoy the works of Anita Shreve.

I must admit that when I first read this b
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
I was surprised that I had missed this book by Shreve, I thought I had read all of her books, so I picked this one up at the library because I had heard that it had a shocking ending.
It was shocking all right, but since I knew that it had that type of ending, I kind of figured out where it was going before it got there. I'm honestly not sure how I felt about it--manipulated maybe?
Shreve's prose is second to none and she will be very missed as an author. I like the way she turns a phrase even if
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readitlovedit
I've read this book several times over the years, and every time it manages to surprise me. Which is a pretty good reason for you to read it to begin with.

While this book is probably not one of the best out there, it sticks with you. Weeks down the road after reading about it you find yourself thinking about it.

It is a study on love. Love and loss, and what happens when the pieces just don't quite fit and love keeps slipping through your fingers.

And the jarring ending, which could very easily ma
Emily Velez
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have read all the reviews. But I think most readers dont understand why the last sentence is the way it is. This pointed to his character and explains why all this was done, it actually was the core of the story. My friend did not get it either, , I had to explain it to her. I thought it was marvelous manipulation on the part of the author, for I never had a clue as to what she was up to. It was a little maddening but Im glad I did not figure it out, hence the thrill of the story.. Remember he ...more
Sharon Huether
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novel
The Last Time They Met By Anita Shreve Linda and Thomas were writers; and while at a gathering they saw each other for the first time in many years. They shared reminicing of their families and life and past love experiences. The reader felt the warmth of their love and the feeling of being there with them. The author laid out the events of the book that when the reader read the last page it was extreme shocking. I loved the book. ( own)
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit
Love, forgiveness and the path not followed. I really tried to like this book more than the three stars I gave it. It was slow, laborious at times and the only thing that saved it for me was the very last page. Had I not been reading it for a challenge, I don't think I would have gotten that far. I've read this author in the past and enjoyed her books thoroughly so I'm not sure why this just didn't click for me sooner. ...more
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Last Time They Met is a story of star-crossed lovers. The book is split into 3 parts moving backwards.

It starts when they're 52 at a chance meeting at a literary festival. Linda and Thomas are both celebrated poets that have been in love since they met in high school at the age of 17.

Moving backwards to when they're 26 years old in Africa. Thomas is there because his wife has a grant through UNICEF. Linda met her husband while there for the Peace Corps. Both surrounded by poverty and disea
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Anita Shreve was an American writer, chiefly known for her novels. Shreve's novels have sold millions of copies worldwide. She attended Tufts University and began writing while working as a high school teacher. One of her first published stories, Past the Island, Drifting, (published in 1975) was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1976. Among other jobs, Shreve spent three years working as a journalist ...more

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