Wendy's Reviews > The Last of Her Kind

The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez
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's review
Aug 05, 2011

bookshelves: good-riddance

Somehow this book manages to be very readable yet horrible. The storyline does not match up with the blurb; only peripheral characters are interesting and sympathetic; the whole thing was like like this character Georgette's journal - except that Georgette is the kind of shallow person that I run far from. There is no depth to this character. I can't help but think that in the tangent where Georgette talks about her second husband, a critic, it's like the author is daring the audience to criticize her. It's very easy to be critical, Georgette says about her husband's profession. Harder to be kind. Nevertheless. I suppose because Georgette is the narrator and Ann ends up in jail and neither of them are speaking, the author has sort of written her way into a hole. Presuming the audience wants to know what happens to Ann, she has one of Ann's friends from jail write a story about Ann and send it to Georgette's husband's literary journal. All neat and cozy -- and seems too pat. Too contrived. True enough that real life sometimes ends up this way, and maybe I could be more forgiving the characters had more redeeming qualities. I do find that I'm more sympathetic to Georgette when the story of her relationship with a man twice her age is told in third person, so perhaps it's the first-person persona that's so grating to me.
I will say the book does a good job of showing a fraction of the ideals of the radical student left at Columbia in the late 60s, but unfortunately this book is only vaguely about that, and I had thought that was the main crux of the story. In the end I wanted to run this book over with my car.
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