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The Last Good Paradise: A Novel Hardcover – February 10, 2015
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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“Soli takes this novel into unexpected places…the novel has smart things to say about the frailty of human relationships, the importance of responsibility to others, and whether it's possible to be truly "off the grid" in modern society.” ―Library Journal
“Funny, sad, and hauntingly moving, Soli's brilliant new novel is about fractured dreams, broken people, and our desperate yearning to grab for that elusive second chance, no matter the cost. Drenched in a sunny paradise climate, Soli's novel asks, what's enough in life to be happy, and then delivers an answer that's as spell-binding as it is profound.” ―Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
“The Last Good Paradise is at once a study in ambition, and a rollicking entertainment...and a page-turning survey of modern technology. Just when you think you know where this novel is going, Soli fascinates and surprises at every twist and turn.” ―Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here
“Hilarious... melancholy... Tatjana Soli's new novel is a wild ride across the ocean and a dangerous dive into desire and greed and revelations about revenge and ultimately, love.” ―Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author of Highwire Moon
“Daring...haunting.” ―Jane Smiley, The New York Times Book Review, on The Forgetting Tree
“A haunting debut novel...quietly mesmerizing.” ―Janet Maslin, The New York Times, on The Lotus Eaters
“A splendid first novel . . . Vivid battle scenes, sensual romantic entanglements and elegant writing add to the pleasures of The Lotus Eaters.” ―Danielle Trussoni on The Lotus Eaters, The New York Times Book Review (cover)
“Steeped in history . . . gorgeous sensory details enliven the prose.” ―People on The Lotus Eaters
About the Author
TATJANA SOLI is a novelist and short story writer. Her New York Times bestselling debut novel, The Lotus Eaters, was the winner of the James Tait Black Prize, a New York Times Notable Book, and a finalist for the LA Times Book Award. Her critically acclaimed second novel The Forgetting Tree was also a New York Times Notable book . Her stories have appeared in Zyzzyva, Boulevard, and The Sun, and have been listed in Best American Short Stories. She lives with her husband in Southern California.
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What is truly amazing is how the author manages hold the reader in suspense and spell bound as she reveals the dynamics of very different personal relationships between various key couples lives. The author explores the hearts and minds of individuals and has them do self examinations about the decisions they made and their outcomes. What is most astonishing is how the author ties the novel together into a cohesive novel which includes a very satisfying conclusion to questions and issues of social justice, human rights, and global implications and the impact of decisions made in the distant past, as well as concluding and resolving the personal problems which were the reasons the individuals and couples chose this resort in the first place.. The book becomes a magnificent human interest story that examines areas of importance on a universal and yet still very personal level.
The guests on the island are a married couple Ann, a successful lawyer and Richard, a highly talented chef whose marriage was rock solid until a business relationship and association rocked their finances and even threatened to break up their marriage. Another guest couple are unmarried but a hot item: an aging rock star named Dex Cooper and his twenty years younger mistress Wende. Another guest was a famous author, whose popularity was declining, and he was trying to reinvent his previous successful authorship and popularity. Loren, an aging French gentleman and former artist is the owner of the resort who came to the island for personal family reasons in the past, who was accepted by the native population not as an outsider but as part of the community and who later became the owner of the resort by winning it in a gambling bet. He has personal issues and demons with which he is wrestling due to his lifestyle which has caught up with him on a health issue, he has AIDS.; Furthermore, he is estranged from his only living daughter who is in France and with whom he has not spoken for many years. TIti is a native Polynesian who is both a housekeeper and cook for the resort. She is engaged to Cooked, a handsome young man of the islands who has secretly been engaging in activist issues which could get him into legal trouble with the French authorities. The author writes a highly engaging story in which she provides and reveals just the right amount of background information about the personalities and characters of key individuals and couples to create drama via a highly creative plot filled with tension and suspense. What is most surprising is the new cause around which the couples and individuals rally and support which becomes the unifying theme that resolves the book a highly satisfactory ending which can not be anticipated. I truly enjoyed this book. Erika Borsos [pepper flower]
This book is very unevenly written. There are some gorgeous moments of prose, written superbly enough that the reader can really envision the islands and water and people. Then there are the moments where people are getting high and smoking pot. Perhaps it's deliberate, but those moments are disjointed (pun not intended) and really throw the reader out of the book. One girl, Wende, who gets upset that another character calls her "Windy" (how she knows the difference in pronunciation is unclear, unless "Wende" is said very differently than expected), goes through unlikely character changes and vacillates back and forth. From rocker-glam goddess-muse to activist to filmographer? Hard to buy that, all in the span of a few short days.
On the other hand, another main character, Ann, is a likeable sort. She remains constant throughout (although there is some awakening). It's good enough to keep the reader's interest but feels like it could've been more with some stronger editing.
If I had my life to live over again I would either not read this book at all or once I hit the wall of great possibilities beyond which only laid a vast void. I would, at that point, go no further.
Overall, I do like this author's writing style and look forward to reading her other works. This book was definitely one I could have skipped.
Only two couples are in residence. Ann and Richard are on the run from a financial disaster in L.A. Dex is an aging, dissipated Rock Star, with his "muse" and girlfriend, Wende, a much younger object of physical beauty and animal magnetism.
Gradually, the profound difficulties, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies of each person are exposed. The problem is that nothing much happens and the whole scenario becomes boring. At first I thought some editing might have saved this novel; however, by the middle of this 306-page book I gave up hoping for the plot to evolve. The promise of an entertaining or interesting story simply failed to deliver. The premise simply deteriorated into boring drivel (sorry, Ms. Soli) and did not justify the time spent reading it.
Most recent customer reviews
It kept me entertained throughout. A true book of finding yourself. Ann and Richard are in a dead end routine.Read more