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The Last Girls | [Lee Smith]

The Last Girls

On a bright June day in 1965, a dozen girls - classmates at a Blue Ridge women's college - launch a ramshackle raft on a trip down the Mississippi. Their journey, inspired by Huckleberry Finn, is duly reported in the Paducah, Kentucky newspaper. 35 years later, four of the "girls" reunite to cruise the river again. This time, it's on the luxury steamboat The Belle of Natchez. This time, when they reach New Orleans, they'll give the River the ashes of a fifth rafter: Margaret ("Baby") Ballou.
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Publisher's Summary

On a bright June day in 1965, a dozen girls - classmates at a Blue Ridge women's college - launch a ramshackle raft on a trip down the Mississippi. Their journey, inspired by Huckleberry Finn, is duly reported in the Paducah, Kentucky newspaper. Thirty-five years later, four of the "girls" reunite to cruise the river again. This time, it's on the luxury steamboat The Belle of Natchez and there's no publicity. This time, when they reach New Orleans, they'll give the River the ashes of a fifth rafter: beautiful Margaret ("Baby") Ballou.

Harriet Holding is a hesitant teacher who never married. Courtney Gray yearns to step away from her Southern Living-style life. Catherine Wilson, a sculptor, is a world-famous romance novelist who escapes her personal tragedies through her fiction. And finally, there's "Baby", the girl they have come to bury - along with their memories of her rebellions and betrayals.

Beloved throughout the South for her powerful female characters, author Lee Smith tells a rich, imaginative story about the nature of romance, the relationship between life and fiction, the relevance of the past to the present, and the unexpected course of women's lives.

©2002 Lee Smith; (P)2002 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"A bittersweet comedy with a fine sharp edge." (Kirkus)
"An honest portrait of intelligent, well-rounded Southerners is always refreshing, and The Last Girls delivers." (USA Today)
"The Big Chill meets Huckleberry Finn in a moving novel inspired by a real-life episode." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (52 )
5 star
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3.6 (9 )
5 star
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4.0 (6 )
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  •  
    Carmela08 San Antonio, TX 10-01-03
    Carmela08 San Antonio, TX 10-01-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    157
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    270
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Ear candy book"

    I hated myself for liking this so much. It's pink cotton candy, puffy, full of air and too sweet, but enjoyable nonetheless. Sure the characters are caricatures. The cliches fly like bats out of a cave. But it's really a lot of fun and easy to follow.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanstake 11-13-03
    Jeanstake 11-13-03 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great Listen!!"

    Super woman's book--especially if one is from the south. Characters well-drawn, well-written and well-read by author. I loved every minute of it.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Grapevine, TX, United States 07-03-04
    James Grapevine, TX, United States 07-03-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    354
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    365
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "Slow down!"

    I'd have enjoyed this more if the reader had paused for breath occasionally. You'd think she wrote with no punctuation at all, much less in chapters! Other than 12 hours of non-stop dialog, the story is light but enjoyable "chick-lit" for the boomer generation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meghan Escondido, CA, United States 03-19-08
    Meghan Escondido, CA, United States 03-19-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    4
    Overall
    "Difficult to get through"

    I had a hard time finishing this book. I feel it just dragged on. I kept waiting for it to end instead of enjoying the stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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