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The Last Girls

By: Lee Smith
Narrated by: Lee Smith
Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (83 ratings)

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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Grapevine, TX, United States
  • 07-03-04

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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • JBJ
  • North Carolina
  • 10-05-18

Audible is Not a Good Format For This Book

I was excited to see that Lee Smith was reading her book, The Last Girls. I had seen her read portions of one of her other books. I love her voice. The premise of the book sounded interesting. Listening to it in the car while driving makes it hard to keep up with all the various characters & their pasts. I think it would be a better book to actually read. I found I just could not really get into any of the characters. What did they all find so enthralling about Baby? I kind of got bored with all of them. I have listened to a Charles Martin book & enjoyed it so much I bought it so I could read it & really focus on all the things in the story I may have missed with my attention diverted at times by driving a car in traffic. Lee Smith a fascinating person, but I have no desire to read The Last Girls. I feel like when I have actually read books by her, I end up never enjoying them as much as I hoped. If you enjoy her other books, you may like this one. I would encourage you to read it instead of listening to it.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.