The Last Laugh

The Last Laugh

eBook - 2017
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*A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice*

From the award-winning author Lynn Freed, who's been called a "literary star" by The New York Times Book Review , comes a hilarious and brilliant new novel about the riotous, passion-filled adventures of three women who thought they were past their prime.

To escape their griping grown children, husbands and lovers, and an abundance of grandchildren underfoot, three self-proclaimed "old bags," Dania, Ruth, and Bess, head for a quiet island on the Aegean Sea. They'll spend a year by the water--watching the sunset, eating grilled fish and fresh olives, sipping ouzo. They deserve it, they say. After all those years, the three women will finally have some peace.

Except that they can't. For one, Bess, a pampered, once-beautiful inheritress, falls swiftly into an affair with a poetry-writing taxi driver--who has, of course, a territorial wife. And Dania, a therapist, begins to receive an increasing number of cryptically menacing phone calls from a psychotic patient. An ex-lover of Ruth's shows up unexpectedly, right before one of Bess's does--and then the women's children arrive, with their own demanding children in tow. As the island quickly becomes crowded, the women's serene year in Greece devolves perilously, and uproariously, into something much more complicated.

With the wit of Maria Semple's Today Will Be Different and all the adventure of Deborah Moggach's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel , Lynn Freed's The Last Laugh is at once wildly funny and deeply perceptive, an exuberant story of friendship and pleasure, family and love.

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books,, 2017
ISBN: 9780374713676
Call Number: EBOOK AXIS 360
Characteristics: text file,rda
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360


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Apr 26, 2018

I gave this book two stars after much debating. In the end, I liked the premise of the book, 3 women nearing 70 escape their lives to spend a year on a Greek Island, more than the actual characters or the plot line. Bess is obsessed with men and fashion, Dania is obsessed with her professional reputation and published works, and Ruth is haunted by her ex-husbands, ex-lovers, and her failed relationship with her daughter, Hester. Wronged wives, former lovers, ungrateful children, and a host of other characters intrude on the women's island escape. Most of the scenarios result in unflattering aspects of the women's character being revealed or amplified. The title is questionable if the last laugh refers to one of the characters getting away with two murders. I'm not inclined to try any more of Lynn Freed's novels.

Oct 26, 2017

Greek isles and Aegean Sea lured me to the tales of “old bags”, and memoirs of life lived to the overripe - perspective of one (of three), who’s more sane and also a writer. Too many points (age, relationship, family, life’s elusiveness, joyful sacrifice...) hanging there, fail to weave into a worthwhile (multi purpose? nice try, not even single use) net. Lukewarm funny with light laughter, ends with blissful comfort.
To me, Bess stands out.

Oct 09, 2017

Unusual, but freedom seeking, women of a certain age provide a humorous perspective of life in the present reflected by family and exes from their the past. These 4 women who stay in Greece want no responsibilities of their past selves. They have opinions on men, children, and grand-kids. The story seemed somewhat incohesive as the characters did their thing. I did enjoy the wit that comes from a 60+ generation.

Oct 05, 2017

OY !!! 'arlequin pot boiler about 'orny/ornery/restless grannies who had to deal with lovers/ex-hubbies, children/grandchildren, etc.....even the Greek island setting is zzzzz?

Oct 04, 2017

Tries to be Shirley Valentine without success.

Sep 29, 2017

very hard to follow

Sep 04, 2017

I guess I was expecting a mature version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants but the only connection between the two is the setting in Greece. I thought I’d have a lot in common with the three friends in their 70’s who come to Greece for an extended holiday, but I connected with none of them or their families.

jyaremchuk Aug 29, 2017

Wanted to be amused and entertained, but a group of "women of a certain age" complaining did not do it for me.


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