The Last Girls (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Algonquin Books, Aug 12, 2002 - Fiction - 400 pages
15 Reviews
On a beautiful June day in 1965, a dozen girls-classmates at a picturesque Blue Ridge women's college-launched their homemade raft (inspired by Huck Finn's) on a trip down the Mississippi. It's Girls A-Go-Go Down the Mississippi read the headline in the Paducah, Kentucky, paper.

Thirty-five years later, four of those "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.

Revered for her powerful female characters, here Lee Smith tells a brilliantly authoritative story of how college pals who grew up in an era when they were still called "girls" have negotiated life as "women." Harriet Holding is a hesitant teacher who has never married (she can't explain why, even to herself). Courtney Gray struggles to step away from her Southern Living-style life. Catherine Wilson, a sculptor, is suffocating in her happy third marriage. Anna Todd is a world-famous romance novelist escaping her own tragedies through her fiction. And finally there is Baby, the girl they come to bury-along with their memories of her rebellions and betrayals.

THE LAST GIRLS is wonderful reading. It's also wonderfully revealing of women's lives-of the idea of romance, of the relevance of past to present, of memory and desire.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - shesinplainview - LibraryThing

I had high hopes for this one, especially after having the privilege of hearing the author read from it. I was sorry to say though that I was disappointed, found it a little dull and the characters predictable. Read full review

Review: The Last Girls

User Review  - Karen - Goodreads

I enjoyed this read. I liked the writing style, it moved nicely between memory and the current day of the four main characters. I think anyone that thinks back on their past (could be college, high ... Read full review

All 2 reviews »

Selected pages

Contents

Mile 736 Memphis Tennessee Friday 5799 1645 hours
1
Mile 736 Memphis Tennessee Friday 5799 1900 hours
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Mile 736 Memphis Tennessee Friday 5799 2210 hours
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Mile 736 Memphis Tennessee Saturday 5899 1400 hours
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Mile 6745 Harbert Point Light Sunday 5999 0710 hours
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Mile 664 Prairie Point Towhead Sunday 5999 0800 hours
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Mile 5974 Montgomery Point Sunday 5999 1600 hours
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Mile 585 Rosedale Bend Sunday 5999 1700 hours
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Mile 3642 Natchez Mississippi Tuesday 51199 1335 hours
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Mile 3642 Natchez Mississippi Tuesday 51199 1205 hours
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Mile 3642 Natchez Mississippi Tuesday 51199 1810 hours
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Mile 2294 Baton Rouge Louisiana Wednesday 51299 1035 hours
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Mile 2294 Baton Rogue Louisiana Wednesday 51299 2300 hours
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Mile 2655 St Francisville Louisiana Thursday 51399 0842 hours
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Mile 2655 St Francisville Louisiana Thursday 51399 1015 hours
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Mile 1551 Vacherie Louisiana Friday 51499 1200 hours
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Mile 516 Fanny Bullit Towhead Sunday 5999 2200 hours
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Mile 4372 Vicksburg Mississippi Monday 51099 0500 hours
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Mile 4372 Vicksburg Mississippi Monday 51099 0900 hours
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Mile 4372 Vicksburg Mississippi Monday 51099 1015 hours
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Mile 4372 Vicksburg Mississippi Monday 51099 1600 hours
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Mile 4357 I20 Highway Bridge Monday 51099 1920 hours
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Mile 3642 Natchez Mississippi Tuesday 51199 0600 hours
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Mile 1392 Dutch Bayou Louisiana Friday 51499 1400 hours
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Mile 1280 Bonnet Carre Louisiana Friday 51499 1640 hours
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Mile 1302 Killona Landing Friday 51499 1700 hours
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Mile 1090 Waggaman Light Friday 51499 2100 hours
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Acknowledgments
383
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Born in the small coal-mining town of Grundy, Virginia, Lee Smith began writing stories at the age of nine and selling them for a nickel apiece. Since then, she has written seventeen works of fiction, including Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, and, most recently, Guests on Earth. She has received many awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature and an Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; her novel The Last Girls was a New York Times bestseller as well as winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with her husband, the writer Hal Crowther. Visit her at www.leesmith.com.

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