THE LAST SEPTEMBER by Nina de Gramont

THE LAST SEPTEMBER

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A moody murder mystery infused with love and grief—and a fascination with Emily Dickinson.

"Because I am a student of literature, I will start my story on the day Charlie died. In other words, I'm beginning in the middle." This is Brett Mercier, named by her English-professor parents after Hemingway's Lady Brett Ashley and herself a scholar of American Renaissance poetry. She meets her future husband at college in Colorado through his brother Eli, a pre-med student, her good friend. After one unforgettable night of love and cross-country skiing, Charlie disappears. The next year, she loses Eli too, when he's sucked under by schizophrenia. By the time the brothers reappear in her life, Brett is in grad school, engaged to someone else. De Gramont’s (Gossip of the Starlings, 2008, etc.) latest boasts lovely, understated writing, sharply drawn settings—Boulder, Amherst, and Cape Cod—and, once again, characters who are irresistibly attractive, flawed, and dangerous. "This wasn't a murder mystery," Brett announces to the reader late in the novel. It is a murder mystery, actually, as is any book that starts with a homicide and ends by revealing the culprit. But it is also an emotionally intense study of how a transcendent love becomes a fraying marriage, buckling under the weight of financial troubles, early parenthood, Brett's frustration at having no time to work on her research, and Charlie...just being Charlie. By the time crazy ol' Eli shows up for an unwanted visit, setting in motion the events of the horrible day, the couple and their baby are living in a ramshackle beach house borrowed from the brothers' dad. Eli is in the yard freaking out when Brett arrives and finds the body, then he runs. He must have done it, right?

A fine literary whodunit from an accomplished storyteller.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-61620-133-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Algonquin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2015




IF YOU LIKED 'THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN', YOU'LL LOVE THESE BOOKS:

FictionFOOL ME ONCE by Harlan Coben
by Harlan Coben
FictionOFF THE GRID by C.J. Box
by C.J. Box
FictionTHE CROOKED HOUSE by Christobel Kent
by Christobel Kent
FictionTHE LAST SEPTEMBER by Nina de Gramont
by Nina de Gramont
FictionPLAYING WITH FIRE by Tess Gerritsen
by Tess Gerritsen
FictionALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR by Elizabeth Brundage
by Elizabeth Brundage

MORE BY NINA DE GRAMONT

FictionGOSSIP OF THE STARLINGS by Nina de Gramont
by Nina de Gramont
FictionOF CATS AND MEN by Nina de Gramont
by Nina de Gramont

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionTHE CROOKED HOUSE by Christobel Kent
by Christobel Kent
FictionPILOT'S WIFE by Anita Shreve
by Anita Shreve
FictionLIFE DRAWING by Robin Black
by Robin Black