Title: The Last Darling
Author: Cloud Buchholz
Publication Date: March 2011
Format: Ebook - EPUB
Genre: Literary FictionSource: Review Copy from Author
The beautiful and naive Clover Collette has been in the clutches of her overbearing mother for twenty-four years, but when Francis Darling unintentionally penetrates her defenses, the two suddenly and secretly fall in love. Within hours they're engaged and on the run. Madly in love, they drift through the heartland of America confronted by bank robbers, maniacal doctors, a Wall Street tycoon, an absentminded poet, and a blind artist - each one troubled by a heart wrenching tale of love.
The Last Darling is a dark and diverging love story woven across three generations. As intimacy and perceptions twist into a vivid and wonderfully sad vision of love, we see that love is never really lost, only transformed. "He said it was like a large slab of stone. Stone could be carved and cut and broken into many tiny pieces, but each of those pieces was still stone. (Goodreads Synopsis)
I received this as an ebook review copy from the author and read it in one half an hour sitting.
This is a very engaging novella with likeable, well-rounded characters. The pace is fairly fast, especially since the story spans several generations of the family in just 60 pages, but it never feels rushed.
One of the things that impressed me most about this piece was the way that even minor characters, who appeared then disappeared within just a few pages, still came across well and added something to the story.
The plot itself was interesting, well developed and tight, and held my attention throughout.
I put this book down wishing it had been longer and I will be keen to read more from this author in the future!