Reviews

Last Things, by Jenny Offill

g_treads's review

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4.0

- an interesting story about the collisions of genius and mental health and the reliability/relationships between parents and children
- my least favorite of Offill's novels, probably because of the age of the main character, very focused on the characters around her as opposed to her thoughts and feelings which I find more interesting
- surprising storylines and quirky characteristics throughout
- the style maintains the magical aura of her writing

heyitssones's review against another edition

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4.0

The farther back in her oeuvre I go, the more I like Jenny Offill's writing. Like her other books, it was a quick read in bite sized chunks, but filled with a sort of dreamlike quality, characteristic of young imaginations.

touchsomegrass's review

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3.0

this book tells the childhood story of an unsettling 8 year old girl who observes the falling apart of her parents' marriage, her mentally ill, free spirited mother rooted in fantastical worldviews and her scientist father and the gulf between fact and fiction. beautiful & hypnotising prose!! this was Jenny Offill's debut novel and i'm looking forward to reading her more recent books.

spacehorse's review

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4.0

Compelling narration from a child --delves into the mystical, historical & things generally beyond our realm of knowing.

dominicangirl's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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rebeccalm's review

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4.0

I really enjoyed the author's voice throughout this book - the words read like beautiful poetry to me. The choices in language and structure really helped to accentuate the fact that we were seeing the story of this family's life through the eyes of an 8 year old, Grace, who was quite an astute observer of the world and the people around her. A bit of truth, a bit of fiction, lots of weirdness - it really helped encapsulate the essence of childhood for me. The juxtaposition of the parent's personalities was also really interesting and well portrayed - a very grounded, matter of fact father and a more whimsical, spontaneous, storytelling mother. You would think the ideas of fact vs. fiction would be constantly at odds, but the portrayal of both parents and their respective quirks were so beautifully interwoven throughout the story - especially in how each aspect played themselves out in their daughter and the things she was picking up on about her family and their world. Such a beautiful and poignant book about growing up and realizing your parents are their own people with their own flaws.

chovereads's review against another edition

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5.0

one of the best books I read all last year. very much captured the feeling of being an 8 year old in an unpredictable household. 

audski's review against another edition

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dark informative mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

secretbookcase's review against another edition

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dark emotional medium-paced

3.75

wtb_michael's review

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4.0

This is a beautiful book, told from the perspective of a quirky 8 year old girl as her parents marriage buckles and collapses under the pressure of her mother's mental illness. It's a bit of a trope at this point, but Offill uses the child's perspective brilliantly to provide a slightly warped view of proceedings. It's funny and desperately sad and filled with odd moments. Offill is a brilliant writer and it was a joy to dig back into her early work.