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Staff Reviews

 Last House is an intimate look at generations of a family, intertwined with geopolitical forces that shape each generation. It highlights social and political changes over the past 80 years. Sounds heavy but is an easy enjoyable novel that is thought provoking.

— From What Karin is Reading


"An ambitious historical epic that doubles as an intimate family saga. Jessica Shattuck captures and connects it all—the imperial ambitions of the postwar generation, the rebellion of their offspring in the Sixties, and the fallout we’re still sifting through today. . . . This is a wide-ranging novel to savor.” — TOM PERROTTA

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Women in the Castle comes a sweeping story of a nation on the rise, and one family’s deeply complicated relationship to the resource that built their fortune and fueled their greatest tragedy, perfect for fans of The Dutch House and Great Circle.

It’s 1953, and for Nick Taylor, WWII veteran turned company lawyer, oil is the key to the future. He takes the train into the city for work and returns to the peaceful streets of the suburbs and to his wife, Bet, former codebreaker now housewife, and their two children, Katherine and Harry. Nick comes from humble origins but thanks to his work for American Oil, he can provide every comfort for his family, including Last House, a secluded country escape. Deep in the Vermont mountains, the Taylors are free from the stresses of modern life. Bet doesn’t have to worry about the Russian H-bombs that haunt her dreams, and the children roam free in the woods. Last House is a place that could survive the end of the world.

It’s 1968, and America is on the brink of change. Protestors fill the streets to challenge everything from the Vietnam War to racism in the wake of MLK’s shooting—to the country's reliance on Big Oil. As Katherine makes her first forays into adult life, she’s caught up in the current of the time and struggles to reconcile her ideals with the stable and privileged childhood her Greatest Generation parents worked so hard to provide. But when the Movement shifts in a more radical direction, each member of the Taylor family will be forced to reckon with the consequences of the choices they’ve made for the causes they believed in.

Spanning multiple generations and nearly eighty years, Last House tells the story of one American family during an age of grand ideals and even greater downfalls. Set against the backdrop of our nation’s history, this is an emotional tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance and what we owe each other—and captures to stunning effect the gravity of time, the double edge of progress, and the hubris of empire.

About the Author

Jessica Shattuck is the New York Times bestselling author of The Women in the Castle; The Hazards of Good Breeding, a New York Times Notable Book and finalist for the PEN/Winship Award; and Perfect Life. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Glamour, Mother Jones, and Wired, among other publications.

Praise For…

"Last House is an ambitious historical epic that doubles as an intimate family saga. Jessica Shattuck captures and connects it all—the imperial ambitions of the postwar generation, the rebellion of their offspring in the Sixties, the fallout that we’re still sifting through today. Shattuck writes incisively about marriage, siblings, social activism, and the self-deceptions that allow us to preserve our belief in our own innocence despite all the evidence to the contrary. This is a wide-ranging novel to savor.” — Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Tracy Flick Can't Win

"Ambitious in its historical sweep yet intimate in its portrayal of a family's trials, Jessica Shattuck's moving new novel brings to life the '50s and '60s in America in such a way that we feel powerfully their contemporary relevance. Last House is utterly compelling."
Claire Messud, New York Times bestselling author of The Burning Girl

"Riveting, powerful, and beautifully written, Last House combines the epic scope of an intergenerational geopolitical saga with the suspense of a moving family drama. Jessica Shattuck’s sharp insights about the seductive delights and dangers of progress, idealism, and loyalty will stay with me for a long time." — Angie Kim, New York Times bestselling author of Happiness Falls

"A family is a pledge that the world isn’t ending, at least not yet. Jessica Shattuck shows us, in a saga as epic and sweeping as it is domestic and intimate, how one generation’s best intentions cast shadows in the lives of the next." — Jonathan Dee, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Privileges and Sugar Street

"It's rare to find such a gripping novel about an ordinary family pulled in opposite directions by their generational differences and the opportunities and pressures of current events. This is a highly intelligent portrait of a country divided about its values, and an old New England house that has the capacity to shelter and heal all comers. I loved and related to Last House and will keep it on my favorites shelf." — Alice Elliott Dark, bestselling author of Fellowship Point and In the Gloaming

"Last House soars, sweeping us through the 1960s to the near future, and following the river of oil that influences American policy. But the novel’s great beating heart is the particularities of the lives of two captivating women—one bound by social mores, the other trying to dismantle them. The sublime ending touched me to my core." — Amity Gaige, author of Sea Wife

“Shattuck's evocative novel really shines in its presentation of authentic voices for all the generations and their viewpoints born of different life experiences and ideals. Everything here is convincing. . . Shattuck channels complex history through the saga of a single family.” — Booklist

“Moving...Shattuck’s achievement—beyond unfolding a plot that surprises and devastates—is in her subtle exploration of what a moral righteousness looks like in the aftermath of the war, when communities and lives must be rebuilt, together.”  — New York Times Book Review on The Women in the Castle

“A masterful epic.”  — People Magazine on The Women in the Castle

The Women in the Castle stands tall among the literature that reveals new truths about one of history’s most tragic eras.”  — USA Today

“If you love historical fiction, this is your must-read book: It’s captivating, fascinating, and incredibly faithful to the events as they happened, and Jessica Shattuck reveals an entirely new side of what it’s like to be a woman in wartime.”  — Newsweek on The Women in the Castle

“A vivid and gripping tale of endurance in the wake of World War II. Set primarily in Germany, Shattuck’s arresting novel focuses on three very different women who are forced to rely on one another as they attempt to survive the past and reclaim hope. The writing is magnificent, as is Shattuck’s ability to render unimaginable circumstances with tremendous clarity and compassion. A joy to read, this is a beautiful and important book.”  — Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest, on The Women in the Castle

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062979896
ISBN-10: 0062979892
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 14th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English