The Last September is a book that has been on my TBR for a few months now. Back when it was first published, I probably knew a little more about it. But when I picked it up, I couldn't recall much, thinking that it was a mystery of sorts.
And it is, sort of.
Nina De Gramont's novel is a mystery. But unlike most mysteries which seem to be driven by plot and action, this is a book that is very much focused on character.
De Gramont tells the story of Brett and Charlie, a young couple whose marriage is floundering. Brett fell in love with Charlie the moment she met him. And when they run into one again years after they have first met, Brett leaves her fiancee to be with Charlie, whose brother (and one of Brett's best friends in college) is mentally ill.
As Brett and Charlie struggle financially and with their marriage, they have the added stress of providing support for Charlie's brother, Eli. When Eli plans to come and stay with them, Brett is not willing to put her child in the path of her brother-in-law's instability.
And what happens next is nearly unbelievable.
De Gramont uses the novel not to unearth clues about a crime, but instead allows her characters to unfold and present themselves and their past, which sheds light on the current events.
I really enjoyed this novel, despite the fact that I didn't especially like Charlie, who is described as a golden boy. With little ambition or ability to hold a job, he seems unattractive overall, and I'm not sure how Brett was able to overlook all of this about him.
De Gramont is a great writer, and despite not necessarily liking her characters. I did enjoy the story a lot.