The Last Life

Claire Messud

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18 May 2007
384 pages

The Last Life tells the story of the teenage Sagesse LaBasse and her family, French Algerian emigrants haunted by their history, brought to the brink of destruction by a single reckless act. Observed with a fifteen-year-old’s ruthless regard for truth, it is a novel about secrets and ghosts, love and honour, the stories we tell ourselves and the lies to which we cling. It is a work of stunning emotional power, written in prose of matchless iridescence and grace.

‘Powerful, Gripping, dark at its heart, this is an almost faultless novel’ Evening Standard

‘A joy to read. Messud’s prose is lush, incantatory . . . her observations are funnily astute, brimming with wit and imagination . . . as elegant and precise as geometry’ Independent

‘Mesmerizing . . . Ms Messud has written a large and resonant novel that is as artful as it is affecting’ New York Times