The Last Laugh by Lynn Freed
A Novel

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Yet these are smallish quibbles. In the end, Freed’s candor works to lift the veil off the misperception that life after 60 consists mostly of conversations about sciatica or ceaseless and slightly abject devotion to a tiny, shivery dog.
-NY Times

Synopsis

From the award-winning author Lynn Freed, who’s been called a “literary star” by The New York Times Book Review, comes a hilarious and brilliant new novel about the riotous, passion-filled adventures of three women who thought they were past their prime.

To escape their griping grown children, husbands and lovers, and an abundance of grandchildren underfoot, three self-proclaimed “old bags,” Dania, Ruth, and Bess, head for a quiet island on the Aegean Sea. They’ll spend a year by the water―watching the sunset, eating grilled fish and fresh olives, sipping ouzo. They deserve it, they say. After all those years, the three women will finally have some peace.

Except that they can’t. For one, Bess, a pampered, once-beautiful inheritress, falls swiftly into an affair with a poetry-writing taxi driver―who has, of course, a territorial wife. And Dania, a therapist, begins to receive an increasing number of cryptically menacing phone calls from a psychotic patient. An ex-lover of Ruth’s shows up unexpectedly, right before one of Bess’s does―and then the women’s children arrive, with their own demanding children in tow. As the island quickly becomes crowded, the women’s serene year in Greece devolves perilously, and uproariously, into something much more complicated.

With the wit of Maria Semple’s Today Will Be Different and all the adventure of Deborah Moggach’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Lynn Freed’s The Last Laugh is at once wildly funny and deeply perceptive, an exuberant story of friendship and pleasure, family and love.

 

About Lynn Freed

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LYNN FREED is the author of five highly praised novels, a short story collection, and a collection of essays. She was the recipient of the inaugural Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Society of Arts and Letters.
 
Published July 3, 2017 by Sarah Crichton Books. 209 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Last Laugh
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 18 2017

Replete with references to Greek mythology, Freed’s modern retelling of a timeless tale of self-fulfillment wanders into surprising territory along the way.

Read Full Review of The Last Laugh: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Henry Alford on Jul 25 2017

Yet these are smallish quibbles. In the end, Freed’s candor works to lift the veil off the misperception that life after 60 consists mostly of conversations about sciatica or ceaseless and slightly abject devotion to a tiny, shivery dog.

Read Full Review of The Last Laugh: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

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37%

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