Last house Or The age of oil

Jessica Shattuck

Book - 2024

"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 The Great Circle"--

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FICTION/Shattuck Jessica
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1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Shattuck Jessica (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 10, 2024
New York : William Morrow 2024.
Main Author
Jessica Shattuck (author)
First edition
Physical Description
325 pages ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Nick and Bet raise their children, Harry and Katherine, in 1950s America. Nick, strictly raised Mennonite, is a WWII veteran, attorney for American Oil, and kind, honest, and patriotic, the definition of conscientious. Bet is a Vassar grad nursing regrets as a housewife. Carter Weston, with the newly formed CIA, involves Nick in returning the shah to power in Iran, which benefits American oil interests. Years later, Katherine, willful and selfish, pulls her gentle brother into a countercultural campaign that will devastate the entire family. When the narrative switches to Katherine's perspective and that of her descendants, readers will find the same talking points shaping today's news. Shattuck's (The Women in the Castle, 2017) 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, from the sense of place in various time periods and locations (New England, the Middle East) to the adept portrayal of the characters' feelings and motivations. Shattuck channels complex history through the saga of a single family.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The bustling if scattered latest from Shattuck (The Women in the Castle) draws on the history of America's interventions in Iran. WWII veteran Nick Taylor, now a lawyer for American Oil, is convinced that the U.S.'s support for the shah during the 1953 coup is the right course of action. His wife, Bet, never questions Nick's forays to the Middle East, and the couple enjoys regular retreats at Last House, a cabin in rural Vermont offered to them by Nick's shady colleague Carter Weston, who might be working for the CIA. Nick and Bet's daughter, Katherine, finds work as a teacher after graduating from Bennington in 1967, but quits the following April after Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated and joins the staff of a radical leftist newspaper. Meanwhile, her dreamy and unfocused brother, Harry, never settles down. With the "people's movement" heating up in early 1970s America, Katherine shuns her parents. So does the story, which is a shame, because Nick is Shattuck's most nuanced character. Others are poked and prodded to fit into the climax, which involves Katherine's boss plus Harry and a bomb. Fortunately, Shattuck exhibits a solid grasp on the period's geopolitical intrigue. Despite a few sticking points along the way, readers will keep turning the pages to the end. (May)

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