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On a beautiful June day in 1965, a dozen girls-classmates at a picturesque Blue Ridge women's college-launched their homemade raft (inspired by Huck Finn's) on a trip down the Mississippi. It's Girls A-Go-Go Down the Mississippi read the headline in the Paducah, Kentucky, paper.

Thirty-five years later, four of those "girls" reunite to cruise the river again. This time it's on the luxury steamboat, The Belle of Natchez, and there's no publicity. This time, when they reach New Orleans, they'll give the river the ashes of a fifth rafter-beautiful Margaret ("Baby") Ballou.

Revered for her powerful female characters, here Lee Smith tells a brilliantly authoritative story of how college pals who grew up in an era when they were still called "girls" have negotiated life as "women." Harriet Holding is a hesitant teacher who has never married (she can't explain why, even to herself). Courtney Gray struggles to step away from her Southern Living-style life. Catherine Wilson, a sculptor, is suffocating in her happy third marriage. Anna Todd is a world-famous romance novelist escaping her own tragedies through her fiction. And finally there is Baby, the girl they come to bury-along with their memories of her rebellions and betrayals.

THE LAST GIRLS is wonderful reading. It's also wonderfully revealing of women's lives-of the idea of romance, of the relevance of past to present, of memory and desire.

Published: Workman eBooks on Aug 12, 2002
ISBN: 9781565128750
List price: $15.00
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The "Last Girls" are a group of women celebrating their 40th reunion from A Southern college by repeating a trip down the Mississippi they had taken after their original graduation. They also plan to spread the ashes of one of their original members in the river. This time, however, they are traveling by steamship instead of the raft they used on the original journey. Some travel with their "significant others", & others are alone. The story is told from these various POV's & we get to know each "girl" & her history. This is a fun read. The 40 years between the trips has not made as many changes as would be imagined. The scenes of the river, the ship & crew, the Mississippi Gulf Coast & the City of New Orleans made me long to take such a journey. The Last Girls was published before the destruction of hurricane Katrina which has added an un-intended defination to the word "last".read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I have one word for you: shocker! Like I said, I did NOT have high expectations for this book! Boy was I WRONG. This is now one of my favorite books ever! Lets start off with the characters, Ms. Lee Smith, I commend you, boy do you know how to right a strong female character! All of the characters I could distinctly connect with and feel exactly what they were feeling. I have to say my favorite characters were Baby and Anna. Smith writes her characters so strongly, I was intoxicated by the presence of Baby, just like the other characters were. If I had a girl crush, it'd be on Baby. She was one of those feisty characters who seemed like they had the perfect "whatever" attitude and didn't give a crap what anyone else said, yet she had feelings too. You could feel her pain and happiness, and even I, the reader, could feel her electricity. And then there's Anna, the used-to-be aspiring writer, now gone big time. She had confidence and felt beautiful and sexy, the way every girl wants to feel. But the characters weren't the only parts I loved, I also loved the whole concept of the story, and the beautiful way Smith told it. When smith delved into the characters past, you could feel their pain and happiness, I was laughing and crying along with them. ANd even though there was no love interest at first, it was AMAZING when the guy first came in! Again, you could feel the characters' grief and happiness as they went through the ups and downs of a relationship. This book is BEAUTIFUL. It's all about love, friendship, confidence, everything that matters in life!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Boring. I just couldn't get into it. I've gotten about 1/4 of the way, and just decided to quit.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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The "Last Girls" are a group of women celebrating their 40th reunion from A Southern college by repeating a trip down the Mississippi they had taken after their original graduation. They also plan to spread the ashes of one of their original members in the river. This time, however, they are traveling by steamship instead of the raft they used on the original journey. Some travel with their "significant others", & others are alone. The story is told from these various POV's & we get to know each "girl" & her history. This is a fun read. The 40 years between the trips has not made as many changes as would be imagined. The scenes of the river, the ship & crew, the Mississippi Gulf Coast & the City of New Orleans made me long to take such a journey. The Last Girls was published before the destruction of hurricane Katrina which has added an un-intended defination to the word "last".
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I have one word for you: shocker! Like I said, I did NOT have high expectations for this book! Boy was I WRONG. This is now one of my favorite books ever! Lets start off with the characters, Ms. Lee Smith, I commend you, boy do you know how to right a strong female character! All of the characters I could distinctly connect with and feel exactly what they were feeling. I have to say my favorite characters were Baby and Anna. Smith writes her characters so strongly, I was intoxicated by the presence of Baby, just like the other characters were. If I had a girl crush, it'd be on Baby. She was one of those feisty characters who seemed like they had the perfect "whatever" attitude and didn't give a crap what anyone else said, yet she had feelings too. You could feel her pain and happiness, and even I, the reader, could feel her electricity. And then there's Anna, the used-to-be aspiring writer, now gone big time. She had confidence and felt beautiful and sexy, the way every girl wants to feel. But the characters weren't the only parts I loved, I also loved the whole concept of the story, and the beautiful way Smith told it. When smith delved into the characters past, you could feel their pain and happiness, I was laughing and crying along with them. ANd even though there was no love interest at first, it was AMAZING when the guy first came in! Again, you could feel the characters' grief and happiness as they went through the ups and downs of a relationship. This book is BEAUTIFUL. It's all about love, friendship, confidence, everything that matters in life!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Boring. I just couldn't get into it. I've gotten about 1/4 of the way, and just decided to quit.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I had high hopes for this one, especially after having the privilege of hearing the author read from it. I was sorry to say though that I was disappointed, found it a little dull and the characters predictable.
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This book started off as mildly interesting. Women getting together about 30 years after college. However, the characters are dull and nothing happens to them. Their memories of college are boring as are their current lives. I can't believe I stayed with it, even though skipping sections.
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“Every true story ends terribly, if you follow it far enough….”Four women head off to recreate a trip down the Mississippi they first took many years ago when they were girls in college. The four gather at the behest of the husband of Baby, one of the original group of girls, a girl who had a strong influence on the lives of all the women, and who has just died unexpectedly in a tragic accident. The four quirky women, the Last Girls of the title, Southerners one and all, use the trip to reminisce about the past, to contemplate the accomplishments and regrets of their lives, and to offer sympathy and support for each other. Better-than-average Baby-Boomer women’s fiction, with strong characters and strong writing. Be warned that the others in my bookgroup complained about the way in which the story abruptly jumps from character to character and from the past to the present.
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