The Last Enchantments
By Charles Finch
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250018717, 336pp.)
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
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The Last Enchantments is a powerfully moving and lyrically written novel. A young American embarks on a year at Oxford and has an impassioned affair that will change his life forever
After graduating from Yale, William Baker, scion of an old line patrician family, goes to work in presidential politics. But when the campaign into which he's poured his heart ends in disappointment, he decides to leave New York behind, along with the devoted, ambitious, and well-connected woman he’s been in love with for the last four years.
Will expects nothing more than a year off before resuming the comfortable life he's always known, but he's soon caught up in a whirlwind of unexpected friendships and romantic entanglements that threaten his safe plans. As he explores the heady social world of Oxford, he becomes fast friends with Tom, his snobbish but affable flat mate; Anil, an Indian economist with a deep love for gangster rap; Anneliese, a German historian obsessed with photography; and Timmo, whose chief ambition is to become a reality television star. What he's least prepared for is Sophie, a witty, beautiful and enigmatic woman who makes him question everything he knows about himself.
For readers who made a classic of Richard Yates's A Good School, Charles Finch's The Last Enchantments is a sweeping novel about love and loss that redefines what it means to grow up as an American in the twenty-first century.
CHARLES FINCH is a graduate of Yale and Oxford. His most recent novel is A Death in the Small Hours. He lives in New York City.
"This lovely novel invites the very kind of enchanted immersion that its protagonist experiences at Oxford. . . . Beautifully done." —Ann Packer, James Michener Award-winner and bestselling author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier
“Compelling. . . . William Baker's voice, vividly established in the opening line, is the most striking of this novel's many virtues.” —Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena
"Finch achieves that rarest of tributes to Oxford University, fond but still clear-sighted. . . . The heart of The Last Enchantments is his Bright Young Things—too young for their own good, let loose upon the medieval city of sherry-sodden intellectuality and rain-soaked romantic debacle, bright about everything except love and life. A witty, touching coming-of-age tale in a town that never ages." —Wilton Barnhardt, author of Lookaway, Lookaway
“Irresistible . . . The novel bursts with intelligence and wit as Charles Finch brilliantly examines our most secret longings and desires. . . . The Last Enchantments casts an enduring spell.” —Amber Dermont, author of The Starboard Sea
“A witty, wonderful book about that tender age between college and true adulthood. Charles Finch's sensitive, lyrical and heartfelt writing charms to the very last page.” — Cristina Alger, author of The Darlings
“Intense, fast-paced, psychologically intriguing, and wonderfully written, Will finds not only Sophie, the complicated, captivating woman who takes his heart and an unsettling group of friends, but over the course of a disturbing and entertaining year, he finds himself in surprising ways.” —Susan Richards Shreve, author of You Are the Love of my Life