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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #795

Mon, 12/13/2021 - 9:22pm by muffy


Longlisted for the 2021 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, Dava Shastri's Last Day (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) by former entertainment reporter Kirthana Ramisetti, is a Good Morning America book club pick. It’s a thought-provoking and entertaining take on the “family dynamics and dysfunction” exacerbated by an unusual holiday gathering. 

It’s Christmas eve, 2044. 70 year-old billionaire and philanthropist Dava Shastri has gathered her family on her private island off the coast of Long Island. Recently diagnosed with inoperable cancer, she plans to leave this world on her own terms. Her four grown children were surprised by the news of her terminal illness but were shocked and dismayed when Dava decided to leak the news of her death early so she could read her own obituaries and examine her legacy.

Instead of articles lauding her philanthropic work, the media reveals two devastating secrets, throwing the household, especially the 4 siblings who were never close to begin with, into utter chaos. In the time she has left, Dava must come to terms with the decisions that have led to this moment and make peace with those closest to her.

“Told from a variety of perspectives, the story is reminiscent of Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You in that circumstances force adult children to spend several days together working through years of resentment and regret. The strength of the story lies in its depiction of a strong-willed matriarch who has doggedly pursued success while doing things her own way…A solid debut that will appeal to readers who enjoy quirky family stories with a focus on character over action.” (Kirkus Reviews)  

Readers might also enjoy The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, and Kathy Wang's Family Trust.


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