Synopses & Reviews
Award-winning author Michael Malone's The Last Noel is a beautiful gift to American fiction. In a deeply touching tale, The Last Noel captures the exuberance and poignance of a lasting friendship between a man and a woman from very different backgrounds. Noni Tilden and Kaye King grow up and grow close as their lives come dramatically together through four decades of tumultuous change in a small southern town.
The story begins in 1963 when Kaye first meets Noni on the eve of their seventh birthdays. On that Christmas Eve, Kaye climbs through her bedroom window to invite her to come sledding with him in a rare southern snowfall. Over the next thirty years on twelve days of Christmas, they meet to share the passion, the sacrifice and the romance of a lifetime. At once exquisitely written and tearfully joyful, The Last Noel is one of the great love stories of our time.
The Last Noel is a love story of a long and deepening friendship between two very different people: Noni, a white woman, and Kaye, an African-American man, who were both born on Christmas Day of the same year, in a small Southern town. The story begins in 1963 when Kaye first meets Noni on the eve of their eighth birthday. In the middle of that night on Christmas Eve, he climbs through her bedroom window to invite her to come sledding with him in a rare southern snowfall.
As they grow older, Noni and Kaye find that their lives continue to come together dramatically on that holiday, through four decades of great change in the world around them. Through these encounters, their friendship deepens, and their profound affection for each other shows a romantic tension that comes, for them, dangerously close to the surface.
Set during the tumultuous decades between 1963 and 2002, The Last Noel touches on the great turning points in our shared American lives as they also profoundly affect Noni and Kaye. In the romantic tradition of the love affairs of Pip and Estella in Great Expectations and Heathcliff and Cathy in Wuthering Heights, Kaye and Noni share a lifelong relationship that shifts and evolves under the cultural and familial pressures they must face. On 12 different days of Christmas over the course of their lives, they come together until shortly before Noni's death, when Kaye fulfills her dying wish and takes her from her hospital bed home to sled again on Heaven's Hill.