Synopses & Reviews
New York Times
bestselling author Luanne Rice returns to Hubbards Point, Connecticut, and to characters from her beloved Beach Girls,
to tell the haunting story of a close-knit community grappling with a heartbreaking mystery, and of a woman rebuilding her world and reclaiming a love she believed lost a lifetime ago.
A face on a poster, a name in the news, an inexplicable tragedy. A promising young man goes out one warm summer evening and is found deadmurderedless than twenty-four hours later. No motive. No clues. No answers. Most people reflect briefly on the disturbing headlines, perhaps say a silent prayer of safely removed sympathy, and go on with their lives. But what if the young man was your son? Or your true love?
Nearly a year after the death of eighteen-year-old Charlie, singer-songwriter Sheridan Rosslare still hasnt played a note of the music that was once her lifes passion. Tucked away in the beach house where she raised her only child, she lives with her memories of him and a grief too big to share even with her beloved sisters or her dear friend Stevie Moore. Nor can Stevie comfort Charlies heartbroken girlfriend, Nell Kilvert, whom she regards as a daughter. Nell wont rest until she finds out what really happened to the boy she loved. Out of the past she summons a man she believes cares enough, and is tough enough, to uncover the truthSheridans long-ago soul mate, Gavin Dawson.
Now Gavins boat, the Squire Toby, sits anchored in the harbor within sight of the window of the woman he once loved, still loves, and will always love. Sheridan, too, had once fervently believed in the miraculous power of love and healing, forgiveness, connection, and reconnection. But that faith died along with her son….
Unfolding among the Hubbards Point people and places that fans have come to treasure, and replete with feeling and mystery, Last Kiss weighs the power of the past to heal as well as wound, in a captivating tale of love, loss, and redemption that no reader will ever forget.
"New York Times"-bestselling author Rice returns to Hubbard's Point, Connecticut, to tell the haunting story of a close-knit community grappling with a heartbreaking mystery, and of a woman rebuilding her world and reclaiming a love she believed lost a lifetime ago.
About the Author
Luanne Rice is the author, most recently, of Last Kiss and Light of the Moon, among many other New York Times bestsellers. She lives in New York City and on the Connecticut shore.
Reading Group Guide
Returning to the characters first introduced in Beach Girls,
which inspired a popular television miniseries, New York Times
bestselling author Luanne Rice takes us once again to Hubbard’s Point, Connecticut. Last Kiss
reacquaints us with Nell (now a young woman of eighteen), free-spirited author/artist Stevie, and others. A tragedy has brought them together: the handsome aspiring filmmaker who had captured Nell’s heart is found murdered in Manhattan. The search for answers leads to surprising revelations, while reuniting lovers who had given up on their future years ago. Exploring the sometimes fragile bonds between kindred souls, even parents and their children, Last Kiss
captures the tender beauty of reconciliation and remembrance.
The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Luanne Rice’s Last Kiss. We hope they will enrich your experience of this captivating novel.
1. Why was Nell able to trust Gavin, not only to investigate Charlie’s death but also to understand her grief? What made him different from the others in her life?
2. Discuss the novel’s title. What worlds were opened by Nell’s bittersweet kisses with Charlie? What changes were marked by first and last love in the other characters’ lives?
3. Charlie was about to embark on a first-rate education in filmmaking. What did his promising career say about his personality? How did his perceptive eye affect his relationship with Nell?
4. Discuss the role of the Rosslare women in Hubbard’s Point. How does their mystical Irish legacy play out? What are their greatest strengths and vulnerabilities?
5. How was Charlie affected by growing up without a father? In what ways did he complete Nell, whose mother died when she was very young?
6. What turning points are reflected in the music and lyrics that are woven throughout Last Kiss? What does Sheridan’s career mean to her, and to those around her?
7. How do the three novel’s settings (rural Connecticut, Manhattan, and Nashville) serve as meaningful backdrops? What dreams and realities are reflected in these locales for the characters?
8. At first, how did you interpret Nell's experiences in the cemetery? Was her hope so far-fetched?
9. What were your thoughts as Jack and Stevie debated marriage in chapter fourteen? What was at the heart of their debate?
10. What gave Gavin the courage to reach out, and reclaim a connection to Sheridan? Did their shared history help or hurt their ability to feel safe with one another?
11. How did your opinion of Jeff Easton Quill shift throughout the novel’s closing chapters? What motivated Randy’s actions, in New York and throughout the years leading up to that tragic night?
12. Ultimately, who is to blame for what happened to Charlie? What would constitute justice?
13. What conclusions were reflected by the fire? What aftermaths do you imagine for Nell, Sheridan, and Stevie?
14. Discuss the significance of Gavin’s staying on his boat, near but not within the Hubbard’s Point community. Does it protect him and/or Sheridan, ultimately?
15. What themes begun in Beach Girls are reflected in Last Kiss? What new directions and unpredicted outcomes unfolded for all generations?