The Last Encore (2014)


Review by Lightfury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story is so twisted yet complete. Love the plot & settings, perfectly intertwined. I enjoyed reading the backstory of every single character, there are so many layers & depth to each of them.

Well-paced and you will likely pick up speed near the end.

It also features matters that are not commonly talked about, taboo they say. As I did this for our book club, I believed this will definitely be brought up during our discussion.

Lastly, I appreciate that there are no doubts left unanswered because most books will choose to ignore the tiny details and try to end the book.

So well written.

(If you're interested in our discussion, it will be uploaded onto Spotify (Rye of the Bat) subsequently, or if you're interested in joining our book club, hit me up :))
I chose this book on a bit of a whim for a book club, because the synopsis had intrigued me. I'm a fan of the arts, and a novel involving a Russian figure skater turned pianist, a German writer, and an actress staked on the premise of a suspense filled romance was much too compelling to pass on. It's the kind of novel where you expect the narrative to be complex to a certain extent, with each character taking on a pivot role in the overall arc. Such novels can fall prey to certain cliches, but even those that do can find redemption with a well told story. The Last Encore is that type of novel, not the largest of literary revelations but told with such finesse and verbose that one can't help being enraptured by it.

While admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of romance, less so erotic ones, this spares me the exhaustive details of the act and instead leans into the artistry of it. The love, as much as it is lust, is given to be savored like fine wine, though perhaps that's stretching it. I'm sure more well read folks would roll their eyes at such a statement, for there have likely been countless other novels with equally eloquent prose. That might be true, but this is a first for me and one I shall indulge in.

I also have a soft spot for works that are tied or perhaps anchored to a piece of music. For The Last Encore, that is Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, which in itself is a splendid piece to listen to. In fact, I had it playing while reading this. However, the piece also happens to be an expressive item in the narrative, one that is not so ubiquitously referenced, but remains as a core work of art in it. A piece that finds itself enduring through the years, across lives and time. Both bringing kindred spirits together and tearing them apart. One that is melancholic, but also incredibly poignant. A fitting musical piece to a novel that portrays both the strength and despair of love.


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