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Last Friends by Jane Gardam

Last Friends (2013)

by Jane Gardam

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3763242,623 (3.88)1 / 180



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English (28)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
This is the story of Terry Veneering , the third member of a triangle of intricately woven relationships, which included Edward Feathers and his wife Betty.

Although the three came together in the Far East and Veneering, like Feathers, was a lawyer, Veneering's backstory is surprising and totally different from the other two's upper class backgrounds.

Unlike the others, Veneering's childhood was one of poverty. He was the son of a coal seller and a well-educated Russian acrobat (gossip said a spy) who was paralyzed in a fall at the circus. Veneering's is also the story of the devastating bombings during World War II's London Blitz; of his neighborhood destroyed, parents killed and children evacuated on transports to keep them safe in Canada, only to have the ships torpedoed en route.

It's told with wit and humor – and also a bit of sadness at the isolation of aging, since the phrase 'last friends' refers to those friends remaining when all the others have passed on.

Excellent read! 4.3 stars. Now I want to re-read the entire trilogy. ( )
  streamsong | Mar 4, 2019 |
In her usual hypnotic prose Gardam sketches in the last side of the triangle, and we find out some of Veneering's past, but again nothing much between 30-70. Yes, what happens in the first decades of life is immensely important to you, but what you do between 30-70 is most of what is important to the world, what makes your mark on the world (Mozart and mathematical geniuses excepted). Dulci and Fiscal-Smith don't bear much weight, and looking over a summary of [Old Filth] makes it clear how little is in this book. Jane Gardam gives us the youth and old age of her protagonists, so salad and cheese, but I'd feel more satisfied with a good pudding and a slab of meat. ( )
  quondame | Feb 5, 2019 |
Last friends moves the perspective to Feathers's rival, Sir Terry Veneering, and to another barrister who has played rather a minor role in the story up to now, Fiscal-Smith. It turns out that whilst everyone else is a Child of Empire, these two rather anomalously grew up in a Catherine Cookson novel. Somehow, the plunge into back-to-backs, flat caps, coal-carts and gleaning on the beach didn't feel quite right in the light of the rest of the story (although I'm sure Gardam, who grew up in the North-East in the thirties herself, is well-qualified to write about it). But the real interest of this one is not so much that additional background as the investigation into the way old age and the ticking of the clock pressures you to change the way you handle your relations with contemporaries and younger people. Resentments, secrets and passions are still there, but can you afford to let them get between you and the last few people who have any understanding of the things you have lived through? ( )
  thorold | Oct 19, 2018 |
Laatste deel van de trilogie en opnieuw verrassend omdat je verwacht dat het vooral over Veneering gaat, maar het gaat ook over allerlei mensen (Fiscal-Smith en Dulcie) die in de eerdere delen een bijrol hadden. Zo mooi dat er weinig uitgelegd wordt, het is een soort caleidoscoop. Ik vond het net iets minder dan het tweede deel, maar ook van dit boek heb ik weer genoten. ( )
  elsmvst | May 1, 2018 |
The last book in Gardam's trilogy covers Terry's story and what a story it is. From a childhood of hardship and poverty as well as a near miss on a sunken evacuation ship to a top position in London's law society, he remains a very lonely and rather sad character. The story relates his intermittent connections with the various people who populate the fist 2 books, particularly Feathers and Betty. A wonderful read and a great series. There are so many other characters I would love to know more about so I am sorry the tale is finished. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Mar 8, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Laatste vrienden is het derde en laatste deel van de trilogie over Edward Feathers (Old Filth) en zijn vrouw Betty, geschreven door de Britse schrijfster Jane Gardam en begin 2018 uitgegeven in de Nederlandse vertaling. In dit derde deel van de trilogie krijgen we al weer een ander perspectief van hetzelfde verhaal over het leven van Edward Filth en zijn vrouw Betty, beiden inmiddels overleden, te lezen. Deze keer speelt de mysterieuze Teddy Veneering de hoofdrol: Edward Feather’s grootste vijand…lees verder >
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The Titans were gone.
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The marriage of Edward Feathers and Betty as seen through the eyes of Edwards friend and Betty's lover Terry Veneering.

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Group Read: Last Friends by Jane Gardam in 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Average: (3.88)
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