The Last Day
They say three's a crowd but when Boyd moves back into the family home with his now amicably estranged wife, Vita, accompanied by his impossibly beautiful twenty-seven-year-old girlfriend, Honey, it seems the perfect solution: Boyd can get his finances back on track while he deals with his difficult, ailing mother; Honey can keep herself safe from her secret, troubled past; and Vita can carry on painting portraits of the pets she dislikes and telling herself she no longer minds her marriage is over.But the house in Albert Terrace is small and full of memories, and living together is unsettling.For Vita, Boyd and Honey love proves to be a surprising, dangerous thing and, one year on, their lives are changed forever.

The Last Day Details

TitleThe Last Day
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 15th, 2017
PublisherThe Dome Press
Rating
GenreContemporary

The Last Day Review

  • Liz Fenwick
    January 1, 1970
    A novel so tightly balanced it kept me bound to the pages until I finished. Filled with startling insights and exquisite prose...loved it
  • booksofallkinds
    January 1, 1970
    I don't know what I expected when I picked up THE LAST DAY by Claire Dyer but it was not this - this beautifully layered, heartbreaking, and emotional story of three imperfect people who have all suffered in their lives and are still suffering in many ways. When Boyd finds himself with some financial issues the only logical solution is to move back in with his estranged wife and take his live-in girlfriend, Honey, with him. Vita is strong and capable and wants to show Boyd how much she has moved I don't know what I expected when I picked up THE LAST DAY by Claire Dyer but it was not this - this beautifully layered, heartbreaking, and emotional story of three imperfect people who have all suffered in their lives and are still suffering in many ways. When Boyd finds himself with some financial issues the only logical solution is to move back in with his estranged wife and take his live-in girlfriend, Honey, with him. Vita is strong and capable and wants to show Boyd how much she has moved on and is unaffected by Boyd or Honey but as they settle into their own strange routine, Vita will have to confront many emotions as they bubble up to the surface. Honey feels that it should be awkward, and it is at times, but she likes Vita, and she adores Boyd - after all, he is so much more than she ever expected after the life that she has lived, the past that she is afraid will come back to haunt her or worse. And then there is Boyd who loves Honey, still loves Vita in his own way, and struggles with the relationship with his mother. He just wants to make everything right for everyone but doesn't know how to do it. And then on the last day, something inconceivable will happen that will change them all forever ...I instantly loved Vita and her no-nonsense attitude and as her story unfolded it broke my heart to see the woman behind the strength. I didn't want to like Honey but I did. She is such a gentle character who has experienced some horrific abuse in her past and I felt her desperation to hold on to the happiness that she has carved out for herself, but yet you always got the feeling that the darkness would come back for her. Boyd is a guy who has so much grief and regrets in his life but isn't quite sure what to do with it and he is determined to do right by those he loves and cares about but as they all live together, their relationships will alter in ways that even they do not realise.​THE LAST DAY by Claire Dyer is a superb read and I devoured it in one night (lucky for me I'm a bit of an insomniac!!). The characters, the writing, the emotion, it is all just so rich and beautiful and it will make you feel every smile, shed every tear, and ache over every heartbreak, and feel hope when it flourishes too. Absolutely amazing!!*I voluntarily reviewed this book from the Publisher
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written about the fragility of love and life this is a tender gentle novel that although at times appears slow doesn’t detract from its final destination.Three beautifully crafted characters each likeable in their own way that seem to compliment each other. Full of ‘what ifs’ and ‘what could have been’ situations that hang in the air much like we all experience as we travel through life. Then the tragedies that happen along the way that shift the balance and drive people down differe Beautifully written about the fragility of love and life this is a tender gentle novel that although at times appears slow doesn’t detract from its final destination.Three beautifully crafted characters each likeable in their own way that seem to compliment each other. Full of ‘what ifs’ and ‘what could have been’ situations that hang in the air much like we all experience as we travel through life. Then the tragedies that happen along the way that shift the balance and drive people down different paths. I found this novel sad and reflective but the ending felt right. Not my normal bedtime reading but worth the experience for such insightful gentle handling - a well deserved 4 starsI would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    The Last Day is an intelligent and compelling story about life, love, loss, and relationships. It is also a clever observation of human nature during certain situations.When Boyd and his young girlfriend, Honey move into the marital home he shared with Vita and where Vita still lives, it makes for an interesting dynamic. It's a dynamic which allows for dormant thoughts and feelings for each of them to rise to the surface. The story is told from the points of view of these three brilliantly craft The Last Day is an intelligent and compelling story about life, love, loss, and relationships. It is also a clever observation of human nature during certain situations.When Boyd and his young girlfriend, Honey move into the marital home he shared with Vita and where Vita still lives, it makes for an interesting dynamic. It's a dynamic which allows for dormant thoughts and feelings for each of them to rise to the surface. The story is told from the points of view of these three brilliantly crafted characters and it is a reflective story. This by no means means it is slow paced. The pace is just right to allow for each character to get under the reader's skin and to live their journeys with them. It is evident that Claire Dyer has lived and breathed these characters to write with such insight to their inner thoughts and emotions and to draw the reader in this way.The front cover and the title are spot on! I really liked the cover when I first saw it and I loved it upon finishing the book. It has so much meaning and the designer has captured the story superbly. The Last Day as a title is perfect. When I read the synopsis, I was curious to see how the story would fit with the title. Now that I've read it, it is ideal. I won't go into too much detail for fear of giving away the plot but suffice to say that each of us have lived last days of a life we once knew. It is how we rise back up from it and learn to live with the new beginnings and the changes within ourselves which is important. Claire Dyer has explored this intimately and woven together each characters journey so precisely, that the crescendo of an ending is the right one.I don't think I've ever knowingly read a novel written by a poet but Claire Dyer's experience as a poet is evident in these pages through her use of language and precision. Her writing is beautiful and in parts, melodic. I will be seeking out her other novels because if they are as cultivated as The Last Day, I can't wait!From its sophisticated front cover through to the very last page of exquisite prose, The Last Day is perfection. I feel so honoured to have had the opportunity to read it ahead of publication.The Last Day was a pleasure to read and I shall be watching with interest how well it does because it deserves to fly. This is definitely a book to watch out for in 2018 and I highly recommend it!!!This review can be found at sarahsvignettes.wordpress.com
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  • Julie Cohen
    January 1, 1970
    A tender, beautifully written book about marriage, love, grief and fear: how all can be lost in a moment, and how hope survives.To me what this book captures extraordinarily well is that marriage has a culture of its own: habits and things unspoken, and to an outsider those things are completely baffling.Also, I love Vita. I want her to march all over the country polishing her glasses and telling people to fuck off and muttering about cockapoos.
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  • Linda Hill
    January 1, 1970
    Living with her estranged husband Boyd and his much younger girlfriend Honey will affect Vita in surprising ways.The Last Day is an affecting and effective novel that is intelligent, beautifully plotted and superbly crafted.The mix of Vita’s first person narrative against the third person sections belonging to Boyd and Honey should place her centre stage but the balance of perspectives is delicately wrought so that I felt I knew and understood all three equally well. These are vivid, desperate p Living with her estranged husband Boyd and his much younger girlfriend Honey will affect Vita in surprising ways.The Last Day is an affecting and effective novel that is intelligent, beautifully plotted and superbly crafted.The mix of Vita’s first person narrative against the third person sections belonging to Boyd and Honey should place her centre stage but the balance of perspectives is delicately wrought so that I felt I knew and understood all three equally well. These are vivid, desperate people whose lives are so intricately interwoven that Claire Dyer has a masterful touch in conveying their lives, their passions, their bitterness and their griefs.I loved the lurking menace from Honey’s past that hangs threateningly over the story, and the grief that she, Vita and Boyd all experience is almost too much to bear. Having so few extraneous minor characters in Belle, Tricia and Colin gives a taut claustrophobic feeling so that I was waiting for the storm to break. Although I guessed the plot with ease, this was by no means negative, but rather added to the enormous satisfaction in reading a crafted, honed and beautiful novel.The title The Last Day is perfect. I can’t explain all the nuances for fear of revealing too much of the plot, but I thought the ways we are reminded that there are so many last days in our lives and that we never know exactly when any particular one will occur gave the novel an almost Shakespearean feeling. There is real tragedy here on many levels. The manner in which Vita’s thoughts are presented almost as asides adds to this sensation and gives depth to her character whilst making the reader see inside her head so clearly.I didn’t like the way the novel ended, not because it wasn’t perfect because it was, but because there could really be no other resolution and not everyone could have their happy ending as I wanted. I was reduced to tears at both the desperate sadness and the potential optimism that pervade this story. Claire Dyer understands humanity and presents it on the page with utmost skill.I haven’t read anything from Claire Dyer before, but my goodness I will in the future. I loved The Last Day and cannot recommend it highly enough.https://lindasbookbag.com/2018/02/15/...
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  • Cleo Bannister
    January 1, 1970
    The Last Day is a poignant and beautifully written novel and although it is quite different to my normal choice of reading matter, I loved it.The synopsis had me wondering what I’d let myself in for. We have Boyd in his forties moving in with his wife along with his twenty-seven year old new girlfriend. The cynic in me doubted whether this was really a likely scenario but what Claire Dyer excels at is characterisation, and boy did these characters get under my skin.Boyd and Vita have been separa The Last Day is a poignant and beautifully written novel and although it is quite different to my normal choice of reading matter, I loved it.The synopsis had me wondering what I’d let myself in for. We have Boyd in his forties moving in with his wife along with his twenty-seven year old new girlfriend. The cynic in me doubted whether this was really a likely scenario but what Claire Dyer excels at is characterisation, and boy did these characters get under my skin.Boyd and Vita have been separated for six years and the reader has to wait quite a while to find out what their last day consisted of before the decision was made to go their separate ways. Honey the young girlfriend works with Boyd at his Estate agency along with the steadfast Trixie. Honey is far more likeable than I’d imagined she would be but like all of the protagonists in the book has secrets. As the book progresses I wondered which one of these was going to blow the roof off the set-up. Boyd, Vita and Honey are people with faults and pasts, but they are also incredibly real and ultimately ‘nice’ people. If you are looking for a tale of discord, this isn’t the book for you.The story is told from different viewpoints with each chapter devoted to one or other of the characters. This is done so very well as we slowly get to know all the different aspects to each one. I’ll admit I was drawn in by the excellent writing; this was one of those books that I started and knew that I would enjoy whichever direction the book followed. This isn’t a typical tale of dysfunction, it is actually a sympathetic portrayal of marriage, love the way life changes and grief. This is a reflective book which if I were reading those words in another person’s review I’d take to mean slow, but this book isn’t. Instead it is one of those rare novels book that allows you to think about what you’ve read, sometimes by reading between the words, a difficult skill to pull off but so very effective when it is done as well as it is in The Last Day. I doubt whether there will be many readers that don’t happen upon a situation or characteristic that they recognise either in themselves or someone close to them.As I said earlier the characters make this book, there is a certain amount of looking back which I think is common once we get to a certain age, but plenty to keep the reader entertained with the emotions that lie behind the characters actions. There is a mystery, a secret – or two or three – and a bit of danger to spice things up so there is no time to get bored. I was very sad to say goodbye to all the characters but particularly Vita and her pet portraits as she entertained me with her no-nonsense attitude, one that hides a multitude of complexities.
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  • Sandra Danby
    January 1, 1970
    Love is complicated, modern families are complicated, and a line cannot be drawn before and after. Whenever there is a last day, there is a first day too. That’s the theme of ‘The Last Day’ by Claire Dyer, a deftly managed part-study of grief and mourning, part-teaser about how past events always affect the present. Boyd and Vita were married, now separated; Boyd owns an estate agency, Vita paints portraits of pets. Both have new relationships. Added to the mix is Boyd’s elderly mother irascible Love is complicated, modern families are complicated, and a line cannot be drawn before and after. Whenever there is a last day, there is a first day too. That’s the theme of ‘The Last Day’ by Claire Dyer, a deftly managed part-study of grief and mourning, part-teaser about how past events always affect the present. Boyd and Vita were married, now separated; Boyd owns an estate agency, Vita paints portraits of pets. Both have new relationships. Added to the mix is Boyd’s elderly mother irascible mother. When Boyd has a big tax bill, he and his girlfriend move back in with Vita. The collision of these three people has unforeseen results. So much of what we see at the beginning of this novel is unexplained, unravelling as the pages turn. It is tightly written with a minimal cast of characters. When you think you’ve got it worked out, there is another twist. Everyone is hiding something. At the heart of the book is Honey Mayhew, except that’s not her real name. She is the catalyst of change. Wearing charity shop clothes and a smiling assured attitude, she goes for an interview at Harrison’s Residential and gets the job. Her connection with Boyd, as they sit in the car as it goes through a car wash, is transforming. Dangling in front of her is the temptation of a new life with an older man. Conformity. Security. Love. But Honey, addicted to horoscopes and superstition, a young twenty-seven year old, is mercurial. At times she seems more like the feisty troublesome teenager she was not so long ago. What happens to Honey as she is thrown into the very adult world of Boyd and Vita’s romance/marriage/separation/amicable friendship changes everything; it wouldn’t be a novel if it didn’t.Living together, none of the three have bargained for the re-stirring of old memories in the house, and the tugging of anger and regret. Honey, because she is young and inexperienced; Boyd, because he is emotionally blocked; and Vita, because she considers she has moved on with her painting and her convenient relationship with Colin next door. Dyer is good at portraying the small details, the daily things. How Honey sits upstairs in bed in the morning, hearing Boyd and Vita reassume their old morning habit of coffee and crossword clues. How Boyd buys his mother some handkerchiefs for Christmas. How Vita watches families play in the park, and her bones feel heavy in her body.Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-revie...
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  • Jo Barton
    January 1, 1970
    Vita enjoys her own company, immersed in her artwork, she appears self-contained and in control. When Boyd, her amicably estranged husband falls on hard times, Vita is persuaded, almost against her better judgment, to allow him move back into what was once their shared home along with Honey, Boyd's much younger girlfriend. This unlikely ménage seems a strange combination but as their shared experiences start to merge and coalesce, so the secrets of their lives start to be exposed.The whole idea Vita enjoys her own company, immersed in her artwork, she appears self-contained and in control. When Boyd, her amicably estranged husband falls on hard times, Vita is persuaded, almost against her better judgment, to allow him move back into what was once their shared home along with Honey, Boyd's much younger girlfriend. This unlikely ménage seems a strange combination but as their shared experiences start to merge and coalesce, so the secrets of their lives start to be exposed.The whole idea of the last day is very skilfully developed and without saying anything at all about the plot, I was completely taken in by the whole concept of time passing. Through a fascinating three stranded narrative the circumstances of the story are revealed by Vita, Boyd and Honey. All three characters have distinct voices and the author, very cleverly, allows them time to tell their stories in their own unique voices, without any one of them outshining the other. I was engrossed by all three characters, but I was especially captivated by Vita, whose strength and determination wraps around her like a shield.The Last Day is a beautifully written novel which shows remarkable insight into the subtle nuances of a fractured marriage, where past hurts have long gone unreconciled and where disappointment and sadness have lingered for far too long. The author carries the reader along, not with a plot that shouts and screams to be heard, but rather with a delicate blend of thoughtful reflection, so that before long, The Last Day fills spaces in your mind that you never knew existed.
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  • Bella Lacy
    January 1, 1970
    I kind of hate when people say "fast and easy read" but here I am about to say it. There is a special ease to The Last Day that makes time travel seem possible. All the sudden chunks of my time disappeared while I devoured portions of this novel. The best novel I've read in a while that I could read in one weekend. Just forget all your responsibilities, pour some tea, and read this book.Usually, a novel that surrounds ex-wives and new young girlfriends are just drama. Like come on, this sounds l I kind of hate when people say "fast and easy read" but here I am about to say it. There is a special ease to The Last Day that makes time travel seem possible. All the sudden chunks of my time disappeared while I devoured portions of this novel. The best novel I've read in a while that I could read in one weekend. Just forget all your responsibilities, pour some tea, and read this book.Usually, a novel that surrounds ex-wives and new young girlfriends are just drama. Like come on, this sounds like every bad romance book out there. However, it wasn't the point. Or at least it wasn't what made The Last Day special. The novel follows three different viewpoints: Vita, Boyd, and Honey. Who were not at all what I had expected. The characters were sensational, insightful, and best of all dynamic. The characters weren't perfect or completely imperfect but just slightly flawed. They all held individualized inner monologues and secrets. Each were burdened with self-doubt and insecurities. They felt like real people and I barely cared what the story is when characters are constructed so well. Even though the story was great, the characters really take the show. Claire Dyer's ability to write is not only talented but borders on incomparable.Beautifully written, fast and easy read (there I said it).Thank you to Dome press for providing a copy of The Last Day in exchange for this honest review.
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  • Penny
    January 1, 1970
    Unputdownable!I love Claire's beautiful elegant writing, Having enjoyed her earlier books, I was looking forward to reading it. The cover too is intriguing and alluring.This book really grabbed me right from the start, the little teasers and hints of each character's hidden truths, buried deep for self preservation, the story delicately unwinding. All three principal characters were appealing and incredibly well drawn. I felt I knew them and could picture the house and garden. On the edge of the Unputdownable!I love Claire's beautiful elegant writing, Having enjoyed her earlier books, I was looking forward to reading it. The cover too is intriguing and alluring.This book really grabbed me right from the start, the little teasers and hints of each character's hidden truths, buried deep for self preservation, the story delicately unwinding. All three principal characters were appealing and incredibly well drawn. I felt I knew them and could picture the house and garden. On the edge of the seat I was urging them to open up, share, communicate and find what they were looking for. I wanted to know what happened but didn't want it to end either. A wonderful read and an achingly beautiful exploration of grieving, fear, loss and love.
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  • Dellaneira
    January 1, 1970
    This awful living situation they set themself into, not to be something that usualy expected. Boyd and Vita's relationship is the strong one, we can see that they care for another despite their 6 years of separation. It felt uncomfortable how in love Boyd is with Honey. Seing someone that you love fall love so hard with another woman. Honey is the odd one, the other woman who can't be hated. At first, Vita fight herself not to like her husband's girlfriend and surprise herself. Glad to see how m This awful living situation they set themself into, not to be something that usualy expected. Boyd and Vita's relationship is the strong one, we can see that they care for another despite their 6 years of separation. It felt uncomfortable how in love Boyd is with Honey. Seing someone that you love fall love so hard with another woman. Honey is the odd one, the other woman who can't be hated. At first, Vita fight herself not to like her husband's girlfriend and surprise herself. Glad to see how mature they behaved to one another. It inspring me somehow (it's not what you think). Jealousy and resentment here and there but that was the main attraction.
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  • Kerry Fisher
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful study of flawed characters this novel is. I loved Vita - irascible and snappy but kind hearted too and generous enough to put up with her ex moving in back into the family home with his rather naive and gorgeous young girlfriend. What could possibly go wrong? I loved the tensions simmering throughout the household, the little rituals of the old, comfortable marriage still there to unsettle the new girlfriend, the harsh realities of the husband's new relationship to cause Vita to What a wonderful study of flawed characters this novel is. I loved Vita - irascible and snappy but kind hearted too and generous enough to put up with her ex moving in back into the family home with his rather naive and gorgeous young girlfriend. What could possibly go wrong? I loved the tensions simmering throughout the household, the little rituals of the old, comfortable marriage still there to unsettle the new girlfriend, the harsh realities of the husband's new relationship to cause Vita to question whether the past is really the past. Tense, human and compelling.
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