Skip to main content

The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch

William Baker, scion of an aristocratic patrician family, after graduating from Yale, arguably the most blue-blooded of American universities goes to work in presidential politics. 

He has everything going for him: a promising career ahead and an ambitious devoted girlfriend; but life doesn’t always go as planned, and Will finds himself in a predicament when the campaign he’s poured his heart into ends in disappointment. 

He consequently decides to leave New York for a year in Oxford.

As Will gets settled into a life at Oxford – where he really intends to be for only a year before returning to his comfortable life in Manhattan – he is faced with a whirlwind of decisions and conflicting emotions. 

His new friends and roommates are a diverse group of individuals: from the snobbish yet affable Tom, to the erudite Indian economist Anil who has a deep love for gangster rap. Other students form part of the posse, such as Annelise, a German historian obsessed with photography; and Timmo, whose chief ambition is to become a reality television star. And then, there is Sophie.

Charles Finch has done a remarkable job capturing the essence of university life: it almost makes you want to jump back into the world where chaos, fun, stress and uncertainty, all intertwine. And, the well-documented references to Orwell throughout the book, are perfectly placed.

Most of us can relate to that academic lifestyle where the effort and outcome of your studies, in addition to the entanglements of relationships, all correlate to the person that you will become. It’s also that point in your life where a lot of growing up happens.

This slice of life book is reminiscent of a time where the fog of uncertainly reigns, both in the outcome of our career paths and in our personal lives. 

It’s a time, where things aren’t quite sorted out yet. There are lots of detours and heartbreaks, but if you are lucky things might just work out in the end.

Published by St. Martin's Press and distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books 

Review by @ShilpaRaikar
3.5/5 Sukasa Stars