This year’s Community Reads book, My Last Innocent Year is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Clinton and Lewinsky scandal about a young woman
This year’s Community Reads book, My Last Innocent Year is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Clinton and Lewinsky scandal about a young woman on the brink of sexual and artistic awakening, navigating her way toward independence. It’s 1998 and Isabel Rosen has one semester left at Wilder College, an elite New Hampshire college where tradition reigns and frat boys rule. Still mourning the death of her mother nearly four years earlier, Isabel has struggled to find her place behind Wilder’s ivy-covered walls. After a nonconsensual sexual encounter with one of the only other Jewish students on campus leaves her reeling, Isabel wonders if she will ever be able to call Wilder home. Enter R.H. Connelly, a once-famous poet and Isabel’s married professor, a man with secrets of his own. Connelly makes Isabel feel seen, beautiful, talented—the woman she longs to become. His belief in her ignites a belief in herself, and the two begin an affair that shakes the foundation of who Isabel thinks she is, for better or worse. Timely and wise, My Last Innocent Year reckons with the complexities of consent, what it means to be an adult, and whether or not we can ever outrun our bad decisions.
Daisy Alpert Florin is a recipient of the 2016 Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellowship at Sarah Lawrence College and was a 2019–20 fellow in the BookEnds novel revision fellowship, where she worked with founding director Susan Scarf Merrell. My Last Innocent Year is her first novel. Accolades for My Last Innocent Year include: New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Washington Post Staff Pick, USA Today Must-Read Book, Entertainment Weekly and Town & Country Must-Read Book of Winter.