Gramercy Book Club Selects LAST HOUSE by Jessica Shattuck! Discussion Plus Virtual Interview with Shattuck Facilitated by Longtime WOSU Host Christopher Purdy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 - 6:30pm
Gramercy Books
2424 East Main Street
Bexley, OH 43209

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Women in the Castle, Jessica Shattuck, the Gramercy Book Club selection for June is Last House, a sweeping story of a nation on the rise, and one family’s deeply complicated relationship to the resource that built their fortune and fueled their greatest tragedy. Longtime WOSU Public Media host Christopher Purdy will facilitate the group discussion and interview Shattuck, who will join via Zoom in the latter portion of the evening.

Kittie’s will be open only to attendees, beginning at 5:00 pm, with beverages and sweet and savory snacks available for purchase. The book discussion begins at 6:30 pm. Jessica virtually joins the attendees at 7:00 pm.

Registration is on Eventbrite. A ticket to this program includes a signed copy of Last House. It is strongly encouraged that registrants read the book prior to the program.

WOSU PUBLIC MEDIA is Gramercy’s Community Partner for this book club program.

The war is over, and America has entered a golden age: The Age of Oil.

It’s 1953, and for Nick Taylor, WWII veteran turned company lawyer, oil is the key to the future. He takes the train into the city for work and returns to the peaceful streets of the suburbs and to his wife, Bet, former codebreaker now housewife, and their two children, Katherine and Harry. Nick comes from humble origins but thanks to his work for American Oil, he can provide every comfort for his family, including Last House, a secluded country escape. Deep in the Vermont mountains, the Taylors are free from the stresses of modern life. Bet doesn’t have to worry about the Russian H-bombs that haunt her dreams, and the children roam free in the woods. Last House is a place that could survive the end of the world.

It’s 1968, and America is on the brink of change. Protestors fill the streets to challenge everything from the Vietnam War to racism in the wake of MLK’s shooting—to the country's reliance on Big Oil. As Katherine makes her first forays into adult life, she’s caught up in the current of the time and struggles to reconcile her ideals with the stable and privileged childhood her Greatest Generation parents worked so hard to provide. But when the Movement shifts in a more radical direction, each member of the Taylor family will be forced to reckon with the consequences of the choices they’ve made for the causes they believed in.

Spanning multiple generations and nearly eighty years, Last House tells the story of one American family during an age of grand ideals and even greater downfalls. Set against the backdrop of our nation’s history, this is an emotional tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance and what we owe each other—and captures to stunning effect the gravity of time, the double edge of progress, and the hubris of empire.

Jessica Shattuck is the New York Times bestselling author of The Women in the Castle; The Hazards of Good Breeding, a New York Times Notable Book and finalist for the PEN/Winship Award; and Perfect Life. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Glamour, Mother Jones, and Wired, among other publications.

Christopher Purdy joined WOSU Public Media/Classical 101 in 1992. In September 2019, he was named permanent on-air host for Classical 101, from 7 to 10 a.m. weekday mornings. He is currently the host of Essential Classics; Front Row Center: Opera and More; Music in Mid-Ohio and is host of the Columbus Symphony Broadcast Series and Concerts at Ohio State. Additionally, he is a regular contributor to the Classical 101 Blog ( and is host and producer of the podcast series Opera Abbreviated. Christopher hosts All Sides Weekend for WOSU 89-7 NPR News on alternate Fridays at 11 a.m. The very popular All Sides Weekend: Books is heard the third Friday of each month.