The Last Princess

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Unloved and unappreciated because she was not the long-anticipated male heir to the family fortune, Lily Goodhue had one chance to redeem herself in the eyes of her parents-- by marrying to the socially acceptable and wealthy Roger Humphreys. Lack of parental affection has led Lily to idealize romantic love, and she does not love Roger Humpreys. Nevertheless, she is determined to endure a loveless union, until she meets Harry Kohle within days of the ceremony. Harry Kohle is the youngest son in a prominent Jewish banking family who is determined to pursue a career as a writer. Lily and Harry are immediately drawn to each other, and the result is a marriage which earns the scorn and disapproval of both families.

Despite parental anger and financial insecurity, Lily and Harry are determined to achieve their heart’s desire. For Lily, this means the creation of a family built on a sound foundation of the love she was so long denied, while Harry strives for a literary success which will compel his family to respect him. As they pursue their dreams, their fantasies conflict, and the love which drew them together is abused and ultimately destroyed.

Lily, who confuses love with license and discipline with authoritarianism, discovers that her children are selfish, judgmental, and emotionally unstable. Failing to recognize her own contribution to the family’s problems, she blames Harry, who is as insensitive to his children as his father was to him. Furthermore, in his single-minded pursuit of professional success, he has been only a part-time parent and an occasional husband.

THE LAST PRINCESS concerns two pathetic and flawed people who are unable to comprehend the needs and desires of their mate, who despite their deep regard and affection for each other are unable to transcend their own egotism. THE LAST PRINCESS is the story of a marriage that should not have happened, a union that could not overcome the influences of the past.