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Synopsis

“An excellent novel. A lovely and moving portrait of society’s outcasts…affirms the essential humanity of its poor and stubborn residents, for whom each day of survival is a victory” (The New York Times Book Review).

Set on the high ground at the heart of Cape Ann, the village of Dogtown is peopled by widows, orphans, spinsters, scoundrels, whores, free Africans, and “witches.” Among the inhabitants of this hamlet are Black Ruth, who dresses as a man and works as a stonemason; Mrs. Stanley, an imperious madam whose grandson, Sammy, comes of age in her brothel; Oliver Younger, who survives a miserable childhood at the hands of his aunt; and Cornelius Finson, a freed slave. At the center of it all is Judy Rhines, a fiercely independent soul, deeply lonely, who nonetheless builds a life for herself against all imaginable odds.

Rendered in stunning, haunting detail, with Anita Diamant’s keen ear for language and profound compassion for her characters, The Last Days of Dogtown is an extraordinary retelling of a long-forgotten chapter of early American life.

Book Reviews

The Last Days of Dogtown
Average rating
3.7 / 5
Enjoyable read
May 3rd, 2015
Interesting characters and a good story. Evokes the time period she is writing about. Loved her descriptions of the dogs of Dogtown
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1 review
A good read but
April 21st, 2015
Having read The Red Tent, I guess I expected more of this book. It was a good read, interesting characters and well told story but pale by comparison. Wish I had read this first, may have liked it more.
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1 review
Loved it!
April 5th, 2015
This is a poignant character study that truly reinforces the fact that despite the worst that life can hand you, love and friendship can cast a little sunshine into our lives and make it all bearable. Hauntingly beautiful.....
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1 review
A beautifully woven tapistry of character studies.
April 2nd, 2015
Anita, has a way of presenting characters that make you believe you've meet them and know them well. I loved the simile with the pack of wild dogs. Loved every minute of this book.
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1 review
Last Days of Dogtown
March 28th, 2015
It wasn't a terrible book, but it was nothing special. I had no real connections with the characters. It seemed like the story dragged.
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1 review
3 of 3 people found this helpful
The shifting shades of human
March 13th, 2015
A Stark and gritty portrayal of the collection of lives that made up an east coast 18th century town
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1 review
2 of 4 people found this helpful
Appropriate only after reading
February 18th, 2015
The content of this book was rather distressing--found the poverty hard to imagine Easy to follow characters
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1 review
4 of 4 people found this helpful
representative
January 21st, 2015
The Last Days of Dogtown is a bittersweet story of the decline of a once thriving town and those who remain as others leave for better jobs, better lives elsewhere. The characters are 3 dimensional, eliciting feelings of contempt, sadness or admiration for those who are still attempting to make something of their day to day lives. It is rich in it's descriptions and the emotions it renders are varied and heartfelt
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1 review

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