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The Last Girls by Lee Smith
Lee Smith's 13th book tells the story of five women who once rafted together down the Mississippi River during college. Now 34 years later, four of them a re-creating the trip, albeit on a luxury steamship this time, to scatter the ashes of the fifth woman on the river. The Last Girls tells the story of these women as they've changed from the girls of the earlier rafting trip into the women they've become and their struggles with men, marriage, children, and careers. The trip down the Mississippi reminds them that the journey is more important than the destination. The Charlotte Observer calls The Last Girls "an intelligent, deftly written, irresistible read."