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Historical Fiction
Women’s Fiction
Contemporary & Women’s Fiction
Literary Fiction

Tara Conklin

Writing Coach

Tara Conklin is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, personal essays and short stories. Her books have been selected by Read with Jenna, the Today Show book club, Barnes & Noble book club, Target book club, as a #1 IndieNext Pick and other accolades. Her work has been translated into 8 languages. She is based in Seattle.

Tara Conklin

Tara Conklin is a writer and former lawyer whose first novel, The House Girl, (William Morrow) was a New York Times bestseller, #1 IndieNext pick, Target book club pick and has been translated into 8 languages. Her second novel, The Last Romantics (William Morrow) was published in February 2019 to wide acclaim.  An instant New York Times bestseller, The Last Romantics was a Barnes & Noble Book Club Pick, IndieNext Pick, and was selected by Jenna Bush Hager as the inaugural read for The Today Show Book Club. Her latest novel Community Board was published in 2023 and described by Kirkus Reviews “a heartening look at a community whose people realize they're better together than alone”.

The recipient of an Artist Trust grant, Tara's writing has appeared in Vogue, the Berkshire Eagle and elsewhere. Before turning to fiction, Tara worked for an international human rights organization and at corporate law firms in London and New York. She was born in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands and grew up in western Massachusetts. She holds a BA in history from Yale University, a JD from NYU School of Law and a Master of Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Tara is mom to three amazing kids and one very lazy dog. In her free time, she loves to hike in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, practice yoga, cook meals that her children probably won't eat, and read read read.

Writing welcomes the late bloomer.  Every bump along the road makes you wiser and your writing richer.  As a wonderful friend once said to me: if you write, you are a writer.  So keep writing.

Tara Conklin
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The New York Times Bestseller
The House Girl
The Last Romantics
Community Board

Novels by

Tara Conklin

The House Girl

The House Girl

Two remarkable women, separated by more than a century, whose lives unexpectedly intertwine . . .

2004: Lina Sparrow is an ambitious young lawyer working on a historic class-action lawsuit seeking reparations for the descendants of American slaves.

1852: Josephine is a seventeen-year-old house slave who tends to the mistress of a Virginia tobacco farm—an aspiring artist named Lu Anne Bell.

It is through her father, renowned artist Oscar Sparrow, that Lina discovers a controversy rocking the art world: art historians now suspect that the revered paintings of Lu Anne Bell, an antebellum artist known for her humanizing portraits of the slaves who worked her Virginia tobacco farm, were actually the work of her house slave, Josephine.

A descendant of Josephine's would be the perfect face for the lawsuit—if Lina can find one. But nothing is known about Josephine's fate following Lu Anne Bell's death in 1852. In piecing together Josephine's story, Lina embarks on a journey that will lead her to question her own life, including the full story of her mother's mysterious death twenty years before.

Alternating between antebellum Virginia and modern-day New York, this searing tale of art and history, love and secrets explores what it means to repair a wrong, and asks whether truth can be more important than justice. Featuring two remarkable, unforgettable heroines, Tara Conklin's The House Girl is riveting and powerful, literary fiction at its very best.

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The Last Romantics

The Last Romantics

A sweeping yet intimate epic about one American family, The Last Romantics is an unforgettable exploration of the ties that bind us together, the responsibilities we embrace and the duties we resent, and how we can lose—and sometimes rescue—the ones we love.

When the renowned poet Fiona Skinner is asked about the inspiration behind her iconic work, The Love Poem, she tells her audience a story about her family and a betrayal that reverberates through time.

It begins in a big yellow house with a funeral, an iron poker, and a brief variation forever known as the Pause: a free and feral summer in a middle-class Connecticut town. Caught between the predictable life they once led and an uncertain future that stretches before them, the Skinner siblings—fierce Renee, sensitive Caroline, golden boy Joe and watchful Fiona—emerge from the Pause staunchly loyal and deeply connected.  Two decades later, the siblings find themselves once again confronted with a family crisis that tests the strength of these bonds and forces them to question the life choices they’ve made and ask what, exactly, they will do for love.

A novel that pierces the heart and lingers in the mind, The Last Romantics is also a beautiful meditation on the power of stories—how they navigate us through difficult times, help us understand the past, and point the way toward our future.

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Community Board

Community Board

Where does one go, you might ask, when the world falls apart? When the immutable facts of your life—the mundane, the trivial, the take-for-granted minutiae that once filled every second of every day—suddenly disappear? Where does one go in such dire and unexpected circumstances?

I went home, of course.

MURBRIDGE COMMUNITY MESSAGE BOARD

FREE: 500 cans of corn. Accidentally ordered them online. I really hate corn. Happy to help load.

REMINDER: use your own goddamn garbage can for your own goddamn pet waste. I’m looking at you Peter Luflin.

REMINDER: monthly Select Board meeting this Friday. Agenda items: 1) sludge removal; 2) upkeep of chime tower; 3) ice rink monitor thank you gift. Questions? Contact Hildegard Hyman, HHMurbridge@gmail.com

Darcy Clipper, prodigal daughter, nearly thirty, has returned home to Murbridge, Massachusetts, after her life takes an unwelcome left turn. Murbridge, Darcy is convinced, will welcome her home and provide a safe space in which she can nurse her wounds and harbor grudges, both real and imagined.

But Murbridge, like so much else Darcy thought to be fixed and immutable, has changed. And while Darcy’s first instinct might be to hole herself up in her childhood bedroom, subsisting on Chef Boy-R-Dee and canned chickpeas, it is human nature to do two things: seek out meaningful human connection and respond to anonymous internet postings. As Murbridge begins to take shape around Darcy, both online and in person, Darcy will consider the most fundamental of American questions: What can she ask of her community? And what does she owe it in return?

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