Partnership. Prolific novelist Louis Auchincloss’ new novel is titled Last of the Old Guard. On these pages, protagonist Adrian Suydam reflects wistfully on his life and that of his recently deceased law partner, Ernest Saunders. Set at the end of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, Auchincloss presents with a formal detachment the relationships and behavior of those times. While the primary relationship is that between two life-long friends and law partners, other relationships are also critical to the novel: husbands and wives; fathers and children; and employers and employees. This brief glimpse into another time provides a striking contrast to modern times. Last of the Old Guard conveys the sense of responsibility, formality, manners and expectations of a time that has passed, but dimensions of personal character and integrity that survive and can thrive in any era. Reading Last of the Old Guard is like visiting a museum and coming away with impressions about other times and places. Readers who want to visit an old New York will find pleasure on these pages.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)