41 pages 1 hour read

Megan Miranda

The Last House Guest

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2019

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Character Analysis

Avery Greer

Avery, the narrator, grew up in Littleport with her parents and grandmother. Her father was a Littleport native, and her mother was an outsider, drawn to some intangible mystery about the town. Their family endured their share of financial difficulties; her father was a teacher and her mother an artist, and they argued about money loud enough for Avery to overhear. As a child, Avery quickly learned the nuances of grief, losing her parents to a car accident and her grandmother to health complications not long after. Her behavior rapidly turned self-destructive, and she lashed out at her friends, cutting herself off from her community. During the most difficult periods of her grief, Avery kept a journal in which she chronicled her intense depression and obsession with how she could die.

While working a party at the Loman house, Avery cut herself with a prep knife in the kitchen; whether this was intentional or accidental is hard to determine. Sadie Loman found her hiding in the bathroom and helped bandage the wound. Their initial interaction surprises Avery, especially given Sadie’s open and frank discussion of death. Avery’s narration hints at but does not openly admit the reason why Sadie feels like such a kindred spirit: Avery finds “something alluring” about a stranger “toss[ing] a joke about death [her] way” (33), but the real appeal is in finding someone who seems to share her fascination with the fragility of life.

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