At Last, Patrick Melrose 5 – Edward St. Aubyn

At Last, is the last book in the Patrick Melrose series. I’ve dedicated my time to reading Edward St. Aubyn, and if you want the truth, I don’t regret it. He is a brilliant author who turned such a dreadful life into an incredible story. Even if you won’t read the series, please check out the mini-series; you might be impressed. It tells a lot about family, friendship and relationships in general.


At Last, Patrick Melrose 5 – Edward St. Aubyn

At Last, chronicles the funeral of Patrick’s mother, Eleanor. As in previous Patrick Melrose novels, the author was able to tell a whole world through just one day or one event. Throughout the book, Eleanor has been the “mother” I never liked and even wanted to slap a lot (even though I am a non-violent person).

That “mother” spent all her time, love and money on charities when Patrick needed all his love and affection. Her leaving the house in France to a fake shaman before she died and, unfortunately, brought nonsense people into Patrick’s life was like a bad joke. Her funeral began in a befitting manner and ended with another death. However, the author, who briefly visited people’s minds during this time, brought up a depiction of Eleanor from everyone’s eyes.

Anyway, let us talk about Patrick’s disintegration after losing his parents. That’s why the book is titled “At Last”. Patrick has two children and is now a man, and is finally able to calm the storm in his head. A father who tortured him and a mother who knowingly tolerated this torture are at last gone, and now he can only recover. And much more complexity of emotions and summary of people that I could never fit in here. I hope you read this series; I’m sure you will love it. Enjoy!

Other books in the Patrick Melrose Series

  1. Never Mind
  2. Bad News
  3. Some Hope
  4. Mother’s Milk
  5. At Last
At Last, Patrick Melrose 5 – Edward St. Aubyn

At Last, Patrick Melrose 5

At Last: For Patrick Melrose, ‘family’ is more than a double-edged sword. As friends, relations and foes trickle in to pay final respects to his mother, Eleanor – an heiress who forsook the grandeur of her upbringing for ‘good works’, freely bestowed upon everyone but her own child – Patrick finds that his transition to orphanhood isn’t necessarily the liberation he had so long imagined.

Yet as the service ends and the family gather for a final party, as conversations are overheard, danced around and concertedly avoided, amidst the social niceties and the social horrors, the calms and the rapids, Patrick begins to sense a new current. And at the end of the day, alone in his rooftop bedsit, it seems to promise some form of safety, at last.At Last is the last book in the series.

Edward St. Aubyn

Edward St Aubyn (born 14 January 1960) is an English author and journalist. He is the author of eight novels, including notably the semi-autobiographical Patrick Melrose novels. In 2006, Mother’s Milk was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Edward St Aubyn was born in 1960 in London, England, into an upper-class family. He is the son of Roger Geoffrey St Aubyn (1906–1985), a former soldier and a surgeon, and his second wife, Lorna Mackintosh (1929–2005). On his paternal side, he is a great-great grandson of Sir Edward St Aubyn, 1st Baronet, and great-nephew of The 1st Baron St Levan.

On his maternal side, he is a grandson of Captain Alastair William Mackintosh of the Seaforth Highlanders (briefly married to Constance Talmadge 1926–1927), and Lela Emery (later Duchess of Talleyrand). Through the latter he is a great-grandson of American businessman John Josiah Emery, Sr., and a great-nephew of John J. Emery, Jr. and Audrey Emery (wife of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia).

His father was first married to Sophie Helene Freifrau von Puthon of Schloss Mirabell in Salzburg, whom he divorced in 1957. St Aubyn has two half-sisters by his father’s first marriage, and an elder sister, Alexandra. He grew up in London and France, where his family had houses. He has described an unhappy childhood in which he was repeatedly raped by his sexually abusive father from the ages of 5 to 8, with the complicity of his mother.

St Aubyn attended Westminster School and in 1979 went on to read English at Keble College, Oxford. Although at the time a heroin addict, he graduated, but with a pass, the lowest possible class of degree. He entered psychotherapy at the age of 25 and subsequently became a professional writer.

From 1987 to 1990, he was married to the author Nicola Shulman, now The Marchioness of Normanby. St Aubyn has a son, Lucian St Aubyn, by Jane Longman, daughter of Lady Elizabeth Longman and Mark Longman, and a daughter, Eleanor St Aubyn by another previous relationship, and lives in London.

Five of St Aubyn’s novels, Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother’s Milk, and At Last, form The Patrick Melrose Novels, the first four of which were republished in a single volume in 2012, in anticipation of the fifth. They are based on the author’s own life, growing up in a highly dysfunctional upper-class English family, dealing with abuse at the hands of his father, the deaths of both parents, alcoholism, heroin addiction and recovery, and marriage and parenthood.

The books have been hailed as a powerful exploration of how emotional health can be carved out of childhood adversity. Mother’s Milk was made into a feature film released in 2011. The screenplay was written by St Aubyn and director Gerald Fox. It stars Jack Davenport, Adrian Dunbar, Diana Quick, and Margaret Tyzack in her last performance.

In 2018 a five-part television series, Patrick Melrose was broadcast, a joint production of Showtime and Sky Atlantic. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Patrick Melrose (with the young Patrick played by Sebastian Maltz), with each episode based on a different novel in the series. The series premiered on Showtime on 12 May 2018 to favourable reviews.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Read Around the World, A Great Journey

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