What People are Saying about Last Train to Babylon

Betches Love This 

“Even if you aren’t physically headed home anytime soon, Aubrey’s story will give you an emotional kick in the stomach. Your icy soul might actually feel something for once. You’ll relate to her very public, drunken meltdown, her quiet satisfaction when she realizes the high school boyfriend who screwed her over is still really kind of a nobody, or the fact that she’s “not a smoker” but definitely just needs a drag now and again.

Ignore your mom’s request to spend time together over the holidays and spend time with this book instead.”

Romantic Times BOOKclub

“This debut novel is a stunner…Forget comparisons to other authors; Fam stands on her own in weaving the narrative between new adults and the teens they were before.”


[Fam] has created a powerful story, and beautifully developed characters that ring true, regardless of one’s upbringing as the loss of innocence, betrayal, and teenage angst tend to be universal for almost everyone.

Jennifer Echols

An intense and compelling page-turner about what keeps us loyal to friends and lovers who betray us, and one young woman’s struggle back from the brink. Fam’s prose is searingly true.

Kirkus Reviews

In Fam’s debut novel, a recent college graduate “content creator” returns home to Long Island for the funeral of her former best friend and is forced to confront her deeply painful past.Aubrey wakes up in a psychiatric care facility, bruised and severely hung over, after taking a drunken walk along an elevated train line after the funeral of her high school best friend, Rachel. Aubrey harbors a seething anger toward Rachel and her guidance-counselor mother, Karen, but the reasons are camouflaged by a 20-something cynicism and the despairing consumption of booze. As the narrative progresses, we move between present-day Aubrey and the experimental, bored high school version and meet her then-boyfriend, Adam. Gradually, we learn that Aubrey’s transit through young adulthood involved some deeply traumatic experiences which were compounded in part by her inability to trust her best friend. For years, she’s walled off her feelings, becoming increasingly emotionally detached. Aubrey’s future happiness depends on her ability not only to recognize what happened, but to be able to tell others without fear of reprisal. The first-person narration has a guarded, angry tone: “Who put the word ‘fun’ in funeral? If you really think about it, funeral sounds like it should be synonymous with ‘carnival’ or ‘funnel cake.’ But I can’t think of anything fun about Rachel’s funeral, except for the fact that she won’t be there.” The book’s strident pacing, combined with its unsparing portrayal of teenage cruelty and thoughtlessness, makes Aubrey’s eventual confrontation with her past a welcome relief. However, despite Aubrey’s warped perspective, Fam manages to carve out enough space for the supporting characters to believably exist within the maelstrom of Aubrey’s raw emotions.By sardonically inhabiting the solipsistic, emotionally fraught reality of adolescence, Fam creates a startling coming-of-age story that is neither sentimental nor clichéd.

Charlee Fam is a twenty-something, award-winning writer living in New York City. She recently completed her first novel, Last Train to Babylon.

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