Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Last Letter Book Review


A Father’s Deceit
A Husband’s Betrayal
A Loved One’s Death
A Mother’s Choice
A Daughter’s Resentment
A Time to Forgive

For every daughter who thinks she knows her mother’s story…

Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the last letter…

Katherine Arthur’s dying mother arrives on her doorstep, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget.

When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown.

Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie’s husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty — a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.

Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine’s world apart. Now, seventeen years later, Katherine has found the truth — she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it’s too late?
My Review:

Wow, this book has it all! And for it to have happened why back in the 1800 and 1900's is both riveting and shocking considering all that happened to this family. I guess you tend to forget that drugs have always been available and that men have always tended to have affairs when married, so I guess it shouldn't have shocked me, but it did.

I think what struck me the most was how Jeanie was able to pull herself together through all of it and never let on to anyone, especially her children how deeply hurt and how deeply their father had hurt her and humiliated her. As children they may feel certain slights and snide remarks but they do not carry the true shame that a woman of that time must have felt to the core of her soul. I don't know if I would have been able to bear what Jeanie went thru, especially the final and most humiliating night of her life, when her youngest daughter Yale was born and a lie was born from that one single night that lasted a lifetime.

Now, Jeanie's children are grown and she is dying and needs help from her oldest daughter, Katherine but Katherine is so wrapped up in what she believed happened when in reality she has no clue at all what her mother went through to protect them.

I have to admit that I really get bitter and feel quite strongly about willful children who judge their parents without knowing the full story and although some of this might have been Jeanie's fault, it's hard for me to understand how Katherine could think her druggie father has no blame in this situation and her mother is the monster, when in fact, her father is the animal and deserved everything he got.

No matter what your take is on this story, it will definitely leave an impact on you. It's full of emotions, drama, deceit, shame but along with that it shows you the true meaning of a mother's love for her children and her will to survive no matter what. And it will leave you with the thought of a fragile woman who found the courage to be a tiger when it mattered the most and hopefully, when The Last Letter comes to Katherine, she will finally understand her mother.

Happy Reading!
About the Author

A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Kathleen's debut novel, The Last Letter was garnered multiple awards in 2011.  Her second novel, After the Fog (Silver IPPY), was a category finalist in the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Her third novel, Love and Other Subjects, earned a Silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention from the San Francisco Book Festival. Recently, Kathleen has released the her first romance novella, Home Again (Book One).

Book Two, a novel-length work in the Endless Love series called Return to Love, will be released in May, 2014. Books Two and Three in the historical fiction series that started with The Last Letter are nearly complete and should be released by fall, 2014.

Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.


Sharon Martin said...

This is one of my cherished reads, so much going on and so much emotion, will definitely be reading again.

kathie said...

Thank you so very much for reading and reviewing The Last Letter! I agree the relationships between children and parents can be clouded and based on wrong information many times. It's sad and heartbreaking, but so often true! The good news is that I have books 2 and 3 in the works and it will show even more of their lives together and apart! I appreciate your thoughts so much!

Julie Baswell said...

You captured the pure essence of this story. What a great review. It has become one of my favorite reads.

Ginny said...

School books.