Genre: Historical Fiction; Women’s Fiction
My Rating: 5
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 11, 2022
Review Copy From: Publisher via NetGalley
Synopsis (via GR)
From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel that perfectly interweaves history, mystery, and social justice.
When Kayla Carter’s husband dies in an accident while building their dream house, she knows she has to stay strong for their four-year-old daughter. But the trophy home in Shadow Ridge Estates, a new development in sleepy Round Hill, North Carolina, will always hold tragic memories. But when she is confronted by an odd, older woman telling her not to move in, she almost agrees. It’s clear this woman has some kind of connection to the area…and a connection to Kayla herself. Kayla’s elderly new neighbor, Ellie Hockley, is more welcoming, but it’s clear she, too, has secrets that stretch back almost fifty years. Is Ellie on a quest to right the wrongs of the past? And does the house at the end of the street hold the key? Told in dual time periods, The Last House on the Street is a novel of shocking prejudice and violence, forbidden love, the search for justice, and the tangled vines of two families.
The story alternates between the years of 1965 and 2010.
In 1965 Ellie, is a young woman who decides to help with the cause for allowing African Americans the right to vote. However, the residents of this small town are against her decision and have started harassing her, her family, and the other volunteers.
In 2010, Kayla has moved into the new house that she and her husband designed but while building there was a horrific accident in the house that caused the death of her husband. Has she made a mistake moving in since there seems to be someone or a group of people trying to torment her into moving out? Why? What is it that this house is causing such a disturbance including one night when the Ku Klux Klan decided to show up on her property?
How are these two women connected, besides having only the 2 houses on the street, as construction is moving along for more houses in this development?
I was so engrossed within the story that I felt that I was there in this little town in North Carolina. I felt the emotions and sensibilities of each and every one of the characters.
There were different settings in the story but I could picture every one of them, Ellie’s parent’s house, the Church where the volunteers would come together, the families and shanties that the volunteers would stay with for a few days, the houses that the volunteers knocked on doors to explain why it is so important to vote, etc.
WOW!!!! There were stories within the story and as each page revealed one of those “stories” my jaw dropped. I turned the page and needed to pick up my jaw because it was going to fall again!!!!
Not only was this an amazing story it was also an eye-opening education for the reader about the history of segregation in the south during the 1960s..
As a long-time reader, as I am sure a lot of you are, if we are honest with ourselves, we have read hundreds+ of books but there are some books read that we probably can’t remember what it is about. But I can promise you, this is a story that will stay with you for years to come.
The narrative is perfection whereas the reader will be kidnapped and become a part of it. A book that you will find any excuse to take you away from adulting and to pick it up and continue reading. A book that is definitely one where you will be telling yourself, just one more chapter and we all know how that goes!!!!
Engaging!! Riveting!! Provocative!! Heart pounding!! Intoxicating!!
I received a complimentary copy from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.