The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain
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?
What was it all about
The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain was a powerful story told in dual timelines.
Kayla in 2010 was warned off the dream house that she had designed with her husband and where he had ultimately lost his life.
Cut to 1965 where Ellie fought for the voting rights for all and fell in love with someone she was not supposed to. Interracial love was frowned upon in those times.
Now Ellie had returned home after 45 years to look after her mother and brother and found herself meeting Kayla her next door neighbor and the child of her long-lost paramour.
How it made me feel
A complex tale which was an admixture of the truth and fiction where the author brought home some important facts.
With the twin plot line, the tension was insidiously built up until it became a taut rope with a huge, unexpected reveal at the end. So big that I could have never thought about it.
SCOPE was the program that Ellie was passionate about that wanted to eradicate racism in voting rights of all. I loved how an important social cause was weaved in where it formed the foundation of the tapestry on which the rest of the story was built on.
The writing was vivid in the landscape that it truly laid open with the times of 1965
Kayla in 2010 had her own problems along with wanting to get to the root of all the warnings she had received against moving into her dream house with the forest in her backyard.
The claustrophobic ambiance was brought in well in both the timelines for varied reasons in different ways.
The storyline was powerful and intense but the emotions connecting me to the characters were not. I couldn’t immerse myself into the lives of the characters to start to live it.
There was a lot of information given to me, and I appreciated the knowledge of what others had gone through. But that did not feel entertaining from the point of view of fiction.
I wanted more of Kayla’s section written in. She was a young mother and a widow who had more to give than what was written.
A rich storyline that encapsulated the era of the civil rights movement gone past, where the mystery added another layer connecting it to the present, with the last house on the street as the anchor.
Publication Date: January 2022
I downloaded the digital version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
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