Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop #BeckValleyBooks

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?

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Guest Book Review from ACaffeine Addict's Books

I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review - beautiful cover isn't it?

I'm having a bit of an issue deciding whether I loved the book or hated it. Or both. The characters were excellently written with depth and likability, however both mother and daughter suffered so incredibly much it was almost TOO much. They didn't seem to enjoy any part of their life, especially Jeanie. It was heartbreaking! Yet on another plus side, the characters were likable as well as believable.

The plot was also wonderfully devised and yet I completely hated the ending! Gah! Now this is what has me stuck in circles, wondering 'do I like this book or hate it?' The story was inspired by Kathleen Shoop's own great-great grandparents letters and the incredibly accurate portrayal of the time period by tons of research (and it shows) made this story great. Now if only the ending.... *sigh*

I'm not sure here. However, I could not put the book down and it was excellently done, except that I felt that there could have been one or two more happy moments somewhere for them before the book just "wham - ending!"

However, because of how well written, devised, and believable this book was - plus it actually made me cry - I'm giving it 4 stars. If you love historical fiction, I do recommend this book! Just be prepared to want to toss the book or ereader across the room.

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.

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This post was rec'd through Beck Valley Books Book Tours.


THREE Lucky Winners will each receive a $15 Amazon Giftcard,
courtesy of author of The Last Letter, Kathleen Shoop
Ending on Sunday 3rd August at 11.59pm EST
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