I am so thrilled today to be sharing my review of Diane Chamberlain’s newest publication, The Last House on the Street, which was published by Headline on Thursday the 20th of this month in hardback, eBook and audiobook. My thanks to Rosie Margesson for signing me up for the tour and for sending me out a proof of the book to read in preparation of the tour!
I’m here to be honest with you readers, and to throw you book recommendations now and again, so that being said I must tell you that when you decide to read this book, which we know you will eventually get around to, CANCEL ALL PLANS! I say this as someone who lived it. From the moment I started this book, to the moment I finished it, I was so glad that I hadn’t decided to be social that weekend. Diane Chamberlain’s novels, this one in particular, is a work of literary art and I am going to tell you why, right here, right now! *Grabs notes*
I found myself immediately drawn in to the swirl of Diane’s writing, we meet Kayla, a windowed mother, who is due to move into her and her husband’s dream house they built together. Kayla is broken but she’s keeping her heart strong for her daughter, even when frightening things start happening around her, one of which involves dead squirrels! I really empathised with Kayla, this house was meant to be her family’s haven, but instead, it has started to become something of a mystery – as the storyline unravels, the ducks begin to line up but with an eeriness.
The storyline is of a dual kind – Kayla, whose story is within 2010, Ellie’s, our other main character, is set in Southern America – yes, *that* south, in 1965, the time of Martin Luther King and the raise of white supremacist group. A time riffed with violence and hate. Ellie is the daughter of a well liked town pharmacist, she’s studying hard and she has the world at her fingertips, and she’s white. Ellie begins to see these prejudices in society, one’s she has been ignorant to and vows to be a part of a movement to help the Black population of the South to become registered to vote, in order to help them. It is during this mission that Ellie falls in love, even after firm warnings that their interracial relationship could be a danger to them both. This leads to an increase in tension within Ellie’s life and within her small town. I lost myself within Ellie’s story, it shook me to the core the prejudice and violence of her time and I think so many of us forget the ignorance we have because we have the privilege of our skin colour. I was angry and hurt, the powerful storyline that runs throughout these pages had me gripped, glued to my seat and needing to find out more about Ellie’s storyline.
As the novel develops, both character’s and their times had me turning the pages and reading quicker than I have done for a while, I needed more, I needed to find that one thread that would unravel how both stories collided – I would read it again in a heartbeat! A powerful, page-turner of a read which taps in and brings to the surface super important themes through the lives of two very likable characters and the past that haunts them. A poignantly emotive read that will have your mind-racing and your heartstrings strongly yanked. Perfection in pages!
Order now, your future self with thank you!