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review 2019-07-12 23:05
The Last Word
The Last Word - Samantha Hastings

Lucinda Leavitt has just returned home from finishing school.  Lucinda's mother died when she was young and Lucy has grown up at her father's countinghouse where she learned how to help with the books and complete sums quickly in her head.  After finishing school, Lucy would like to have a job at the countinghouse, however, she is now expected to spend her days as a lady- working on stitching, attending parties and generally wasting the day away.  One of Lucy's pleasures after finishing school is reading her favorite serialized novel, but the issue that the ending of the story should be in instead contains a note that the author has died and the story is left unfinished.  With a renewed purpose in life, Lucy begins the hunt for deceased author B. Smith's final words of the story.  Although, a proper lady cannot go about with her chaperone and a man to guide her, so she enlists her sleepy chaperone Mrs. Patton and childhood friend and father's business partner, David for the adventure.  While tracking down B. Smith, Lucy proves to others and herself that she is much stronger than she believes.

The Last Word  is a fun, young adult, Victorian romance with a strong female lead.  Lucy is a magnetic personality from the start, wanting to defy all of the female norms for women in 1861.  Her determination to use her intelligence to work, find the end of her story and be more than a lady who sits around until she finds a husband is immediately captivating.  I absolutely loved the idea of the adventure to find the last words of B. Smith's story, I know that this would be something that bothered me as well.  I was even more pleased to find out that B. Smith's story was based on the real unfinished work of Elizabeth Gaskell.  Lucy's quest brought her on a journey through many Victorian-era homes and people of the time.  David was a perfect travelling companion for Lucy and I enjoyed watching their friendship turn to romance through their many swoon-worthy moments together.  David's respect for Lucy and his understanding of her intelligence and strength makes them a perfect pair.  In addition, I enjoyed the historical aspects of the novel, the culmination of the story with the Tooley Street Fire and the impacts it had on the area as well as the introduction of Bloomers to society and the practice of wealthy American women marrying into English families for titles make an appearance as well.  Overall, a charming Victorian romance with a fiercely determined heroine who will make her own last words. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review

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text 2019-07-10 10:05
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url 2019-07-04 06:19
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text 2019-06-23 19:56
Additional books for MR´s list
My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell
The Word for World is Forest - Ursula K. Le Guin
The Expendable Man - Dorothy B. Hughes
A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki
Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
Honeysuckle Cottage - P. G. Wodehouse
Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake #3) - C.J. Sansom
Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell: I adored reading about young Gerald, his animals and his whacky family. It´s the perfect feel good read and I consider this book to be the bookish equivalent to the movie Mamma Mia.

 

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin: Leave it to Le Guin to tell the most tropy story in a refreshing, engaging and deeply moving way. Out of all the Le Guin´s I have read so far, this is my favorite. 

 

The Expendable Man by Dorothy Hughes: There is one specific thing about this book that turns this into an exceptional and unforgettable read. And this is all I´m going to say about this book.

 

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki: Or you could swap this book with "My Year of Meats". Both books are amazing and Ozeki is an exceptional writer.

 

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates: A gut-punch of a novel.

 

Honeysuckle Cottage by P.G. Wodehouse: The most charming and sweet haunted house (short) story ever written. 

 

Sovereign by C.J. Sansom: This stands for the whole Shardlake series, book number three has been my favorite so far, though. The mysteries are compelling, the setting of Tudor England is glorious and Shardlake is one of my favorite characters ever.

 

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane: This is so good. The setting, the atmosphere and the story are simply amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2019-05-31 19:45
May wrap-up
Remember the Future (The Chronicles of the Harekaiian #9) - Shanna Lauffey
Cats in Origami - Nick Robinson
The Great Wizards of Antiquity - Guy Ogilvy
The Deathless - Peter Newman
The Parisian - Isabella Hammad
The Flavors of Other Worlds: 13 Science Fiction Tales from a Master Storyteller - Alan Dean Foster
Splendor Solis - Stephen Skinner
One Word Kill (Impossible Times #1) - Mark Lawrence
The Illustrated Bestiary: Guidance and Rituals from 36 Inspiring Animals - Maia Toll
Animation 1: Learn to Animate Cartoons Step by Step (Cartooning, Book 1) - Preston J. Blair

A whopping 17 books finished this month, but 10 of them were non-fiction.

 

Stand outs in the fiction were Remember the Future by Shanna Lauffey and Flavors of Other Worlds by Alan Dean Foster.

 

The non-fiction all had their relative merits, but Cats in Origami and Animation 1 are probably most useful to me.

 

A lot of these were from Netgalley. I'm catching up!

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