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