Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop

The Last LetterBook Description:
Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the letter...

Katherine Arthur's mother arrives on her doorstep, dying, 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, and far from the homestead, 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?

My Thoughts:
This was a wonderfully surprising book.  Katherine resents her mother.  Jeanie is Katherine's mother and she didn't want to take her family from the high life to the prairie.  Still she does it because she must.  Though her husband Frank is a lazy and not at all what she needs, Jeanie is determined to make her marriage work.  Through letters, Katherine learns why her mother made the decisions she did for all of them, and maybe she can work past her anger at the woman she thought she knew.
I honestly wasn't sure when I started reading this if I was going to like this or not.  Getting into the book, I couldn't hardly put it down.  I felt so bad for Jeanie.  Her husband infuriated me.  Though I did understand the wanting to to keep the marriage together, I'm not sure I could have endured what she did.  It was also bittersweet to know that it was Katherine was learning about her mother this way.  You could understand Katherine's feelings as well.  She had no choice in what happened nor did she like it.  This isn't a warm fuzzy feeling book but more of a real life story that was told very, very well.A solid book, 4/5.

Thank you to the publisher/author for the review copy of this book (via Beck Valley Books).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.


  1. This was such an emotional read for me, I've just finished it and could read it all again :-)

  2. Ashley--thank you so much for reading. I am so excited to hear that once you got into the story that it had you hooked. I know it can be a bit heavy in places, but I too love what's at the core of the story. Thank you!!!