I am delighted to share my review today for The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain. This is a wonderful book that is a mix of past and present with a strong mysterious streak within it.
My huge thanks to Headline Fiction Books for granting my request to read this book via NetGalley.
Secrets won’t stay silent forever.
2020. A recently widowed architect moves into the home she and her late husband designed, heartbroken that he will never cross the threshold. But when disturbing things begin to happen, it’s clear that someone is sending her a warning. Who is trying to frighten her away, and why? It is only when she meets an elderly neighbour that she learns the street has a shocking and tragic past. A past that some will go to any lengths to keep hidden.
1964. A young white female student becomes involved in the fight for civil rights in North Carolina, falling in love with one of her fellow activists, in a time and place where an interracial relationship must be hidden from family, friends and especially the reemerging Ku Klux Klan. As tensions rise in the town, she realises not everyone is who they appear to be.
Decades later, past and present are set to collide in the last house on the street…
If you like to read books with duel timelines, have historical as well as present-day mysteries, including prejudice, political and social injustice, violence, mistrust and love, then this is a book that should definitely be on your radar.
This is set in North Carolina. The present-day setting is of Kayla and her daughter moving into their new home. It is one that Kayla and her late husband designed and built, so it is a bitter/ sweet occasion. The past is set in the same area and of a young woman Ellie who decides that rather than just report about the social injustices occurring in the US in the ’60s.
How the two connect is something that becomes apparent as the stories start to delve into emerging. As much as I really enjoyed the present-day setting, I found it was the historical setting that I found the most addictive. The author portrays so well the decisions of Ellie and how she felt so moved to stand up for what she believes in. This was also the harder of the two stories to read. It shows so many different aspects of life in the US at the time.
Without giving too much away, the 1960s in the US was a turbulent and troubled time. It was an era that challenged peoples perceptions, rights and beliefs. Protests, speeches, demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement and the backlash from the KKK is something that is very hard to read. But I do think that the author has tackled this very well within the context of the story.
The present-day setting is still an amazing section, it is harrowing and how it is connected to the past is something that again has been done so well. ASs a reader you see links, but it is often why things are linked that keeps you reading. This is where the author has really excelled, bringing the mysteries of the past to the present makes for extremely addictive reading.
This really is a fabulous story to read, it is harrowing and also shows discrimination as its worst. It is one that I found to be addictive and heartbreaking. A mix of past and present that I would definitely recommend.
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