The Last House on the Street - riveting historical fiction from a great storyteller.
It’s 2010 and Kayla Carter is preparing to move into the beautiful home in Shadow Ridge Estates, a new upscale development in North Carolina, that she and her architect husband Jackson designed. Although he tragically died in an accident during construction, Kayla plans to live in the home with her three-year-old daughter Rainie. A strange woman, calling herself Ann Smith, comes to Kayla’s office appearing to be interested in an addition to her home but instead reveals she knows all about Kayla’s life and makes alarming threats. Once in her new home, she meets Ellie Hockley, a neighbor in her 60s who has returned to her old home to care for her ill brother and aging mother. Ellie's is the only pre-existing house on the street where the new homes of Shadow Ridge are being built.
The story shifts to 1965 when Ellie, a white college student, decides to spend the summer volunteering with a group of students from the North to encourage Black residents to register to vote once President Johnson’s Voting Rights Act goes into effect. Ellie's family, boyfriend and friends urge her not to participate as she and the other volunteers face danger from the local members of the Ku Klux Klan. Ellie discovers that some of her loved ones are harboring racists beliefs that she was never aware of. As Ellie faces being ostracized from her community, the situation gets more complicated when she and Win, one of the young Black volunteers, fall for one another.
When the story alternates back to 2010, strange occurrences start taking place at Kayla’s new home threatening her and daughter Rainie. As Kayla gets closer with Ellie, she discovers that her father Reed was the boyfriend Ellie left behind that fateful summer. Kayla learns the terrible secrets from the past that surround the place she now calls home.
Author Diane Chamberlain’s books never fail to captivate. The Last House on the Street is an incredibly heartfelt and emotional story. When I finished it, I had to sit for a while and absorb it all. Start your new year off with a fabulous book by a great storyteller which should not only appeal to fans of historical fiction but also those who love a good mystery.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this wonderful book in advance of its publication.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Historical Fiction / Mystery.
Publication Date: January 11, 2021.
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