My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over a week (busy week)
Pages - 338
Publisher - Headline Review
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel that perfectly interweaves history, mystery, and social justice.
When Kayla Carter's husband dies in an accident while building their dream house, she knows she has to stay strong for their four-year-old daughter. But the trophy home in Shadow Ridge Estates, a new development in sleepy Round Hill, North Carolina, will always hold tragic memories. But when she is confronted by an odd, older woman telling her not to move in, she almost agrees. It's clear this woman has some kind of connection to the area...and a connection to Kayla herself. Kayla's elderly new neighbor, Ellie Hockley, is more welcoming, but it's clear she, too, has secrets that stretch back almost fifty years. Is Ellie on a quest to right the wrongs of the past? And does the house at the end of the street hold the key? Told in dual time periods, The Last House on the Street is a novel of shocking prejudice and violence, forbidden love, the search for justice, and the tangled vines of two families.
Kayla 2010 (presentish day) is who you see if you want to build/add to your dream home. Kayla is only just back at work after a devastating loss. When a client comes in that gives her the fear, acting weird and being threatening without directly threatening, it is just weird. Then we have Ellie and the time jumps to 1965, Ellie is starting to realise how important black people's rights are and gets fully involved much to her families horror. Ellie witnesses some horrific racism, prejudice, hate and violence around and directed toward her.
You wonder what the two timelines and characters could have in connection and both are separate storys, when I went chapter to chapter I wanted to go back to the other, see what was happening. The story is evocative, emotive, shocking, horrific, heartbreaking and deals with many themes, racism, violence, family, friendships, secrets, love, loss. Whilst this is a fictional story you only need to look at history and even now, 2022, some places are still very racist, killings and horror done because of skin colour. It is heartbreaking. I love a book that gets the emotions going and Chamberlain does that, it had been a while since I read her and I need to dig my older books out the pile. Fab read but get the tissues ready and munchies to eat your feelings as I got all kinds of emotions reading this. 4/5 for us.