1965 – Ellie Hockley is a young white woman who risks her family’s scorn and disapproval to work towards helping black North Carolinians to register to vote. Her commitment to the cause and her ardent beliefs cause such friction that, after one fateful summer, she leaves her home and family and goes to live in California.
2010 – Kayla Carter is a twenty-eight year old widow and mother to a three year old daughter. An architect, she and her late husband designed a beautiful home in a new development in Round Hill, North Carolina. Now with her husband gone, she has many misgivings about moving into the new home, but feels that she has no choice due to the fact that her husband invested so much love and effort into building it.
Once she and her young daughter do move in, she encounters many factors that want her to leave the house at the end of the street. When she meets up with 65 year old Ellie Hockley, who has returned from California to care for her ailing mother and brother, she begins to learn some of the dark and distressing history of the land upon which her new home has been built…
Many years ago, I read this author’s “Keeper Of The Light” which I loved. She has written many, many book since then, yet oddly, I have not read any of them. I decided it was high time that changed, so was delighted when I received a digital ARC of “The Last House On The Street“.
Now I remember why I liked her writing so much. The narrative flows easily, the characters were likeable, and the subject matter was engrossing. This time out she sheds some much needed light on North Carolina’s dark history. It is sad but true to realize that events such as those portrayed in this novel actually took place only about sixty years ago.
This is a novel about social justice, deep seated prejudices, forbidden love, and one family’s tragic secret history. Written at a time when we are still stressing that “Black Lives Matter”, it is a relevant, yet entertaining work of family secrets, social history, and yes… mystery. A winning combination. Highly recommended!This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan via NetGalley.
ISBN: 9781250267962 ASIN: B092T7TFP2 352 pages
DIANE CHAMBERLAIN is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-eight novels published in over fifteen languages. Her books include Big Lies in a Small Town, The Stolen Marriage and The Dream Daughter. She lives in North Carolina with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her sheltie, Cole.