I received a copy of this as a gift from a wonderful friend who even got the author to write a beautiful note inside for me. A fantastic gift!
Not only was I excited to read and review an Irish author I had not come across before, the cover of this book made me want to read it even more. Having lost my Mother, I knew it might be a difficult read but hoped it would be would be worth it. It didn't disappoint.
Kate is pregnant with her first child and her partner, Ben finally persuades her to return to Ireland for a visit before the baby is born. She has avoided contact with her family for years and is still not convinced it is the right thing to do. When she arrives back at her family home, things are as tough as she expected and she retreats even further into herself, while managing to create even more tension than before.
When her Father hands her a letter, written years ago by her Mother, Kate is unsure whether opening it will make things better or worse for her.
Meanwhile, the book flashes back to the 1990s when Kate was a teenager and was beginning to rebel against the constraints of living in a rural village and constantly fighting with her mother, Eva. We also learn why she ran away to London the minute she had completed her Leaving Cert Exams and had no intention of ever returning.
While I found the first part a little slow paced, and the character of Kate a bit shallow and unforgiving, I am really glad I stuck with it as things really take off with the introduction of Eva, Kate's Mother, in the 1990s section of the book. I found her to be a nice, gentle character with lots of conflicting emotions and I could feel her pain in more ways than one.
Caroline Finnerty has written a sweet, moving and thoughtful novel and it would be perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain.
I look forward to getting my hands on a copy of her first novel " In A Moment " and to seeing more of her future books on shelves in bookshops everywhere.
" The Last Goodbye " is published by Poolbeg and is available online and in all good bookshops.