THE LAST GOODBYE – Fiona Lucas
England – Present Day
What if you called the phone number belonging to your late love and someone else answers?
It's been three years since Anna lost her beloved husband, Spencer. To hear his voice, from time to time she has called his cell phone and let it go to his voice mail. Feeling lonely on New Year's Eve, she calls his number…and a strange voice answers. Rather than hang up, Anna begins to talk to the stranger. She learns that his name is Brody and that he recently acquired Spencer's old number. Brody has a sympathetic ear for Anna as she talks about losing Spencer and how miserable she has been. She also tells him about her strained relationship with her mother-in-law and how Anna doesn't know whether she can get past her grief. Brody tells her that he has suffered his own grief but doesn't reveal the details. Anna is soon placing more calls to Brody, who has now become her sounding board. How much in common do Anna and Brody have? Is he leading her on in hopes of catfishing her?
THE LAST GOODBYE is a haunting, emotional read as Anna—and Brody—deal with their grief through talking with each other. We don't learn at first about his loss, as the author slowly builds that up until the dramatic reveal late in the book. But Anna's loss is front and center of this tale. She feels like she could've prevented Spencer's death and that regret has its grip on her. She is consumed by grief, and it is not helped by her mother-in-law, who seems bent on removing Anna out of the family's memory of Spencer. Instead of talking to each other, the two women are at silent odds against each other, with occasional outbursts. Anna wants to maintain peace with her mother-in-law, but how can she tolerate the hurt that's inflicted by the other woman?
Brody lives a solitary life out in the middle of nowhere. He is afraid of crowds and when forced to go into places like a grocery store, he invariably suffers a panic attack. Readers will wonder what drove him to his solitary existence and his social anxiety issues. As the months go on and Brody and Anna continue to talk over the phone, a connection develops between them. Will they ever meet face to face? Can Anna—and Brody—get past their grief and get on with a life that is happy?
Readers will be pulled to the characters of Anna and Brody in THE LAST GOODBYE. Their pain is palpable, and it is going to be difficult for them to move past their grief. But hopefully, they will help and heal each other. Getting there is likely going to rip off the bandages they have put on their hearts. A beautiful and touching tale, don't miss THE LAST GOODBYE.