LAST ONE HOME - Debbie Macomber
Ballantine Books (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0-553-39188-6
March 2015
Women's Fiction

Seattle, Washington - Present Day

Cassie Carter left home when she was seventeen years old.  Pregnant at the time, she ran away with her boyfriend, Duke.  Cassie is the middle girl in a family of three daughters.  Her father's favorite, her defiance devastated both her parents and they went years without hearing from Cassie.  Once, when Cassie did reach out for help, her mother was sick and her sisters refused any aid.  Later, after both parents passed on, Cassie's sisters, Karen and Nicole, decided to split their inheritance between them, leaving Cassie out of the loop.  But now, Karen has decided she doesn't want to store her mother's furniture any longer and has given Cassie just a few weeks to collect it.

Cassie never knew how to tell her family about her life with Duke, about the beatings that left her barely able to move, barely alive.  They never knew she was kept a prisoner in her own home, never allowed outside communication, never allowed to drive, and never allowed access to a telephone.  Cassie tried to escape the abuse, but Duke always discovered her plans and beat her worse than before.  Finally, to protect her daughter, Cassie was able to escape to a women's shelter; she saw Duke put in prison and worked her way through school so she could get a job.  Today, she's living in Seattle, and she just heard that she has been accepted by Habitat for Humanity, the organization that will help her get a home of her own.  But first, she has to put in the necessary work hours.  Cassie will work those hours, no matter what.  And Karen's letter is a glimmer of hope.  Her mother's things.  Cassie barely has enough money for food and an apartment for her and her twelve-year-old daughter Aimee.  As badly as she wants her mother's items, how will she ever find a truck, let alone travel across state to Spokane?

Steve Brody volunteers for the Habitat for Humanity, putting in a multitude of hours outside of his regular job.  He needs to keep busy.  Keeping busy helps him forget the demons that haunt his days and his nights.  His wife Alicia has been dead three years now, and still, he feels the pain of her loss, a pain he can't outrun.  Steve's work for the Habitat, helping others build their homes, is his way of giving back to Alicia.  It was her idea, this giving to others, and now, Steve can't let it go.  When he meets Cassie Carter he assumes she won't work out.  Her neon dyed hair and long, manicured fingernails won't hold up to the hundreds of hours she has to serve.  But Cassie keeps coming back day after day, and when Steve learns she also works two jobs, volunteers time at the local women's shelter, and is raising a daughter on her own, he admires her grit and strives to know Cassie better.

LAST ONE HOME, a standalone novel from popular author Debbie Macomber, is a heartfelt story of one woman's struggle to find her way in the world, keep her daughter safe, and put a roof over both their heads.  When Cassie meets Steve, she's wary of entering a relationship; all she's ever known about love has little to do with romance.  As she struggles to make a home of her own, get to know Steve, and re-navigate a relationship with her long lost sisters, Cassie is the LAST ONE HOME.  Even though this is a single release novel, the story opens new threads that might be indication of an eventual new series.  LAST ONE HOME is a wonderfully emotional story of courage and perseverance.   

Diana Risso