THE LAST GOODBYE is a standalone novel by Fiona Lucas. This story is told from alternating perspectives. At the opening of this book, Anna has been a widow for a few years, but she is having trouble letting go of her grief. Her BFF Gabi tries to get her excited about a hobby and into the dating game again. Her mother-in-law wants to exercise control over how her son Spencer should be grieved. At a particularly low point, she dials her late husband’s number expecting to her his voice on his voicemail message. Instead, she finds Brody – the new owner of that phone number. What follows is a touching story about two strangers who connect with each other, when they’ve disconnected from almost everyone and everything else in so many ways and find romance as they help each other emotionally.
There is a very sweet and poignant romance in THE LAST GOODBYE, but this book will appeal to readers who enjoy character-driven and emotionally powerful stories, even if they don’t normally read books in the romance genre. The struggle for the main characters is not just facing the reality of death, but the epic tragedy of sudden and completely unexpected death. The author successfully conveys a sense of being cheated, a fear of trusting, and the anger that comes with that. Anna is the main character the reader is first introduced to, and it is made perfectly clear why she is grieving. Brody is introduced later, and it’s hinted at, but the nature of his loss isn’t fully revealed until almost the end. I like the way Fiona Lucas has the characters slowly connect with the reader as they connect with each other. You can’t help feeling like you know them personally, and root for their victories both small and huge. The phone conversations between Anna and Brody seem very natural and the relationship evolves very organically. There is enough charm to balance out the tragedy.
THE LAST GOODBYE is a charming romance bundled in a compelling story about how to deal with grief. The relationship between Amma and her mother-in-law is very messy but very raw and real. I appreciated the contrast between Anna’s relationship with her parents and the one with her in-laws. True to real life, not every character got a neat happy ending, but I wouldn’t mind reading about Anna’s friend Gabi in a future book to see if things took a turn for the better in her love life. I hope to read more stories by Fiona Lucas in the future.
Poignant, hopeful, and full of emotional power, an unforgettable story in the vein of P.S. I Love You about two people learning to love again after great loss, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Josie Silver.
"A poignant and uplifting read about loss, love and learning to put yourself back together again after facing the unimaginable." —Sophie Cousens, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Next Year
How can you move on if you can’t let go?
Spencer was the love of Anna’s life: her husband, her best friend, her rock. She thought their love would last forever.
But three years ago, Spencer was tragically killed in an accident and Anna’s world was shattered. How can she ever move on, when she’s lost her soulmate?
On New Year’s Eve Anna calls Spencer’s phone number, just to hear his old voicemail greeting. But to her shock, someone answers…
Brody has inherited Spencer’s old number and is the first person who truly understands what Anna’s going through. As her and Brody’s phone calls become lengthier and more frequent, they begin opening up to each other—and slowly rediscover how to smile, how to laugh, even how to hope.
But Brody hasn’t been entirely honest with Anna. Will his secret threaten everything, just as it seems she might find the courage to love again?