Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Tour: The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop

A Father’s Deceit
A Husband’s Betrayal
A Loved One’s Death
A Mother’s Choice
A Daughter’s Resentment
A Time to Forgive

For every daughter who thinks she knows her mother’s story…

Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the last letter…

Katherine Arthur’s dying mother arrives on her doorstep, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie’s husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty — a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.

Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine’s world apart. Now, seventeen years later, Katherine has found the truth — she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it’s too late?

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My Review:

Every time I think I have read the best book by Kathleen Shoop, I read another one and am happily surprised. Her writing seems to just keep getting better. Her stories never fail to draw me in and make me lose myself for a while.

This book is, so far, my favorite of her books. The characters are so well written that you feel like you could just cross the street and sit with them for a bit. I really came to care for Jeanie and her family while reading this engaging story.

The only thing I didn't love about the book was that it jumped back and forth throughout the story from 1887 to 1905. While I found both parts of the story, Jeanie's and Katherine's, very interesting, it was distracting at first. Every time I felt like I was really getting into the book, it would shift again. This was only a small matter and doesn't change the fact that the story was wonderful.

Katherine is, at first, a cold seeming character. She has obviously been hurt by her mother and isn't willing to forgive her or even listen to her. Jeanie is dying and needs her forgiveness. We get to see what Jeanie was like when she was still a young mother and Katherine was little, as well as what Katherine is like when she is grown and caring for her ailing mother.

The story kept me very engaged. I loved reading about the family settling in, making a home, making friends. I really liked the first time Jeanie met Greta and they instantly became friends. I have a hard time meeting new people and making friends, but I have had that instant connection and they are the best and often the longest lasting ones.

I also really emotionally responded to Katherine and her reluctance to hear her mother out. Most of us can understand the feeling of betrayal and the difficulties of forgiving a loved one. Kathleen Shoop really knows how to write a story that draws on our emotions and makes us feel.

I recommend this to anyone that loves a well written book that has wonderfully real characters, interesting environments, and a great emotional story.

About the Author
A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Kathleen's debut novel, The Last Letter was garnered multiple awards in 2011.  Her second novel, After the Fog (Silver IPPY), was a category finalist in the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Her third novel, Love and Other Subjects, earned a Silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention from the San Francisco Book Festival. Recently, Kathleen has released the her first romance novella, Home Again (Book One). Book Two, a novel-length work in the Endless Love series called Return to Love, will be released in May, 2014. Books Two and Three in the historical fiction series that started with The Last Letter are nearly complete and should be released by fall, 2014.

Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


THREE Lucky Winners will each receive a $15 Amazon Giftcard,
courtesy of author of The Last Letter, Kathleen Shoop
Ending on Sunday 3rd August at 11.59pm EST
Open Worldwide

Enter  Below & Good Luck !!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Well said. I connected with it too.

  2. Such a beautiful read, quite emotional, loved this book!!

  3. Such a beautiful read and emotional, I absolutely loved it too.


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