Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Monday, June 20, 2011

Book Review - The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop - Summer Reading Challenge Week Three

This week's book in the Summer Reading Challenge, sponsored by the fabulous publicists at BookSparksPR, is "The Last Letter" by Kathleen Shoop.

 About The Book:

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?

I was absolutely mesmerized by this moving novel.

 Told through the voices of Katherine, the daughter, and Jeanie, the mother - the women weave the tale of their family's hardships and travails on the untamed plains of the Dakota Territory in the late 1800s. Through sheer courage and immense bravery, they withstood unimaginable tragedy and seemingly insurmountable obstacles to survive. But secrets held close in order to protect would later come back to nearly tear the family apart. But the discovery of a long lost letter would bring clarity and resolution to the pain and heartache the women had endured for years.

Kathleen Shoop, in her debut novel, has crafted a beautifully written novel that will captivate readers. Evoking the strong emotions that are often found in mother/daughter relationships, Shoop mixes the heartwarming closeness of family with the heartwrenching pain of betrayal to present a story that will resonate fans of exquisite literature. I look forward to seeing more work from this talented author.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction with a western flair. 

About The Author:

Kathleen Shoop is a Language Arts Coach with a PhD in Reading Education. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two children. Kathleen has published stories in four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, writes regularly in Pittsburgh Magazine and has contributed articles to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. The Last Letter is her debut novel. 

Check out her website at http://kathieshoop.bigbigweb.com/ for more information on "The Last Letter" and upcoming projects.


The 2011 Summer Reading Challenge is on!

The gals at BookSparks PR, Little Bird Publicity and Get Red PR, have partnered to bring readers the 15 hottest books of the summer.

Each week, I will highlight a new book that is being featured on the Reading Challenge. Each week there will be great opportunities to win fabulous prizes, connect with your favorite authors and meet other book lovers. For more information, visit the Summer Reading Challenge page and register.

Thanks to BookSparks PR and the author for the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

1 comment:

Anti-Drug Reads said...

I haven't heard of this one before. Thanks for sharing! Don't be a stranger; stop by my blog and say hi! I'm not sure if we're fellow followers, but I follow you!

Looking forward to hearing back from you,
Cory @ Anti-Drug Reads