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January 11, 2022

The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


A community’s past sins rise to the surface. The Last House on the Street when two women, a generation apart, find themselves bound by tragedy and an unsolved, decades-old mystery.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Last House on the Street
January 2022;  ‎ St. Martin's Press; 978-1250267962
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); southern fiction

As with all of Diane Chamberlain's books, you need to clear your calendar before you start this book because you won't want to put it down until the end.  Every book she writes becomes my new favorite but since I've given five star reviews to her last five books, she has become a 'must-read' author.

This novel takes place in Round Hill, North Carolina, and is filled with characters who are so well written that I  felt like I knew them.  This is a dual timeline story with threads in 1969 and 2010.  As the threads began to intersect seamlessly there are still stunning revelations that help wrap up the story.

1965 - Ellie lives in Round Hill with her parents and her brother. Her father is a pharmacist and expects her to work with him during her summer break from the University of NC.  She shocks her family and her best friend, Brenda, when she decides to work for SCOPE (Summer Community Organization and Political Education.  1965-66. This group was filled with mostly northern college students who were working to help blacks in the South get registered to vote)  Her family and her boyfriend were not happy with this decision and couldn't really understand WHY she wanted to spend her summer this way.  She was one of the few Southerners in the group and when the Ku Klux Klan got involved, her life was in danger.  She was strong enough in her beliefs of equality, that she continued working with her small group.  She fell in love with one of the Black students from a northern college which shocked her parents and the local Klan membership.  After a tragic event, she left NC and moved to California.
2010 - Kayla, her husband, and her young daughter have built their dream house.  When her husband is killed in a construction project, she isn't sure that she wants to move into the new house because his memory exists all over the house.  After a stranger threatens her about moving into the house, she is frightened to move but her new friendship with Ellie, who has moved back to take care of her brother and mother helps her make the move.  The end of the story brought a revelation that I didn't see coming but was an absolutely perfect way to end this book.

This is a novel about family, prejudice, and violence that didn't end in 1965 but still happens today.  Thanks to Diane Chamberlain for another fantastic novel that I won't forget.



Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.



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