Title: The Last Thing She Said
Author: Rachel Walkley
Genre: New Adult/ Women’s Fiction
Length: 282 pages
“Beware of a man named Frederick and his offer of marriage.”
Rose’s granddaughters, Rebecca, Leia and Naomi, have never taken her prophecies seriously. But now that Rose is dead, and Naomi has a new man in her life, should they take heed of this mysterious warning?
Naomi needs to master the art of performing. Rebecca rarely ventures out of her house. She’s afraid of what she might see. As for Rebecca’s twin, everyone admires Leia’s giant brain, but now the genius is on the verge of a breakdown.
Rebecca suspects Naomi’s new boyfriend is hiding something. She begs Leia, now living in the US, to investigate.
Leia’s search takes her to a remote farm in Ohio on the trail of the truth behind a tragic death.
Just who is Ethan? And what isn’t he telling Naomi?
In a story full of drama and mystery, the sisters discover there is more that connects them than they realize, and that only together can they discover exactly what’s behind Rose’s prophecy.
Available in the UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Thing-She-Said-ebook/dp/B07L2XFPPV
Also available in the US – https://www.amazon.com/Last-Thing-She-Said-ebook/dp/B07L2XFPPV
My Book Review:
The Last Thing She Said by Rachel Walkley is a fast paced and enjoyable book. Walkley’s plot is creative and well developed. As soon as I read her summary, I was hooked. I had to know what the story was about and how it would unfold. I’m a huge fan of fantasy and I enjoyed the fact that Walkley mixes just a dash of the fantastical with our modern world.
All of the characters in The Last Thing She Said are unique and well developed. I’m terrible with names and at first I was afraid that I would get the three sisters confused; however, it didn’t take me long to realize that Leia, Naomi, and Rebecca are all distinct individuals. Each sister has her unique gifts and foibles. I was entertained by their interactions and also impressed by the way they joined together in order to unravel a complex mystery.
The author does an excellent job of foreshadowing and attentive readers may be able to guess what turns the story is about to take; however, this only increased the satisfaction I felt when I reached the end of the book. Throughout the book I was suspicious of a certain character, but I was unsure how the author would knit the pieces together in order to make the narrative work. By the end of the book, I was left with a smile on my face and a satisfying conclusion.
The Last Thing She Said was a fun book that I had a great time reading it. I’m now interested to read Walkley’s second book, The Women of Heachley Hall.
I recommend this book for fans of quality Young Adult fiction who are interested in plot lines that deal with characters who in the early stages of adulthood. Something about Walkley’s writing style puts me in mind of Rainbow Powell, another popular author I enjoy reading,
Note: I received a free digital copy of this book from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Born in the East of England, Rachel has lived in big cities and small villages including London and Bristol, before settling in Cheshire.
For most of her working life, she’s been a scientist and librarian, and her love of creative writing has never ceased even when surrounded by technical reports and impenetrable patents. Among moments of mummy taxi, delving into museum archives, drawing pictures and flute playing, Rachel finds a little time to pen her magical mysteries.
Follow Rachel on Social Media!
Instagram @ raejcreations
One of my favorite aspects of writing a book blog is that it gives me the opportunity to talk to authors about their writing. I was very pleased that Rachel Walkley agreed to take time to chat with me about The Last Thing She Said, her writing process, and her upcoming projects.
Reverend Rebecca: One of my favourite aspects of The Last Thing She Said was your portrayal of Naomi’s passion for music. Like you and Naomi, I am also a flutist. I really enjoyed how you were able to so vividly bring the experience of performing music to life. I know that it can be challenging to depict music in writing because writing is a silent medium without any sound. What tips do you have for other authors who want to capture the beauty of music on the printed page?
Rachel Walkley: I surprised myself with this, as I’d not anticipated how important music would become to the book. I’ve read Vikram Seth’s An Unequal Music about a violinist, and homed in on the emotional responses of the characters, rather than the sounds, which is why in my book I didn’t refer much to the music itself, with the exception of one popular piece. I drew on my personal recollection of seeing James Galway perform and I recalled his dancing eyes. I would suggest exploring how music makes you feel, both as a listener and a player, if you’re one. Capture the physical aspects too – breathing, movement and the connection with the audience. Is your musician nervous, excited, at the peak of their abilities, or still learning? The beauty of music is how it makes somebody feel, rather than the actual notes on the page.
RR: Another one of my favourite aspects about your work was your portrayal of female relationships. I’ve never had sisters but reading The Last Thing She Said helped me imagine what it would be like to have siblings. How do you bring relationships, especially complicated family relationships, to life without being overly dramatic or sensational?
RW: I don’t have sisters either, but I do have daughters. They’re still young and sometimes they are good friends, and other times they like to be apart from each other. The expression ‘chalk and cheese’ came to mind, and I used this metaphor throughout the book. They say opposites attract, so I think it’s entirely possible to be noticeably different to your sibling in personality, and yet able to form strong bonds. The best approach I would suggest is to focus on little things, and not the big dramas of sibling rivalry or jealousy. Treat them like friends who rarely see each other and consequently, they don’t always know each other that well.
RR: In The Last Thing She Said, the setting moves seamlessly between England and Ohio. I grew up in Pennsylvania (a state which borders Ohio) and I was surprised at how authentic your descriptions were of the east coast. Did you take any research trips in order to prepare to write The Last Thing She Said?
RW: I would love to visit Ohio, but sadly, I haven’t had the opportunity. I have visited the States a few times, including New England and the West Coast states, but in doing so I realise that the USA is huge and very varied, so I relied on good old Google, especially street maps – I walked a few streets to get a feel for the towns portrayed – and researched the farming aspect of Ohio to create some realism. I also asked an American friend to read the chapters and check the American dialogue for ‘British expressions’.
RR: What was the most challenging thing about writing The Last Thing She Said? What was most rewarding about writing this novel?
RW: The biggest challenge: writing three voices, keeping them separate in my mind and maintaining the plot threads at the same time. I initially wrote each sister separately, one after the other, then as their storylines collided, I moved into a more traditional linear narrative for the last third of the book. The rewards came with the minor characters. I wanted Rose, the grandmother, to have a voice, too, so I created separate stories for her to tell. Bringing somebody “back from the dead” is something of a feature of my books. I might be doing the same for the next one!
RR: I really enjoyed spending time with Leah, Rebecca, and Naomi. Are you considering writing a sequel in order to continue their adventures? Also, what creative projects are you currently pursuing?
RW: I’ve no plans to write a sequel – I think the sisters are happy where I left them. I do have rough manuscripts for a Crime series that will feature repeat characters, and darker storylines that will explore ‘family secrets’ linked to criminal activities. The next Women’s Fiction project is based in Lincoln Castle where a juror starts hearing more than the evidence presented in court and begins to believe somebody from the past is speaking to her.
The author is giving away a free copy of her book, The Women of Heachley Hall (Open Internationally)
If the winner is from UK, it will be a print copy. International winner will be a digital copy.
CLICK HERE to find out more!
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.
A big thank you to the author and to @rararesources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour!
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