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The Last Goodbye is a poignant story of loss, grief, and moving on. The author has created an authentic, heartfelt portrayal of the grief experienced after the loss of a loved one. There really wasn’t one moment where it felt overdone. It was honest and heartbreaking and hopeful.
Spencer was Anna’s soulmate, the man that she wanted to start a family with, build a life with, but three years ago a tragic accident had stolen that life from them. Naturally, Anna struggled to move on. She knew in her heart that Spencer would want her to be happy and not spend her life wallowing, however, knowing it and actually doing it are very different.
After getting talked into attending a New Year’s Eve party, Anna left feeling guilty, lonely, and unready to get herself back out there in the social scene. Feeling bereft, Anna just wanted to hear Spencer’s voice again. When she called his cell phone, anticipating hearing his voice mail, she was shocked and unnerved to hear another man’s voice answer her call.
Anna was curious about the man on the other end of the line, though, and she ended up calling him again and again. Brody was a patient man, a good listener, and a man who was also hurting. He seemed to understand Anna’s grief and let her talk to him about how she was feeling and what she was going through. Even though Anna had a good support system with her best friend and her parents, sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger than it is to unload on the people that are closest to you.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the strained relationship between Anna and her mother-in-law. While Anna was invited to weekend luncheons with the rest of Spencer’s family, a get-together to reminisce about Spencer, his mother’s treatment of her was like feeling a knife to the stomach. A mother is never supposed to outlive a child, and I could feel her pain through the pages. She missed her son with all of her heart, and I felt for her, but her treatment of his widow was deplorable.
Anna and Brody developed a friendship, a reliance on one another. They looked forward to their phone calls. Their conversations provided compassion, understanding, and nonjudgmental dialogue. While Anna spoke freely about her situation, Brody wasn’t as forthcoming, carrying his own secrets.
I enjoyed the conversations that transpired between Anna and Brody. The development of their relationship was a much-needed salve for both of them. I wanted them to find peace in their lives, to let go of the pain that they each harbored, and to find solace in each other. Of course, I was waiting on pins and needles for the time when they would let down their guards and actually meet face-to-face, but I'm all about the anticipation.
The Last Goodbye was a compelling reading experience. Lucas handled the subject matter well, with all of the grace that it deserved.