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?
I was delighted to have had a chance to review another novel by Kathleen Shoop. She did not disappoint one bit with The Last Letter. It was something new and refreshing for me. I was ready for something set in the past. The things that the characters in the book were exposed to we are no longer exposed to those things. It was interesting to read what would have had to be done in order to survive. For instance buffalo chips, although the smell I’m sure was horrendous it most likely was nothing compared to the odor of the humans going days without being able to bathe.
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.