Last One Home
Surviving Pearl Harbor and WWII
by Shari J. Ryan
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 22 Mar 2021 | Archive Date 15 Aug 2021
From the author of Last Words, USA Today Bestselling Author Shari J. Ryan brings readers a new, unforgettable novel. Last One Home was inspired by true events of the attack on Pearl Harbor and World War II.
AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
Piercing sirens led to cries for help. The pungent scents of burning oil would be seared into our memories forever, and the meaning behind loss was incomprehensible on that infamous day in history.
Twenty-year-old Elizabeth Salzberg, a nursing student and strong-willed Jewish woman, lived under the strict guidance of her father, a naval commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Oahu, Hawaii. For the five years following her mother's untimely death, Elizabeth had struggled to abide by society's expectations of a woman's duties. While spending her days preparing meals and keeping a clean house for her father and brothers, Elizabeth desired a more profound sense of worth and purpose in life.
Elizabeth's dream of escaping the rigorous daily grind was drifting out to sea just before her unexpected encounter with the new handsome lieutenant on base. Everett Anderson, a former Hollywood actor who put his career on hold to serve in the Army is the talk of the town as women gossip over his arrival. Despite the attention, Everett fell for Elizabeth at first sight, but unbeknownst to him, she was the commander's daughter and off-limits to all servicemen on base.
On the morning of December 7th, 1941, a forbidden romance was the least of Elizabeth and Everett's worries when they found themselves fearing for their lives as they dropped to the ground beneath the air attack that would wipe out the U.S. Fleet within hours.
Elizabeth saw this pivotal moment as a turning point in her life. An opportunity to join the Army Nurse Corps was the purpose she had been seeking. She knew the country needed her services. This path was in resistance to her father's wishes and would likely disrupt any future plans between her and Everett, but despite the internal battle to make a life-altering decision, Elizabeth felt an overwhelming need to prove her strength as a coming of age woman at a time when equality was more important than ever.
Could Elizabeth and Everett survive the bloodshed and tears of war, or would one have to come home without the other?
"Last One Home is a spectacular story that will take you back to a heartbreaking time where extraordinary people stepped up and made a difference against all odds. This book may take you on a journey of devastation, heartbreak and fear, but it will also show you so much courage, strength and resiliency. Everett and Lizzie are a breath of fresh air right from the start, and their love story is woven through the pages to help keep hope and faith swirling as they face the unthinkable. If you don’t feel every emotion reading this book and the breathtaking way it was written, I would be shocked. Shari Ryan has out done herself with this amazing story. She reminds us of the important things in life and not taking them for granted and standing up for what you believe in. It doesn’t matter if your “the last one home” as long as you make it home!!!!" —Tracey, Life Reads With Friends
"Last One Home is a riveting and captivating story of grit, faith, love, family, and survival - one woman's strength and love carrying her through the darkness of World War II." —Heather, Early Reader
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 63 members
Such an amazing and well thought out story! The author vividly describes the happenings after Pearl Harbor was bombed and the happenings on the hospital ship as Elizabeth worked to help save lives immediately after the bombings. I did not want to put this book down to tend to the necessities of life, one thing being sleep. As I read, I felt I was right there with Elizabeth and the sick and dying she tended in various area of Europe during WW II, and going through her struggles along with her. Many parts of the book are emotional, and keeping a tissue close by is a good idea. If you are a WW II history buff, or a fan of historical fiction, do not miss this book. I received an arc of this book from NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
This is an emotional roller coaster of a book! I liked our characters and their love story. This book definitely made me cry, keep the tissues handy. There are so many things I could say, but I am still kind of reeling from reading this one. Thanks NetGalley for this ARC!
Twenty-year-old Elizabeth Salzberg, a nursing student and strong-willed Jewish woman, lived under the strict guidance of her father, a naval commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Oahu, Hawaii. She spends her days keeping a clean home and making meals for her father. This was a really great story set in WWll. I absolutely loved this story and going on this journey with Elizabeth was breathtaking. This book about family, faith and love is a great one. Any one who loves a good story set in this time will fall in love with this book
This was such a wonderful read! I haven't read a historical fiction that's kept me on the edge of my seat reading, like this one did, in a while. The characters were all well thought out and developed, the time jumps weren't ever confusing or disorientating and the writing was so vivid, I felt as if I was really there. Ryan does a remarkable job of pulling the emotions out of you as you read, this was an entertaining read from start to finish, one that I'm grateful to have experienced. A must read for historical fiction fans!
From start to finish, I absolutely loved this book. My only disappointment was when I came to the last page and the story of Elizabeth Salzburg had come to an end. Someone In Hollywood should snap up the rights to this because it would make a great movie! We start off by meeting an elderly Elizabeth whose memory is fading. While her long term is still on point, her short one is not so when her grandson in law comes by asking questions about her her service during Pearl Harbor and WWII...she is able to recount in great detail what life was like for her and why she made the choices she made. We begin her journey as she’s winding down her nursing studies. She’s under the watchful eye of her naval commander father and even a trip to the beach is met with an escort home. When she meets the handsome Everett Anderson, she discovers her one true love and the person she wants to spend forever with. But...then the Japanese bomb Pearl and while her love for Everett is never going to go away...she also has this need to be something and do something bigger than herself so she enlists in the Army Nurses Corp. Before she deploys, she finds out that Everett’s deployment is not far behind hers and they promise each other to live for the day and they will find their way back to each other one day. Elizabeth goes above and beyond her call of duty as a nurse on the front lines and sees things that will scar her forever but she’s determined to help as many people as she can before she comes home. What I love about this story is that it’s written in first person. I feel a deeper connection because I can see things from their point of view and the pictures that Elizabeth paints are so vivid and memorable, it’s as if you’re right there walking beside her. You want to feel what she feels and you can and do. I also love that this is yet another perspective of WWII that I haven’t read much about....a nurses for one but also from someone who experienced Pearl Harbor and then made their way to Europe. What a great read!! Thank you NetGalley and Shari Ryan for early access to this gem of a book. I think I’ll keep it in my back pocket for a while because Elizabeth strength and bravery are so inspirational!
This beautiful book was so easy to fall for and in love with. Told in first person (my favourite!) in a dual timeline (love!) by an independent and compassionate woman who served as a nurse in WWII, it really tugged at my heart and pulled me in immediately. The story is gentle in ways yet does not skim over the awful realities of Pearl Harbour and other areas during WWII. Though the story revolves around the war, the themes of love, family, faith, perseverance and hope really shine through. Elizabeth Salzberg is tended by a personal carer. She has trouble remembering things but does have vivid memories of her life as a young woman. She reflects back to those years when she trained as a nurse in Hawaii where she lived on a base with her father and brothers and then worked in the war effort as her desire to contribute was incredibly strong. Her mother had done the same before she died five years previously and her father served as a naval commander. It was in her blood. At first it seemed they were far removed from war...until Pearl Harbour was suddenly attacked. Lizzie steps into the thick of things. So does Everett Anderson, the atypical Hollywood star who had become a lieutenant. Through the book we see how the war affects them and their country as well as later on. Poignant, sobering and lovely. That ending! Several quotes in the book stick with me. My favourite is by her beloved mother who obviously served with a willing spirit, "My life matters less" which is a fantastic reminder. Hopefully this author writes more! My sincere thank you to Shari Ryan and NetGalley for the privilege of reading an ARC of this remarkable book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Historical fiction is my favorite genre so I was so excited to read this one! I love that the story is centered on Pearl Harbor, an important piece of history that I often don’t read about. This was a quick, fun read I couldn’t put down. The narrative around Everett and Elizabeth had me turning pages so fast, eager to see the destiny of their relationship. I love this one and will be recommending to all historical fictional fans.
I throughly enjoyed this book. Set during the attack on Pearl Harbour it was interesting as well as harrowing in its description. As I was reading I kept getting pictures in my head of the film of the same name. This book also has a dual time-line which I love. I do enjoy books like this. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
The last one is the strongest An outstanding story of everlasting love during the devastating times of WWII. A story of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese and the brave military that worked courageously to save lives amid the bombing. This is a story of one such nurse Elizabeth, the commander's daughter. Her family, friends and her career in the Army Nurse Corps. The story of her time in Europe during the war and most of all her undying love for a pilot named Everett. In her later years her granddaughter's husband Daniel asks her to tell the story of her time during the war. The story is the essence of this book. The book gives a sad but very descriptive description of the horrors of war. The injuries suffered, and the trauma caused by it not only by the injured, but by the nurses caring for them. The descriptions of Hawaii before, during, and after the attack on Pearl Harbor are so vivid as to give a glimpse to the person reading the story as if they are living the sights and sounds. This was a good book about a horrific time in history, but it is more so about the bravery, courage and fortitude of those involved in the fighting of this war and especially the nurses. I enjoyed reading this book, and I would highly recommend it. Thanks to Shari J. Ryan and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an advanced copy of the book.
Shari Ryan has created a timeless plot and character driven book that will leave you feeling all the emotions. I was fully immersed in this book-as in I had tears streaming down my cheeks into my face mask while flying at 30,000 feet. The other passengers were so kind not to give me looks (although they may have and I just did not notice). This book will make you feel love, loyalty, indignation, sorrow, and exhaustion. Shari Ryan brings you through each page with each character/event and my heart was right alongside the story in the margin. This book was unlike any WWII story I have read. It is from the perspective of American's role in the war, specifically the brave nurses. Beautifully written and I predict this will be a very popular book for 2021.
5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Historical fiction as become one of my favorite genres, especially WIII books even though they can be so emotional and hard to read. I have a list of all time favorites: The Nightingale (Kristin Hannah), The Flight Girls (Nowlle Salazar) and Our Darkest Night (Jennifer Robson) just to name a few. Well now I will be adding The Last One Home to that list!!! I loved everything about this book. Being that we visited Pearl Harbor in 2013, I am extremely interested in books that focus on the attack of Pearl Harbor. After standing there and seeing the destruction in person, it’s something that you can’t even imagine going through. This author did such a remarkable job describing the attack. There were many times I had tears in my eyes as I read this book. And the love story between Lizzie and Everett was so beautifully written. This book will stay with me for a long time and I’m sure it will end up being one of my top favorites of 2021. Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. To see my other reviews check out my Instagram and Goodreads accounts: *Instagram - bookworm_traveler808 *Goodreads - Cherihy808
I absolutely loved this book! The time slips were amazingly done and I felt like I was right there. The characters were well done and the story was woven with the perfect mix of actual facts/events and fiction. The ending was perfect. Definitely, a must-read.
Shari Ryan has certainly found her sweet spot in writing about life in the 1940's. Last One Home is a great addition to her collection of historical love stories, each rich with detail and experiences. And she certainly doesn't hold back when it comes to the headstrong Lizzie and the world we get to witness through her eyes as the events of Pearl Harbor come bursting through the pages of this book. Even with a present day Lizzie struggling with her daily memory, I truly appreciated that her adoration for a time many years in the past was still as fresh as ever and could be relayed as if time stood still. There is much to cherish about this story, wherein a determined 20 year old Lizzie decides to enlist in the Army Nurses Corps after the horrific aftermath of December 7th. I loved her spirit and her push knowing there was so much more for her in this world than just being the sole woman in her male-dominated household. It was so appropriate to continually want to follow in her dear departed mother's footsteps, using her capable hands for more than just fixing a satisfying supper for her strong-willed father and jovial twin brothers. The romance between Lizzie and one Everett Anderson is truly sweet and full of mirth. Even with 4 years of wartime, and despite the distance between them, a lovely feeling of hope always seems to break through the dire days and lonely nights. Perhaps it's the time period but their love seems to know no bounds and despite all the stops and starts, there is an ease in simply being together no matter how brief their time may be. Ryan described the events that happened that dark day in Oahu very vividly. You could smell the oil, feel the flames and grasp the intensity of what those brave men and women experienced. Ryan has a gift for relaying both times of pain with those of joy beautifully and it always adds a special element to her work. I feel as if I am there amongst the mayhem, by their sides in the frightening quiet and smiling broadly when the little glimpses of happy find a way to be known. The secondary characters add the right amount of support and even some resistance when needed. Although I would have loved just a little bit more of some of them as the book neared its end, I was pleased overall at how their lives played out. Last One Home is a precious diary of sorts that unfolds through each chapter, with the feisty Lizzie as our narrator. Getting this glimpse of a time that will forever live in infamy was definitely eye-opening and gave me some insight into my own father's experiences as a member of the Army Air Corps during WWII. I will say that I would have hoped for a chapter or two in Everett's POV since his own story was as riveting and gut-wrenching as Lizzie's was. But I'm satisfied in knowing they did everything possible to find a way back to each other and whether or not they find that ultimate reward is something each reader needs to discover for themselves. 4 swell stars!
Thoughts Elizabeth is training to become a nurse on a naval base in Oahu, Hawaii when she meets movie star turned Army lieutenant, Everett Anderson. She tries her hardest to stay away because of her fathers strict rules on dating and everything else in her life, but it becomes too much. When the attack begins on Pearl Harbor Everett and Elizabeth work together to save as many as they can, but they end up separating to do their jobs. Shortly after Elizabeth enlists with the Army Nurse Corps and travels all over the world. Everett is also traveling which makes it harder to stay in touch. This is a story of love, bravery and fighting for what you believe in. There were so many times I found myself holding my breath when reading especially when Elizabeth was in the hospital after the attack. I loved how her character is portrayed. A strong and independent woman who does not give up on her dreams when she falls in love. The chapters alternate between October 2018 and 1941-1945 so we get to read about Elizabeth as a young nurse and as a mom/grandma/wife. While she can't always remember who people are in present day, she never forgot Everett. Thank you to the publisher and author for sending this page turner my way. Last One Home is available today! Book Rating: 4/5 Wine Pairing: Shannon Reserve Chardonnay
I thought I was prepared for where this book would take me. I’ve read other books by the author; I know that she’s always going to take me on an emotionally fraught journey. Yet none of that preparation braced me for the impact of this story. This felt like one part Pearl Harbor, one part Schindler’s List, and all the uniquely Shari J Ryan flair to tie it all together. My book hangover at the end of this one is going to take hours, possibly even days, to recover from what I just went through. Take this as the warning it’s meant to be and keep boxes of tissues handy; I can barely see now because I spent so much of the book in tears. I cried because my heart hurt. I cried in joy. I cried because I was laughing so hard. It’s also possible that I may be a little dehydrated now that I’m finished reading it. Even though it asked so much of me while reading it, I will not hesitate to go back and read it over and over again. I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book from the author through NetGalley.
Gosh...what an emotional story. The attack on Pearl Harbor has been memorialized time after time. This book takes you right to the heart of the time period and is an emotional roller coaster. Love, loss, and despair, paired with elation. What a combination. I'm not generally a fan of the first person narrative, but I don't know how this story could have been told any other way. When she is in the present time discussing her time during the war to her 'grandson', she slips seamlessly into the past and we're right there with her. You could FEEL the scenes she was talking about. This is a particularly heart wrenching tale for me. I lost a great-uncle in the South China Sea. He had been married only about 4 months when he shipped out to the Pacific Theater and was lost on his first mission as the co-pilot of a B-17. His wife, never remarried. He was the love of her life. I've recently been able to talk to her about my great-uncle and I wish I had the ability to put pen to paper and tell their story. I've never read a book by Ms. Ryan before, but I will be sure to add her stories to my list! I'm still thinking about these characters and tearing up. So good! I was gifted a pre-publication copy by NetGalley. The review is my own.
Last One Home is quite uniquely told in a vivid and descriptive fashion. Pure and simple, I loved this story more than my words can express. From beginning to end, this book is filled with poignant passages that will forever be etched in my heart and soul. Ryan is a gifted storyteller. She paints an extraordinary picture of this historical time period, the 1940’s. The manner in which she describes the bombing of Pearl Harbor and WWII overall, you feel you are sharing the experience with the characters. It’s worth noting the central focus is on the lead character, Elizabeth also known as Lizzie. We learn early on she desires more than comfortable lifestyle of a 1940’s housewife. She wants to experience more from life and see the world. Enlisting in the Army Nurse Corp was her hope to fulfill that dream. This is written in a dual timeline. We are taken back to the 1940’s when Lizzie had her whole life and dreams ahead of her from the current year of 2018 where she struggles to remember those dreams. The support characters, Everett (the love of Lizzie’s life), her father, brothers, deceased mother and her best friend to name a few add a wonderful richness to the story. I can’t say enough about this book. You’ll want to experience it for yourself. 5 Last One Home Stars! Thank you to Shari J. Ryan, NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced reading opportunity.
As an elder Elizabeth recalls the events leading up to Pearl Harbor with her grandson Daniel, she can't help but feel at ease with him even though she has no memory of who he is. Despite her dementia she has no problem remembering the tragic actions that took place on that historic day. A nurse in training on base and taking care of her father and older twin brothers since her mother past away, Lizzie is thrown for a loop when she attracts the attention of Everett. They start meeting in secret, away from the prying eyes of her brothers and strict father, who is the Commander on base. It's during this time they unknowingly are thrust into the horrific events of that day. What Lizzie sees and experiences gives her great inner strength to continue helping others in this war despite the protests of Everett and her father. Years pass as Lizzie enlists to be a nurse for the army, taking her far away from Oahu and to dangerous places. With Everett on active duty as well, fate has them meet time and again as they continue to explore their feelings for each other. Being apart with every passing day Lizzie wonders when she will see him again when tragedy strikes, and she is left wondering how will all this end and who will be the last one home? I thought the author did a great job describing as a nurse what Lizzie had to encounter with the injured. The long distance relationship through many years overcame hurdles and proved their love and faith in each other withstands the test of time. A great story and I look forward to reading more from this author. Thank you Netgalley and Shari J. Ryan for the opportunity to read this book.
Thank you to the author & publisher for my advance copy of this book. Last One Home is the story of 21 year old Elizabeth; a trainee nurse who was a first hand witness and heroine during the WWII Pearl Harbor attack. What I loved most about this story was Elizabeth’s strong sense of identity & courage. I wasn’t sure how this was going to play out as the book continued but it really kept me guessing, particularly in the last few chapters. Elizabeth is the woman every female strives to emulate. She has is fiercely independent, loyal and brave. I found the family dynamics interesting and enjoyed seeing how the author rounded this up at the end with the switch to present day life.
This novel was given to me as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This story of WWII and the effects of Pearl Harbor explores, love, family, friendship, war and survival.
Elizabeth is a woman training to be a nurse. Then Pearl Harbor happens and her whole world is turning upside. Will she survive or parish? Everett was a holiday actor who decided he needed to serve his country. How would Pearl Harbor change his life? Would they ever be together
Last One Home by Shari J. Ryan. A very touching and emotional historical fiction story (one you will need kleenexes for). I loved the love story of Elizabeth Salzburg and Everett. Especially when he tells her he will be waiting in the clouds on top of that crazy flying elephant. Many many beautiful descriptions. So beautiful. *******
This one started out just a tad slow for me, but then I turned the page and I was hooked. I believe the turning point was Pearl Harbor. The story of the bombings was told in graphic detail so much so that you could imagine you were there. You felt the worry the residents were experiencing, the fear and the terror. Then I was snapped up by a story of coming home and what that meant. You will navigate from the events of WWII to a modern-day timeline where you again experience the anguish of a different sort. Ms. Ryan has told a wonderful story from a little different perspective than most WWII historical fiction novels.
This is such a beautiful, powerful, and emotional story. Elizabeth is a nursing student on a naval base in Oahu, Hawaii. She has lived a sheltered life under the strict and watchful eye of her father who is the commander of the base. She lost her mother suddenly a few years ago and she wants to follow in her brave and compassionate footsteps. When she has an awkward and hilarious meet cute with a movie star, Everett, who has joined the armed forces, they are instantly attracted to each other. But her father forbids her to see Everett. They find ways to spend time together and soon fall in love. They start to make plans together, until the attack on pearl harbor changes everything. They both are sent to different parts of the world, putting both their lives at risk. They try to stay in touch with letters, but when the letters stop, and the unforgiving bloodshed of war begins to take it's toll, will they ever find their way back to each other? This powerful and breathtaking story takes you from past to present and to different parts of the war torn globe. It is a poignant journey that is so heartbreaking, and I was completely riveted, with my heart racing from beginning to end. It is filled with heartfelt emotions, from laughter to loss, horror to joy, and everything in between. Elizabeth was so strong, independant, and compassionate and Everett was so perfect for her, supporting her decisions even when he wanted to protect her. This historical romance will touch your soul and take your breath away. It is the kind of story I love to read, and I loved every moment of this beautiful, raw and emotional journey!
a gripping story based on the true events of Pearl Harbour and the war that followed. A young nurse and a fighter pilot boy friend, this book covers their struggles, being moved away from home to serve their country not knowing if the other was still alive. And the horrible world they see in Europe.. You are kept wondering and hoping for survival, and being able to return home to some sort of life together..
Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy of Last One Home in exchange for an honest review. This book was one of the best that I have read in quite some time. From the first page to the last, it drew me in and had me feeling all sorts of emotions. There are so many aspects of the book that I enjoyed. I appreciate that the plot consisted of Lizzie’s experiences in the Army Nurse Corp during WW2. I have never read or truly learned anything about this field, so I found it very intriguing, not mention important in highlighting women’s contributions to the war effort. I also found Lizzie’s graphic and detailed observations regarding the attack on Pearl Harbor to be absolutely devastating, yet pivotal to fully understanding the historical significance of that day. Lastly, I could feel the connection that Lizzie had with her family and Everett, both in present day and the past. It was as if her thoughts and feelings were jumping off the page, causing me to physically feel every emotion that she went through. The only critique I have is that some of the conversations between characters were a little long-winded and unrealistic, but that’s also the beauty of historical fiction. Overall, this book was phenomenal, not only due to its historical aspect, but also due to its relatable components regarding love, loss, and creating one’s own path.
Well-written historical fiction, that alternated between two timelines smoothly. I was hooked from the beginning sentence; I can guarantee the reader will want to travel to Hawaii after reading this one! ** I received a digital copy from Netgalley in return for an honest review. All opinions are strictly my own.**
I really enjoyed reading this book. This book takes place in Hawaii right before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The story centers around Lizzie, her twin brothers, her dad who is commander of the U. S. Pacific fleet in Oahu, and her boyfriend named Everett. Everett is a Hollywood Star who has enlisted in the army. Lizzie’s father does not trust him at first and forbids her to continue seeing him or any other man on the base. But in the meantime, a romance develops between Lizzie and Everett despite her father’s strict orders. Everything changes with the bombing of Pear Harbor in 1941. Lizzie knows there is more to life outside of Hawaii and decides to join the Army Nurse Corps. She has a great desire to help the wounded soldiers who are fighting for her freedom. Lizzie and Everettt end up being sent to training in different parts of the United States but this story follows their struggles and hardships throughout. This book kept my attention throughout, I enjoyed reading about Pearl Harbor and various events that happened afterwards as well. Thank you Net Galley for an advanced preview of this book. I would highly recommend it.
Shari Ryan transported me back to the 1940s in her recent historical fiction novel, “Last One Home.” Elizabeth Salzberg is a Jewish nursing student who has an overwhelming urge to prove her strength at a time in history when equality was more important than ever. Overprotected, being the only daughter of the naval commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Oahu, Hawaii, Elizabeth is out to prove that she’s just as good as her brothers and can follow her dreams of joining the Army Nurse Corps. Her father, a widow, wants to control every aspect of her life and Elizabeth pushes the line every chance she gets. Nothing tests the boundaries more than a new pilot on the base, a Hollywood actor, who catches Elizabeth’s attention. When Pearl Harbour is bombed on December 7, 1941, keeping her forbidden romance a secret is the least of her worries. It’s obvious that Ryan is an accomplished writer. I didn’t need to know that this was her 30th novel; her writing speaks for itself. In choosing the perspective for this historical novel, Ryan chose the first-person point of view. I love this perspective for historical fiction novels as it allows me to place myself inside the character as I read. I agree with Ryan – it is more authentic. In addition to the POV, the language used allowed me to slip back to the 1940s. The “doll face” and “kitchenette set” are reflective speech of this period. The romance, the emotion that goes with it, and the way the sweethearts communicated with each other is also representative of the times. It was an eye-opener for me to see how far society has come in the past 80 years. This is a must-read for historical fiction lovers! Place yourself in the 1940s and see how you’d live through the experience. I was gifted this copy by Shari J. Ryan and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
‘Last One Home 👩⚕️👨✈️ 💕’ by Shari J Ryan 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5/5. . Wow wow wow what a book 🤩🤩🤩 I haven’t read many historical fiction but one of my favourite films is Pearl Harbour so you can see how this one appealed to me! I don’t think any words will do this book justice, it was powerful, emotional, breathtaking and just absolutely beautiful. The author describes the attack on Pearl Harbour so vividly that you feel as if you are there and experiencing the attack alongside Lizzie & Everett. I adored the love story side of the book and the struggles Lizzie & Everett went through to be together. The author opened my eyes to relationships during this time, writing letters back and forth from different naval camps and unsure as to when you would hear from your partner again or if they would even still be alive. It was touching and heartbreaking at the same time! As a reader you kept intrigued and wishing for a happy ending, with both of them surviving and returning home to spend the rest of their lives together. Lizzie was my favourite character and the author done incredibly well with showing how strong and independent she was. She was proud of her Jewish routes and even though it was incredibly dangerous for her to be in certain countries, it didn’t stop her from doing her job and helping the wounded. A must read for historical fiction lovers! 📚💗 . Thanks to @netgalley and @authorsharijryan for the free copy in exchange for an honest review!
I almost didn't request it because it was past the publication date, but I am so glad I did. It covers part of WWII that historical novels don't typically focus on - Pearl Harbor and the Army Nurses Corp. I loved reading this and was thoroughly enthralled in Lizzie and Everett's story. Rich in history and emotion it was a beautiful tribute to the Army Nurses Corp and the sacrifices they made to care for the soldiers. It was 100% clean and great to read.
This novel left me breathless, wanting more. The plot, characters, narrative, setting just brought the story to life. I don't think there are any adjectives, other than breathtaking to describe this novel. Ten worthy stars.
Last One Home By Shari J. Ryan Last One Home is a beautifully told historical fiction story that surrounds what happened that day on December 7th, 1941 in Pearl Harbor, which President Roosevelt said "was a date which will live in infamy" as Oahu was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. I love reading about characters that are nurses or in the medical field, so this story right away piqued my interest and I was glad to have read this gem. The story is focused on a twenty year old Jewish woman named Elizabeth Salzberg, a nursing student and whose father is the naval commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Oahu, Hawaii. As the daughter of the commander, everyone knows that Elizabeth is off limits to the men in the base, but that did not stop Lieutenant Everett Anderson, a former Hollywood actor who chose to serve in the army, from following his heart. Elizabeth and Everett's attraction is unmistakable and soon they engage in a secret relationship. However, the attacks on Pearl Harbor changed their focus and Elizabeth took the opportunity to join the Army Nurse Corp to answer her calling and find purpose against society's expectations of a woman's role and her father's wishes. What comes next is a heartbreaking and heart wrenching story of the courageous acts of the service men and women during that time. I enjoyed the immersive storytelling and writing style. I was deeply invested in the characters and having the attacks in Pearl Harbor as the pivotal point of the story, was brilliant and something I have not read before and that really interested me. I had the opportunity to visited Oahu on Feb 2020 just before the start of the pandemic and really interested in that historical aspect of the time. I loved learning about the life in the base, the Army Nurse Corp, and the role of women in that time period. I thought it was deftly written that deeply engrossed me into this story. I highly recommend this book for historical fiction fans. This is a must read.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Last One Home' by Shari J Ryan. Unlike some historical fiction, the transition between past and present in the Last One Home felt seamless and left me wanting to read more, rather than confused, disorientated and misguided as I have felt with other books. I am guilty of often skim reading paragraphs that I find 'too descriptive' however the descriptions of places, feelings and smells used by Ryan left vivid and engaging images in my head. The Last One Home was difficult to put down and is the first book in a long time that I've stayed up late on a work night to finish, desperate to know how the Lizzie's story ends. Without giving away any spoilers, I often felt conflicted as to what I wished Lizzie to do, follow her dreams or follow her heart?
From start to finish, this was a roller coaster of a book. I loved the characters, their story along with the family members. The strength in which they overcame situations and dealt will all of the time apart was inspiring. I'm not sure how well people today could deal with going through the same thing. This is a side of Pearl Harbor I haven't read nearly enough about but look forward to reading more.
Last One Home by Shari J. Ryan is an engrossing historical fiction book which highlights life prior to and in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It also moves to the European front throughout the war years. The heroine, Elizabeth Salzburg, is twenty year old woman who cares for her father and two brothers who are fully entrenched in military life, Her father is a captain and much respected on their island. Elizabeth pushes the boundaries and finds an independent purpose in nursing and also a love interest in Everett. Both are pursuits her father would prefer were not undertaken by his daughter. The story is told in flashbacks to Elizabeth as a young woman and an older woman struggling with dementia. Some events are in real time and others are related by the older Elizabeth to her family member. The older Elizabeth can not remember the present but her past is crystal clear. I learned much about the true heroism of nurses in WWII. Elizabeth joins the Army Nurse Corps and even her modest retelling can not hide the true nature of the brave feats she undertook on behalf of others. It also provided a backstory to Pearl Harbor and the true devastation by the Japanese that was felt long after that fateful Sunday 12/7 morning, Detailed and thoughtful characterization is done expertly by Ryan. The minor characters are also expertly woven throughout . We learn the backstories of both Elizabeth and Everett. The very real terror of this time period was made apparent. The bravery exhibited by nurses, paratroopers and others to combat the Nazi’s was showcased. The mission of helping others and the struggle to give back at all costs was made real. These characters will become real to you, too. Despite their many challenges they found ways to defy the societal bounds and face their tormentors with courage. They were not looking for glory, just a chance to do something that was decent and worthwhile. What a legacy they left, you will be better after reading it. Their strength and determination should not be forgotten. I was provided a free advance reader copy from Shari J. Ryan in exchange for my honest review from Net Galley. The opinions shared in this review are my own.
This is a beautiful piece of historical fiction wrapped up in a love story. This one is told from the perspective of a woman that is part of the Army nursing Corps and it is a moving story indeed! It is an easy read starting in Hawaii during WWII and moving throughout Europe... all under the memories of Elizabeth who served and is now sharing her story in her later years. I truly loved this story and I didn’t want it to end. Pick up this glorious piece of historical fiction - you won’t be sorry.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. I am a huge historical fiction fan and I read this genre all the time. I have to honestly say that this book was one of the most beautiful one I have read and a very long time. I loved the descriptive setting of Hawaii. The authors writing style is not only eloquent, but very visual, and I was able to see everything clearly in my mind as I read about it. I love the characters of Lizzie and Everett. At first I thought the fact that Everett was a movie star would annoy me a little bit, but his character grew on me. This was just an absolutely beautiful love story and I could not have imagined it ending better. The only thing I have to say is that it got a little repetitive in the middle of the book and probably could’ve been a little less written but I still give it 4.5 stars!
Elizabeth Salzburg, daughter of a naval commander stationed at Pearl Harbor, is training to be a nurse. Everett Anderson is a former Hollywood heart throb training to be a pilot. When their paths intersect during the summer of 1941, neither could foretell the events the upcoming months and years would hold. Amidst destruction, death, and thousands of miles of separation as they each served their country, would their love survive? Filled with heart-wrenching details, this work of historical fiction would be a worthy addition to a World War 2 novel collection.
Last One Home is easily my favorite book of 2021. Something in it resonated with me, maybe it was the love story in its truest form there is something about romance in the 1940’s that I’ve always found intriguing, especially when those couples have lasted together for 50 to 60 years. Or maybe it was the attack on Pearl Harbor that got me, I lived on the beautifully island for a while and seeing all the memorials for the ones who lost their lives was devastating and seeing that part of our history does something to your heart. This book had to me from the beginning all the way to the end and I fell in love. It captivated my soul and I fell in this book and did not want to come out. Elizabeth is everything you want in a Heroine of a book. She is smart, witty and fights for what she believes in, although everyone wants to treat her life her opinions do not matter. She is training to be a nurse and had not quite picked her job location yet when Pearl Harbor was bombed. In that moment she decides to enlist in the Army Nurse Corp against everyone’s protests. Elizabeth knows she has been training for this and does not want to see her talents go to waste. Everett is everything you want in a book boyfriend; he is so caring and gentle and loves to a fault. He makes you want to fall in love. Everett was from Hollywood, a movie star who decided he needed something else in his life, so he enlisted in the Army. He became stationed in Pearl Harbor and was the talk of the island, movie star turned military. This is where Elizabeth and Everett’s story begins as they embark on a forbidden romance. As they are just getting started Pearl Harbor is bombed and they must face the inevitable separation and whether they will come home to one another. This story goes back and forth between present day and the 1940’s with Elizabeth’s memories. As her story unfolds you cannot help but become entwined with the characters and the story and go on the emotion roller coaster that is Elizabeth and Everett. You will believe in love. Thank you to netgalley for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for my honest review.
I usually stay away from historical fiction but found myself drawn to this book because of the beautiful cover. I'm very happy that I was approved to read Last One Home as it is absolutely beautifully written story. I cannot wait to read more by Shari Ryan.
Ms. Ryan tells a beautiful story on Pearl Harbour before the bombing. The life that happened there before the destruction which was fascinating to my little history heart. I loved following Elizabeth's life on the island; strict yet loving family, friends, being a nurse and giving love and your heart a chance. I would definitely definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for their next historical read or you're just curious to know what life looked like before the bombing
Anyone that loves historic romances set in tropical locations will love this story. Beautifully written and perfectly executed.
This is a well done read about true love and the experiences of a young woman in WWII. Lizzie survived the Pearl Harbor bombing, and then joined the army nurse corps. This separated her from her new found love and sent her into the depths of war and dispair. Very engaging.
Elizabeth Salzburg is on the precipice of living the life she has always wanted, when she falls into a stack of Spam cans and has a meet-cute with the Hollywood heartthrob, Everett Anderson, who is giving up life on the silver screen to be a pilot and fight for his country on the eve of WWII. The two quickly form a relationship that will have to endure the horrors of war. The story, as recalled by Elizabeth in present-day as her memory is fading away, will take you from the beaches of Oahu to the D-Day invasion, and finally to war-torn Germany. Overall, I enjoyed this book. My husband and I were living on Oahu until recently and it was nice to be whisked back there and be reminded how lucky we were to live there. I read a lot of WWII fiction and one thing this book did a good job of was the pacing. Sometimes books will spend too long in one particular time and then rush through other more important parts, not this one, it clipped along at a good place and it sustained my interest throughout. The other thing I liked about this book was that it wasn't just about romance, it was also about family and friendship. It also goes into detail about what life was like after the attack on Oahu, it was mostly about the patients that Elizabeth was tending to, but also about the cleanup and how they had to adjust to a new world. Lastly, there was one little thing that I didn't care for in the book. A few times Elizabeth thinks about pulling the "my father is the commander" card, and one time she actually does it. Just because he is the commander that doesn't mean that she should get any special treatment, or override nurses who are higher in seniority. But, hey, nobody's perfect and that was such a small detail that I didn't let bother me too much since I enjoyed the rest of the book so much!
This book draws you in right away! If you like Historical Fiction, this book is for you. Elizabeth Salzberg is a young Jewish woman studying to become a nurse in Hawaii in 1941. We are truly transported back in time to the events before and during Pearl Harbor. Elizabeth lives a sheltered life with her father and two brothers. She falls in love with Everett Anderson, an actor turned soldier. I loved how Shari Ryan really captured the mood of the time. Elizabeth was a complex character and I enjoyed seeing her evolve during the story. It takes place in 2018, and goes back to 1941 during flashbacks. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
The Last One Home had me hooked from page 1. Watching Elizabeth grow and adapt and learn from her experiences during The Pearl Harbor attack give her the fuel she needs to pursue her dream. She didn't know that joining the Army Nurse Corps would take her all over the world. This book is from a different perspective., the nurses taking care of the soldiers and wounded during war time. I loved this book.