The Last House on the Street: This family's secret won't stay hidden for ever...
by Diane Chamberlain
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 20 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 3 Feb 2022
Headline, Headline Review
From the Sunday Times top ten bestselling author of The Silent Sister and Big Lies in a Small Town comes a powerful, gripping and unmissable new novel.
A small town divided by prejudice. A secret that won't remain silent...
1965. A young white female student becomes involved in the fight for civil rights in North Carolina, falling in love with one of her fellow activists, a Black man, in a time and place where an interracial relationship must be hidden from family, friends and especially the reemerging Ku Klux Klan. As tensions rise in the town, she realises not everyone is who they appear to be.
2020. A recently widowed architect moves into the home she and her late husband designed, heartbroken that he will never cross the threshold. But when disturbing things begin to happen, it's clear that someone is sending her a warning. Who is trying to frighten her away, and why?
Decades later, past and present are set to collide in the last house on the street...
A Note From the Publisher
Unlock the secrets you'll love to discover with Diane Chamberlain, the storyteller beloved of readers everywhere:
'An excellent read that will be loved by her fans and anyone who enjoys reading'. - Jodi Picoult
'I completely LOVED this book'. - Jane Green
'Totally amazing...so powerful and beautifully written. I love Diane's writing'. - Cathy Kelly
'Incredibly moving story, rich in character and atmosphere. I couldn't put it down.' - Susan Lewis
'With beautifully drawn characters and a string of twists that will keep you guessing right up to the end'. - Stylist
'Chamberlain puts so much grit, emotion and drama into her books that it's impossible to stop thinking about them'. - Heat
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 223 members
An emotive and wonderfully written book spanning 2 timelines and following 2 people ( one in the 60,’s and one in the 80’s ) everything about the book is brilliant and without doubt will read more from this author
If you like to read books with duel timelines, have historical as well as present-day mysteries, including prejudice, political and social injustice, violence, mistrust and love, then this is a book that should definitely be on your radar.
This is set in North Carolina. The present-day setting is of Kayla and her daughter moving into their new home. It is one that Kayla and her late husband designed and built, so it is a bitter/ sweet occasion. The past is set in the same area and of a young woman Ellie who decides that rather than just report about the social injustices occurring in the US in the '60s.
How the two connect is something that becomes apparent as the stories start to delve into emerging. As much as I really enjoyed the present-day setting, I found it was the historical setting that I found the most addictive. The author portrays so well the decisions of Ellie and how she felt so moved to stand up for what she believes in. This was also the harder of the two stories to read. It shows so many different aspects of life in the US at the time.
Without giving too much away, the 1960s in the US was a turbulent and troubled time. It was an era that challenged peoples perceptions, rights and beliefs. Protests, speeches, demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement and the backlash from the KKK is something that is very hard to read. But I do think that the author has tackled this very well within the context of the story.
The present-day setting is still an amazing section, it is harrowing and how it is connected to the past is something that again has been done so well. ASs a reader you see links, but it is often why things are linked that keeps you reading. This is where the author has really excelled, bringing the mysteries of the past to the present makes for extremely addictive reading.
This really is a fabulous story to read, it is harrowing and also shows discrimination as its worst. It is one that I found to be addictive and heartbreaking. A mix of past and present that I would definitely recommend.
I have just finished this novel; all I can day is Wow!
Although disturbing at times with scenes of hardship, poverty, racism and brutality I found the storyline both educational and compelling.
From events in North Carolina in the mis 1960's, Martin Luther King, voting rights, Ku Klux Klan and a love affair, to North Carolina in 2010, we learn the stories of two women, Ellie and Kayla.
Although it look a while to set the scenes, the tensions and mysteries in both timelines were expertly wound up to cumulate in an explosive finale. As these horrific events of the two generations explode, so the truth is finally exposed.
I loved this book! I am a fan of Diane Chamberlain and this book didn't disappoint. As ever there is always a twist at the end to pull you up to think again. I shall recommend.
This book just blew my mind!!. It was sad yet parts were filled with joy. It's based around two main characters, Ellie who's story is in the sixties and Kayla who's story is in the present time. Ellie has a bad time within her life which has a profound effect on her life in the future and Kayla becomes entangled in Ellie's life in the present.
I don't want to say any more than that because you have to read it to understand what a fantastic book it is!!!
Many thanks to Netgalley for the free ARC book for an honest review.
#Headline, #netgalley #diane.chamberlain.author
This books runs through to parallel timelines, 1965 and 2010 and is set in South Carolina. The timelines concern, Kayla in 2010, a young widow with a small daughter who has recently lost her architect husband just before they are due to move into their newly designed and built house, The last House on the Street and also Ellie, in 1965 who joined the SCOPE project, which aimed to help black people register to vote. But of course, this was during the 60' s and the time of the Ku Klux Klan. Ellie falls in love with Winston but these are dangerous times and they must be careful
Kayla is trying to come to terms with her husband's death and single motherhood; also she is being given very disturbing "messages" from a strange red headed women that she must not move into the house - why??!!
I have always loved Diane Chamberlains books; this one covers an emotive subject and the effects of that time in the 60's will remain with me. Read this book, I have given it 5 stars. It is a great read and you will learn historical facts too.
The subject makes me recall another great book about this time by Greg Iles called Natchez Burning.
I’ve been reading this authors books for many a year and I can’t recall one book I’ve not enjoyed.
This latest one is again without exception.
I love the mystery and the outcome of this story.
I was able to question things and learn something about The Scope Project which I Googled to see if it existed. And yes it did!
It’s two time lines from 1965 then up to 2010.
The Rights for the vote for Black people. I found this enlightening and gutting at the same time where we have moved on somewhat but still heaps and bounds as regards diversity.
Going back in time to 1965 when Ellie was just 20 years old who had the same fair stubborn nature as her late aunt Carol she embarks on something that goes against the grain of her families standing in the Community. I’ll leave that…..right there….
We have forbidden love, a heart splitting touching honest account of what things were like for certain couples. I was so invested in this.
Bringing it forward and meeting Kayla in the story again put such a clever stance on this story.
I love to read and see why authors pick certain titles for their books and discover how they weave this about.
I soon got to understand why the book was titled The Last House on the Street.
Wow….everything connected with this land, with this house the sinister happenings, the woman turning up in her office, as it unfolded I just was sinking and sinking within the depths.
I read this on kindle and I’m definitely getting this in physical format to add to my shelves.
In my top 20 this year for sure.
I’m eagerly anticipating her next one now!
Told in two different timelines, 1965 and 2010, although the story and characters are connected it doesn't become apparent to the extent of the connection until the last few chapters. This is a thought-provoking read which I enjoyed and can highly recommend.
This book was right up my street. I love a duel timeline and found the switch from 2010 to 1965 really easy to keep up with. The topic was really interesting. I hadn’t heard about the scope project so found this very educational.
Loved the strong characters in this book- loved their fight for what they believed in, they changed the way forward for black families.
An amazing read for anyone who wants to learn, accurately, about the past or for any duel time lovers like me.
Ellie lives with her family in North Carolina. They are a well respected family within their town when in 1965 Ellie makes a decision that will change their lives forever and will reach down the next generation and the one after that.
Ellie is expected to settle down with Reed when she decides to spend the summer canvassing for civil rights and then falls in love with a black man. Tensions within the town , family and friends begin to rise.
Forty five years later a young widow moves into a new house on land which used to belong to Ellie's family. Someone is upset about this and tries to scare her away. But why? Who wants to harm her and her daughter?
What is the connection between the two?
I really enjoyed this book. It jumps between timelines of Ellie and Kayla and I felt particularly invested in Ellie’s 1965 time period, however as the story progresses you realise that the two women share a connection which brings things to a head in the 2010 time period.
I found the story very emotional, it moved at a good pace and the timelines intertwined perfectly. I really liked Ellie’s character and thought she was very brave to stand up to the hateful ignorance of her town.
Diane Chamberlain fans won’t be disappointed and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a thought provoking, emotionally charged read. A good solid 5 stars.
Another fascinating and highly accomplished novel from Diane Chamberlain.
Kayla is reluctantly taking possession of the house she designed with her husband who tragically died as the building work was completed. He sense of dread is only added to when a mysterious stranger comes to her office to warn her away from the house.
Her story is in interwoven with that of Ellie, a young idealistic student in the 60s, who decides to spend a summer convincing black people of vote.
Their lives intersect as Ellie becomes Kayla’s
neighbour and it soon becomes clear that her history is highly important to Kayla’s relationship with the house and the woods that surround it. The novel building to an horrifying finale which almost left me in tears.
This novel is extremely well written and and fascinating about a part of American history that I didn’t know much about. It sheds an unflinching light on segregation in ‘60s America.
Thank you to #netgalley and #headlinepg for allowing me to review this ARC
Being a white woman from the UK this book was a real eye opener. I found the cross over between the years easy to follow. Loved the book, really enjoyed the build up of Ellie’s feelings for a black man and all that comes with it in 1960’s America. Hard going at times when exploring the violence directed at the black community. Kayla in contrast we’re waiting to discover who wants her to let her house go after the death of her husband in the present day and how her paths are Ellie’s are destined to cross.
Another great book from one of my favourite authors. Parts of the story are quite disturbing but it all adds up to an excellent story and one I will definitely recommend
Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an ARC
An upsetting read to know that the racial divide was so vast in the 1960's Carolinas. This book tells the story of a white student, Ellie who wanted to help Negros/Blacks get registered to vote. Her parents were against Ellie helping and when Ellie fell in love with one of the Black students, Win the true vengeance against Black people came to a head. With the KKK being a part of the happenings. This was obviously just a little part of what was going on in the 1960's when Martin Luther King was trying to speak about the inequalities between the races. The story alternates between the summer of 1965 and the year 2010. Based in a small town in N Carolina and around small town white folks fears and ignorance. Certainly a page turner, truly enlightening and very sad.
Thanks to Net Galley and Headline for an ARC of this outstandingly book in exchange for a review.
Renowned author, Diane Chamberlain has written another outstanding story, one that will stay with me for some time. I read this book in one sitting, the pages literally turn themselves. It’s told in two timelines, 1965 and 2010, its full of history, a powerful and emotional read of racial prejudices, family relationships, love between a young black man, Win, and a white college girl, Ellie. There is heartache, loss, broken friendships and resentment.
The story gripped me from page one, it’s a very compelling thought provoking read. The two time line weave together as years fall away and the truth is unearthed. A heart wrenching read.
In 2010, architect Kayla is about to move into the house designed by her and her husband, where her husband tragically died in an accident as it was being built. Her ambivalent feelings about her new home are heightened by a sinister warning from a strange old woman, the eerie atmosphere of the woods surrounding it, and the hints that other past tragedies continue to haunt the place.
The story switches from the present to the past, to 1965, when young Ellie Hockley defied her family, friends and white community to take part in the civil rights movement, living and working with black people to help them recognise their right to vote.
In both past and present narrative, events escalate as they come together, to reveal the truth of how what happened in the past continues to influence the present.
This was such a good story. The plotting was impeccable, with tension rising slowly through both timelines. The emotive theme of black people struggling to make their voice heard in 1960s USA is handled with great sensitivity - nothing is over-dramatised, no-one is pigeon-holed. No one character is black or white on the inside - but some are trying to be better than others, to atone for past wrongs or to ensure a better life for their community.
The theme may be issue-led, but at its heart this is a story about people, about love and loss and the need for atonement, justice, and, in the end, some form of forgiveness.
Atmospheric, haunting and heartbreaking, this is a story everyone should read.
This is a book I have been excited about since I heard that Chamberlain had a new release upcoming. I definitely haven’t been disappointed.
This is a book with a dual timeline, both interesting but for completely different reasons. Kayla has been an interesting character and her initial meeting had me hooked.
Ellie is a character that has made me question how timelines would interweave or be relevant to each other. My reading has led me to jaw dropping and shocking discoveries which in parts have left me horrified.
I adore this author, this is quite possibly my new favourite book. I feel this is a story which needs to be told. This is an interesting read which has completely captivated me. I love that the perspectives of both women are intriguing enough to keep you reading.
This is a book that has left me feeling quite emotional, I have found Ellie’s story consuming and it has touched me deeply. I’ve thought about it long after finishing this book. Even writing a review has stirred up these emotions.
This is a must read book. I absolutely recommend this one and hope it will be a bestseller of 2022.
The Last House on the Street tells the story in a duel tie narritive, one set in 1965 and the other in 2010.
It follows the story of Ellie, a young woman involved in the civil rights movement in 1965 and the other set in 2010 follows a newly widowed mother moving into a new home built by her and her late husband. Eventually these two stories of these two woman will integrate and sets a fantastically written story which will pull at your heart strings and shock you all at the same time.
The story provides so much knowledge and presents lots of twists and turns making it a five star read.
I highly recommend a story which will stay with me for a very long time.
This book came as such a nice surprise. I’m not too sure that I’d read much about this book before starting it - if I’m honest, I’d completely forgotten what the premise was, and so from the title alone, I was expecting a thriller. It certainly is a thriller, but also so much more, and I absolutely loved it.
The novel begins in 2021 with Kayla Carter, an architect, mother and recent widow. Her husband has died whilst building their dream home - the showcase house on a prestigious new development. As she plans to move into the house with her young daughter, Kayla, she receives an unexpected visitor in her office. What she wants to tell Kayla really chilled me:
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long, long time,” she continues. “Years and years and years. And now I have the chance.”
This visitor is clearly in disguise, but knows about the new house, and about Kayla’s daughter. Should Kayla still move in? Would this stranger turn up again? Was the land belonging to the house, with it’s mysterious lake, too unsafe for a young child? And what secrets were lurking there in the woods?
At the end of Kayla’s street is another, much older house, which is at the centre of the second part of this story set in 1965. Ellie Hockley takes us back over fifty years to the state’s darker past, when she was a social activist involved in racial injustice and forbidden love. I really warmed to teenage Ellie, who is so passionate in standing up for what she feels is right, at whatever cost.
I particularly enjoyed the older storyline, which told a poignant tale and of an interesting history that I had no idea about, but the more modern storyline also had its emotive elements with plenty of plot in its own right. ‘The Last House on the Street’ is a novel of shocking prejudice and violence, forbidden love, and the search for justice. Some readers may find later scenes rather disturbing, but this book drives forward a powerful message and it’s a story that needs to be told.
Thank you to NetGalley, Headline and Diane Chamberlain for this ARC of ‘The Last House on the Street’ in exchange for my honest review.
I always enjoy Diane Chamberlain’s books and I was delighted to receive a copy of her new book The Last House on the Street.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the history, the nostalgia and the wonderful characters, and the dual timeline story worked for me and I was interested in both women’s stories particularly Ellie’s.
Thank you to NetGalley for my advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
It's been along time the a novel took my heart and basically ripped it open.
This is such a novel and in good way.
Fantastically written and I felt that I was there with the characters the whole way.
The story follows at first Ellie a young white woman from a small town called Round Hill in South Carolina in 1965 just as the civil rights movement starts.
Ellie comes from a privileged background and her young sweetheart since school is Reed, and best friend Brenda. And the person she loves most of all is her brother Buddy.
But when Ellie reads about SCOPE a civil rights movement trying to help black people to vote she knows what she must do anything to help.
Against everyone she loves she moves away from home to hopefully change people's attitudes about voting, but when she comes across her fellow advocate Will, a young black man the last thing she didn't expect was to fall in love with him.
The story also unfolds in 2010 when Kayla a young widow that purchased a plot of land in Hockley Road in Round Hill. Kayla and her husband designed the house for their forever home before his untimely death.
But when things start to get strange within the house and surrounding woods .Kayla meets Ellie but Ellie is very distant towards her as soon as she finds out who her father is.
What secrets does the old Hockley Road hide and is anyone safe from the truth?
One of the best civil rights movement novels I've ever read.
This is another unputdownable book from Diane Chamberlain. With its dual timeline it tells the stories of Ellie and Kayla, two strong independent women, whose lives are inextricably linked. Set both in contemporary times and in the 60's in North Carolina, we get a flavour of what life was like before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed and how divisive it became in many families and how far reaching its effects could be. Diane Chamberlain's attention to detail and historical research makes this a riveting, nail biting read full of secrets, mysteries and the search for social justice. I think it's her best novel yet!
What a superb book which had me gripped from the very beginning.. The story alternates between 1965 and the present day and highlights the bigotry perpetrated against people of colour which still sadly still exits today in some areas. The main characters - Ellie,Win, Brenda and Kayla are very strong and the book is extremely well written. Some of the incidents in the story are hard to read as they are so upsetting but, make no mistake this is a fantastic book. It’s the first book of Diane’s that I’ve read but it won’t be the last by any means. Great standard of writing and an undoubted winner. Get your hands on a copy.
This story is told in alternating timelines in both 1965 and 2010. I don’t want to say too much about the storyline in case I ruin it for people but is about the SCOPE project which I admit I have never heard of before. I learnt so much from this book, what happened in that era and the type of suffering that people had to endure because of their skin colour.
I can tell that a lot of research has gone into writing this story and I am certain that I will re-read this one again. A fantastic book by a brilliant author whose books never fail to disappoint me.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Once I got used to the back and forth between 'now' and the 'past' I really enjoyed this book. The story unravels the time in American history when racial tensions were high and related to votes being given to all without the need for a literacy test - I found it astounding that this wasn't as long ago as you would think.
The 'now' highlighted that the prejudice is still there and it being held on tightly by some who lived through it, while others are striving for equality.
A timely and well written book.
A real page Turner full of twists and turns.
Well written as par for a Diane chamberlain novel and moving
Another thoroughly enjoyable book by Diane Chamberlain! Once I picked it up I just couldnt put it down again! I simply cannot wait for the paperback version to be in shops so I can pick up a copy and read it again.
The Last House On The Street by Diane Chamberlian. This is a NetGalley read. I am a fan of the authors and she is very much like Jodi Picoult. The story alternates between 1965 and 2010. It’s about how these to years collide and the impact that Racism has had. It’s not a fast paced book but yet the way the author writes it’s compelling and really makes you think and at times it’s incredibly hard to read because of the reality of what happened to people because of the colour of their skin. I wouldn’t call it an enjoyable read because of the subject of racism however it’s an enjoyable read because of it rawness and honesty, because of it’s characters and the relationship between characters. Not all characters are loveable or likeable however again that’s what makes the book honest. I’ll be honest at times it’s harrowing to read, despite it being fiction, the subject is very real and what these people went through is real (yet appallingly not that long ago in 1965) and unfortunately even though things have changed slightly now with racism, no matter what your skin colour, you can’t help but know that violence towards people because of there skin colour still exists. It is also an eye opening and incredibly moving read in the sense that it’s not a subject I have read about before, there’s no reason why I haven’t, it’s just hasn’t been something I’ve read. It’s very hard to put into words how this book made me feel, sick at other peoples actions, sad that in 2021 violence toward people because of their skin colour still exists and I feel somewhat disgusted that some people are still like this. This book and the feelings it envokes is incredibly current . There is such brutality in this book and unfortunately there isn’t s happy ending, yet because of the emotion within this book, because of its subject, it’s left me with a very heavy book hangover, all I can keep thinking about is this incredible story and regardless of it’s subject it’s a WOW kind of book and is probably the most thought provoking book I’ve read this year. Simply WOW
I really enjoyed this book. It has been described as a historical novel but it also contains intriguing elements of a psychological thriller, which is a happy place for me: a page turner where place and time of the are highly relevant.
The novel is set in America’s deep South and told in dual timelines by Ellie and Kayla, two women of different generations. Ellie’s story plays out in the mid-6os, when she - inspired by her late aunt Carol - as a 20-year-old decides to join the civil rights movement in support of voting rights for black people. This decision has consequences and following some dramatic and life-changing events, she leaves her bigoted and racist paternal home and home town and only returns briefly as a 65-year-old to look after her ailing mother and brother.
This is where her story line touches Kayla’s, who in 2010 is just about -together with her little daughter - to move into her new-built House At The End Of The Street – of Ellie’s street. It is her dream home, lovingly designed by her and her husband, but disaster struck when he had a fatal accident in the house. Kayla is full of apprehension and mixed feelings about the move, not helped by the fact that there are clear indications that someone goes out of their way to put her off moving in. There is something about this plot of land that is scary and as we find out, linked to events that drove Ellie away from her home town.
This is a moving story of how personal tragedy is linked to larger social and political events and movements and of how the truth of the hidden past wants to come out despite all attempts to bury it for the sake of all those implicated. Our two heroines emerge from this process with a new feeling of freedom, Ellie found some sort of closure and Kayla is finally ready, to make a new life in her ‘haunted’ house.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Headline Publishing Group for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A stunning read to remember. This is initially set in two time lines. With Ellie we are in 1965. Coloureds ( as they were called then) now have the vote and she is to join the SCOPE programme to help them register as so far there has been little uptake. Her parents won't be keen she knows and to fully be part of the programme she will be expected to live and work in the coloured area of town, staying with a family there.
Kayla in 2010 has recently lost her husband Jackson who designed a house for them- which she is just about to move into. Jackson died through an accident in the house and Kayla is now unsure that she wants to go ahead with the move but has little choice as she is currently staying in her fathers house which has also been sold. She gets a visit at work from a woman who appears to know things about her, personal things. This worry Kayla so much she calls the police as the woman appears to want to commit murder. Who is she and why has she visited and threatened Kayla?
Wow! Although fiction this gives a background into the civil rights movement and what they went through in the 1960’s- really not that long ago- but oh how the world has changed for the better. This came across as sensitively done and well researched. I felt for Kayla and wanted to hug Ellie- a strong, determined woman if there ever was one who stands out for putting others first and being totally unselfish in a world that only thought of themselves. A truly memorable inspiring read. Wow!
(rest of links on publication)
I loved this book it was such a brilliant story and Diane Chamberlain has this wonderful ability to draw you into the story she is telling making it impossible to put the book down. Told in alternating timelines and by Kayla and Ellie it deals with some really hard subjects but is done in such a fabulous way that makes you care deeply for the characters and the horrible situations they are faced with in a time when the civil rights and Scope campaign was a dangerous but important place to be.
This is an emotional read it made me really sad but it was also an uplifting read and I think the author has this unique way of putting that across. The characters were all excellent and the book was well crafted throughout I couldn’t put it down!!
So I will say no more as this is a book that should be picked up and read, it’s to good to miss I loved it and can highly recommend it as a 5 star read.
My thanks to NetGalley and Headline for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
The Last house on the street by Diane Chamberlin is the first book that I have read, and it won’t be my last.
This is a powerful story set in 1965 America where a white girl joins a group of volunteers, spreading the word and encouraging black people to register to vote. But doing this she risks her own life and goes against her own families’ beliefs which causes trouble not only for herself but her family and the community she lives in. It even gets worse when she falls in love with Win a Black Negroe that’s in the group that she is campaigning in.
Thank you Headline for a copy of this amazing book. It stirred up a mixture of emotions as I kept on reading. This had an interesting dual storyline which no doubt will leave readers talk about for a long time. Not only in the time of 1965 but the time in 2010 when things are revealed what happened in the street all of them years ago. This is a great page turner. I highly recommend.
This story is set over two different time lines. The main characters in each are very believable. The story set in 1965 tells the important story of a white girl from America's south encouraging black people to register to vote. She falls in love with a black man which goes against the beliefs of her very racist community.
This is a well written book with a very serious message. I strongly recommend it.
Thank you to NetGalley and Headline for the advance copy of this book.
This book was just simply amazing. It enthralled from the start. It was so atmospheric. The dual timeline of Ellie & Kayla is so moving and it gives you a wide range of emotions. The ending kept me guessing all the way but it was a worthy climax .
Set between two timelines I was soon hooked on this book. Its quite a dark read with some uncomfortable reading but I couldn't put this novel down. A well written, slow burn read it was a great escape read and I loved it
A gripping and powerful tale.
I was entranced by the narrative. Spellbound by all the secrets I had to unravel.
The descriptions of the time and locations are at times brutal yet vivid and expertly crafted.
A hauntingly beautiful tale.
This engrossing and poignant novel is written in dual narrative and in dual time frame. It features the stories of two strong women living on their own, fifty five years apart. Both ladies have lost the love of their lives and both ladies live in the same small town, The historic story is the story of a young idealistic student fighting for civil rights and the modern story tells us about a young woman who moves into a new house with her four-year-old daughter shortly after her husband dies in a tragic accident.
Ellie lives with her Mother, Father and Buddy, her brother, in North Carolina. Her Father is a pharmacist and Ellie is determined to study hard at Uni so that she can follow in his footsteps. It is 1965 and Ellie hears about the SCOPE initiative. Students have been encouraged to join in and canvas through their long holidays. She thinks it is a very worthwhile cause and she decides that that is what she will do. She likes the thought of helping black Americans understand the importance of registering for the vote so that they will have a voice. She travels south and passes through the induction. She is paired up with a young black man and gradually they fall in love. Interracial relationships are taboo, so they conduct their clandestine courtship very carefully. Eventually tensions run high. Their secret is out and Ellie has to return home to save her boyfriend from getting beatings or even worse.
Kayla and her husband designed their new house together. They will soon be moving in it with their young daughter. It was to be their forever home, but then tragedy struck just as her husband was finishing off the extra bits and bobs so that they could move in. He slipped on some nails and screws and fell down the stairs. It was a tragic accident, but now she and her daughter are living with her father. Soon Kayla’s father is helping her move in. It is a bitter sweet day. She loves the house and its wooded surroundings, but she also hates it because it had cost her husband his life. She has already had to deal with a strange lady who visited her trying to spook her out and sell her house. Then there had been a last minute bid on the house as well. It seems as though someone is trying their best to frighten her away. Then, in the first few weeks of residency, her trash bin is emptied out all over her lovely front garden and later again dead squirrels ware launched up into her tree Kayla has reported these events to the police who are friendly and supportive. She just can’t understand why someone else wanted her to leave her beautiful new house. Ellie and Kayla live on opposite sides of the same street. When Ellie and Kayla meet the fireworks are well and truly lit as the past and the future collide and questions just have to be settled.
Diane Chamberlain is a wonderful and highly rated storyteller. She has based her storyboard about Ellie on real events that actually happened. Even some of the characters and their actions are genuine. The other characters are born in her creativity and merge in well to the actual historical events. Her fictitious characters are richly developed and are true to life in their diversity, opinions and actions. This novel exquisitely merges both threads bringing together Ellie and Kayla. There are years between them in age, but they both want to know why Kayla’s new house and her recent residency has caused so much trouble. Gradually as their friendship deepens, long held secrets from the past are revealed and the full story becomes evident. Some of the content is harrowing but the novel is informative and very interesting.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel through my membership of NetGalley and from publisher Review. Thank you for my copy, sent out to me in return for an honest review. I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it as an excellent read. I award it a 4.5* review
5 stars gripping, twist I didn’t see coming at the end. Brilliant read, will certainly recommend to others
This is a very powerful book. It had me gripped from page one and tells an emotional story set over two timelines. I will definitely be recommending this for book club!
I have read and enjoyed many of Diane Chamberlain's books and this gave the great story telling which I have come to expect from her. Really engaging and well written read, very much enjoyed, thank you.
I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down.
The premise draws you in and is believable enough to be real which made my heart break for the characters.
The part of the book set in the past brings another side to the book and stirs such rage at what the characters were put through.
aw i loved this book and did not want it to end yet i was very eager to finish it to see how it concluded. Such a good book and will deffo read more from this author. Highly recommend.
Another good read by Diane Chamberlain, and so topical with' Black Lives Matter', they really do and this book showed that. In mnay ways a sad book but very sensitively written.
The Last House on the Street is not your average thriller!
In 2010, Kayla is about to move into the house that she designed on the new Shadow Ridge Estates alongside her architect husband, who sadly died as a result of an on-site accident. Already nervous about the move and the future she has to build for herself and her young daughter, Kayla begins to receive threats both anonymously and from a mysterious red haired woman demanding that she stay away.
While, in 1965, naïve but earnest teenager Ellie is beginning to find her voice in support of racial equality and voting rights. She joins a local campaign, attending protests and voting drives, and finds herself in the middle of a terrible situation trying to help her new friends and avoiding becoming a target for the racist views of the people she has known all her life.
Told across the two timelines, Diane Chamberlain has crafted a story full of friendship, family, love, mystery and suspense, which also provides a powerful yet sensitive insight into the heart-breaking treatment black people have experienced (with period typical racist language, segregated schools and physical violence).
This story was so gripping, emotive and immersive – I really couldn’t put it down! Highly recommended!
Wow! What a story. I absolutely had no idea which way this was going. A story told through the eyes of two people in two different time lines.
Kayla's story is in the present, she is a widow, living in her newly built house with her daughter Rainie, the same house she designed with her husband and the same place where he died. Many strange people come into Kayla's life, suspicious events but Kayla won't be deterred from living and loving the house she built with her love, Jackson.
A second timeline starts of a young and frustrated Ellie who doesn't want the life of every 20 something year old in the 1960s. She has no interest in the social norms of falling in love and getting married to have babies. Although she lives in South Carolina, an area still deep rooted in racism and the Klu Klux Klan, Ellie has other ideas and wants to be part of the social change to bring equality to all races.
Cue a series of events which bring the 2 women together in the present time where shocking events are revealed.
This book provided me with a historical lesson of the 1960s and how rasicm was still rife, through inequality and oppression.
This story will stay with me for a long time.
I absolutely recommend this book. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my ecopy of this book.
Diane Chamberlain is a brilliant author bringing mystery to general fiction. A real page Turner.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which is set in the 1965 and 2010. It is the story of Ellie who gets caught up in the Civil Rights movement in 1960s North Carolina and Kayla, a recently widowed architect who is moving into her new home with her young daughter Rainie.
Ellie is a pharmacy student who decides to join Scope, an organisation which helps register black voters at a time when it is incredibly difficult for them due to the fact that they have to pass written tests to do so and many are illiterate. This unnecessary test puts them off. A Voting Rights s Act is coming but hasn’t been signed yet.
As an English person reading this novel I had no idea these obstacles were put in the way of prospective black voters to prevent prevent them exorcising their constitutional rights.
Ellie is keen to spend her Summer doing this Civil Rights work much to the disgust of her family.
When she meets Win, a passionate young man who is inspired by Martin Luther King, she starts to have feelings for him but there is a major problem. He is black and she is white and they live in the South where inter racial relationships are not accepted.
Kayla is trying to move on after her husband’s death but she is threatened by a strange client in her office and she almost feels that her house is haunted when strange things start to happen there. Supported by her father, Reed , she carries on resolutely and finally moves into her finished home where she meets a new neighbour Ellie who is caring for her sick family, having recently moved back from San Francisco.
This is a wonderful story which cleverly brings these two timeframes to a devastating conclusion when they collide in the present day.
I loved the descriptions of the South in the early sixties and was horrified by what went on and the prejudices expressed by the characters. It is strange to think that these views were accepted as normal a mere 50 years ago.
As well as being a moving family story, “The Last House on The Street”is also an interesting historical novel which has been well researched and taught me a lot about the Civil Rights Movement I’ve read and enjoyed other books by this author and this one certainly did not disappoint.
.For me this was definitely a five star read and I highly recommend it.
Thanks to NetGalley and Headline for my arc in exchange for an honest review.
Thanks to the publishers and Net Galley for my free e-copy.
Let me start by saying this is up there with my favourite books! One of the best I have read so far via Net Galley for sure!
This is a real page-turner. Set 50 years apart, this story flicks between the 1960's where racial tensions are high in America and the 2010's present day. Each chapter gives you more of a background of what the characters went through and how they all link.
I liked this book as it doesn't glamorise any of the racial tension but there is violence and bloodshed, which at times were upsetting and made me get a glimpse of how horrific these attacks could be and what it must have been like for people back then. It really is hard to comprehend what some people went and still to this day continue to go through due to the colour of their skin
Amongst all the hate there is also love and hope and courage and I loved Lucie as a main character as she is so strong and stands up for what she believed in.
I will definitely be recommending this book and looking out for others by this author!
This book will stay with me for a long time. It is gripping, haunting, moving and disturbing in equal measures. I always love Diane Chamberlain and this is her at her best – creating a cast of fantastic characters and telling a story about a really difficult subject without it feeling like a lesson. It reminded me again, after events of the last couple of years and BLM, how far we have come in the last fifty odd years, but how very far we still have to go.
Not to be missed.
Thanks to NetGalley and Headline for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This is a disturbing read that highlights the intense racism experienced in America's South. It shows how people's lives were blighted by the hateful actions of
the Klu Klux Klan.
Thank you to Netgalley for letting me read this book. When I read what this book was about I was immediately drawn to it. After the first few pages I was hooked. I loved the way the story was told in the past and in the present and the last few chapters kept me up into the early hours so I could find out what actually happened. A great read and highly recommend
This book was incredible. The author is an amain storyteller and I loved how the characters, stories, both past and present, came together. Very clever and compelling story. I couldn't put this book down. highly reommended.
What a gripping thriller.
This was a very disturbing but good read.
Thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish and could not get enough of.
This is a must read for anyone who enjoys a good thriller!!
Absolutely loved the characters, the plot, the tension - impossible to put it down.
This book was really beautiful. It's one of the best books I've read this year, easily. It was really moving and powerful. I felt so much for Win and Ellie! And loved the way the story was put together, going as it did from Ellie's story to the present day. A real gem, this book. Thanks to NetGalley and the author for the advance copy. I can't wait to see it on store shelves so I can recommend it to everyone I know.
In the 1960s in North Carolina, a young white woman is drawn to assist with the civil rights movement, canvassing local black families to encourage them to sign up to vote, and to help them overcome obstacles that might prevent them from doing so. But she is shocked by the backlash she receives from her local community, her eyes opened to the conditions of poverty that her black neighbours have to contend with, and the bigotry of some of her white neighbours.
In 2020, a young widow and her daughter move into the new house on the Shadow Ridge Estate, the house where her husband died in an accident while building the house. It is the last place she wants to be, and her feelings seem to be confirmed when she is subjected to a series of disturbing pranks. Someone wants her to leave, but why?
Diane Chamberlain's books are always good, handling difficult issues, and she doesn't shy away from tackling them head on. I found the story shocking and heartbreaking, made more so by the knowledge that this would have been the way things were at the time. It stayed with me for a long time after I had read the final page.
With thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Told across two timelines from Ellies and Kaylas viewpoints this book goes seamlessly from one era to another and back again. At times it was a difficult read, racism in the 60s with the KKK isn’t nice to read but at the same time I think it’s essential to learn just how far some people went for their misguided beliefs. This was just a heartbreaking book and I cried. There’s so much more I could say about this book but having just finished it I can’t find all the words. I think this story will stay with me and this is one of those books I’ll go on to buy and read again and again.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC in return for an honest and unbiased opinion.
I am so glad I read this book. I felt this wasn’t going to be my type of book as I can be quite prescriptive in what I like. But I loved it. Great writing and a brilliant plot.
I always enjoy Diane Chamberlain’s books and I was delighted to receive a copy of her new book The Last House on the Street.
This story is told in alternative chapters by Ellie in 1965 and Kayla in 2010.
I normally don’t like duel timeline stories but this one worked for me and I was interested in both women’s stories particularly Ellie’s.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the history, the nostalgia and the wonderful characters.
Thank you to NetGalley and Headline for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
What an amazing book full of history and completely immersive in both Ellie and Kaylas story.
Events in this brilliant book take place over two timelines present day N Carolina and in the 1960s. With a strong emphasis on the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King and voting rights for Black Americans. The bigotry faced by Ellie when she realises that the black community are living in sometimes squalid conditions, that voting rights could improve their lives and outcomes is phenomenal. She joins SCOPE in order to encourage local people to register to vote as soon as Lyndon B Johnson was to sign the voting rights bill. She is judged, shunned and threatened.
I’m not one for spoilers, but there are seriously sinister scenes with KKK crosses being burned, Clan meetings and violence.
These chilling scenes had me holding my breath in fearful anticipation.
The dual timeline premise worked extremely well, Ellie then, and Kayla now: two strong women with the courage of their convictions, fighting for what is right in the face of adversity.
As usual, a FANTASTIC read from one of my favourite authors. Thanks Diane Chamberlain for another compelling page-turning reveal of American history.
Thanks to #NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ahead of publication in exchange for an honest review
Kayla is moving into her new house with her small daughter, after the death of her husband.
The house was their dream project, but now a mysterious woman warns Kayla not to move in, and buried secrets haunt the woods behind it.
The second story - that of Ellie - takes place decades earlier. Ellie is a civil rights activist in a society where the Klu Klux Klan has a stronghold.
In this gripping novel, the two lives - a world apart - intersect.
The result is a story you won’t be able to put down. It’s well-written and heart-wrenching.
The characters are so well-drawn, I know they’ll stay with me.
Thoroughly recommended: truly a lovely book and a sad indictment of a time gone by.
What should have been an exciting and happy time for the Carter family, moving into the house they had designed, turns into tragedy when Kayla’s husband has an accident while putting in the final touches to their dream home and dies. Kayla is now left to raise their four-year-old daughter Rainie. The house is the last one on the street and has huge windows on one side of it, facing the forest. The house is far the biggest and best but, when a strange woman goes to see Kayla, just before they are planning to move into the house, she puts the fear of God in her. The woman tells Kayla not to move in or face the consequences. The house takes on a more sinister feel for Kayla, as little things start happening that let her know that she is not welcome there.
The story drops back to 1965, and a time when changes are made in America that not everyone welcomed. President Lyndon Johnson is on the verge of signing the Voting Rights Act for black people to have the right to vote. An organisation is set up with volunteers that go into the community and encourage the black American people to vote. The organisation know that this is a massive task that will have opposition from many white people and members of the KKK (Ku Klux Klan). Scope (Summer Community Organization and Political Education project) is tasked with signing up college students to help with this.
Ellie is a middles class, white girl with a comfortable life, a steady boyfriend and a best friend who had just found out she was having a baby. The wealthy young man responsible was doing the right thing and marrying her. Ellie had her life planned out and was quite an independent young woman. I liked Ellie, but she didn’t have a clue what was going on in the real world around her.
Ellie lived in Round Hill, North Carolina, where the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) were at times still active. She didn’t want to work in her father’s shoe shop through summer, she wanted to do something meaningful. So against their wishes, Ellie volunteered. As part of the programme, she had to live with black American families. She had no idea how scary it was for the families day to day. When Ellie meets Win, they enter a dangerous world that they can not step back from. It is a compelling story that covers just about every moral issue that you can think of.
I find it hard to think that I was a young girl when life was like this and people accepted it! It is a slow burn read that bubbles under the surface in both timelines. The characters are unforgettable in both eras. Diane Chamberlain matures them perfectly when the story jumps forty-five years into the future. The past has had its toll on some of them and with reason. There is unfinished business in Round Hill. Bitterness, secrets and accountability. A superb book!
I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
Diane Chamberlain is one of the few authors that I don't read the synopsis before I read the book, as I know that I will love it. This book is no exception. Although fiction, its clearly based on true events of that era. Quite gruelling at times but an excellent story
After reading many of Diane Chamberlain’s books years ago I was absolutely thrilled to have been accepted for this new book of hers.
I’m not really sure where to start, it was amazing. I think it’s a book that will stay with me for a very long time. It’s so heartbreakingly beautiful.
Ellie is such a powerful character. She is someone everyone needs in their life. Passionate and kind. Ready and willing to fight for what she believes is right.
The storyline was amazing and I loved how it was told through the past and present. I like how the story, slowly, yet powerfully moved along. To finally reveal the ending. Which I admittedly shed a tear at.
The actual writing was really good and so descriptive and I really felt like I could picture every scene.
Overall a really enjoyable read and I would highly recommend!
Thank you NetGalley and Headline books for the opportunity to read and review this book.
A really great read. When Kakla and her daughter move into their new home after the death of her husband she receives a threat from someone witch really spooks her. After a series of mysterious events take place a person from the past appears and a story eventually comes to light which both shocks her and her family. The story spans over four decades and when the truth is finally revealed about what really happened all those years ago it finally answers a lot of questions. I really loved it
I really liked the two strong women featured in this novel.
This book weaves the past of Ellie into the story of Kayla, who disturbs the secrets of Hockley Street when she moves in to her new house. Kayla is struggling to deal with the move after her husband died during its' construction and, following a disturbing visit from a woman who knows too much personal information about her, strange things start to happen that are meant to scare her off. Interspersed with her story is the one of Ellie, joining a group to promote voting rights to poor, rural black households. But this is the 1960's in the south and people aren't ready for change.
A great read with likeable, strong characters.
It’s been a few years since I’ve read one of Diane Chamberlain novels and this did not disappoint . This compelling story is told in dual timelines and we gradually begin to piece together a past that has haunted a community for decades .
Kayla Carter is a young mother of three year old Rainie. Her husband died after a tragic accident a few months before they were due to move into their dream home at Shadow Ridge Estates in North Carolina. When Kayla receives an unwelcome visitor to her office one afternoon warning her not to move into her new home ,she is determined to unravel why someone would threaten her. Is there something about the location of their new home ?
In 1965 Ellie Hockley works alongside her father in a small town pharmacy in a wealthy southern community. When she decides to join a group called SCOPE , an organisation set up to encourage black communities to vote, her perspective from a privileged white background changes forever . It’s a turbulent time during a part of American history where many black communities were persecuted and treated brutality for the colour of their skin. Interracial relationships were forbidden and dangerous. Families were torn apart.
Ellie's character was particularly strong and her experiences depicted how challenging and dangerous it was to encourage families to vote during the civil rights movement. Could love ever survive during these times?
"Getting to know people. Letting them open my eyes to their lives. I tried not to let it show that my heart ached over the poverty in front of me. My pity would help no one" ( Ellie)
This was a compelling read and had me guessing right to the end. Highly recommend. Some stories just stay with you. This will stay with me.
Thank you to #Netgallery for an ARC
#LastHouseBook and #SmallTownSecrets
As per usual Diane pulled out all the stops. This book certainly did not disappoint. Fantastic style of writing as always. It pulled me from the very start and had me guessing all the way through about what would happen between Ellie and Win. The ending was brilliant, even though it was a sad ending for Ellie, she got the closure that she always needed and the readers needed. And it was heartwarming to see Kayla and Rainie get their happy ending. Thoroughly recommend.
Excellent page turner. The book moves back and forth between the past and present, interweaving the events to modern day following the lives of Ellie, a civil rights activist and Kayla, a young woman who inadvertently wakes the past. Hard not to give away too much but the main themes are the voting rights of black citizens in the Deep South, the KKK, the fight for civil liberties and the impact on the lives of those involved long after the vote is gained.. It's the sort of book you go to sleep thinking about when you've read the last chapter for the evening! Highly recommend..
This is the most moving and disturbing story I have read by Diane Chamberlain. I have read her novels for years and have now enjoyed and respected The Last House more than any other novel by her.
Kayla is a young widow in 2010 and has designed and built a beautiful house with her now deceased husband. It is the first house to be built on a new estate they designed together. She carries on their work and moves into her new home with their young daughter. However a strange looking woman pays her a visit and tries to warn her off. What on earth is going on?
We then move to Ellie’s story in the 1960’s. This is a moving tale of supporting black Americans prior to their being given the vote. Her family try to dissuade her but she stands firm. Her story is one of bravery and her love of people whatever their colour. Her own love story cannot end well. With the klu Klux Klan building burning crosses and intimidating black and white alike names Ellie mentions suddenly fit in with Kayla’s own story.
In 2010 Ellie has had to move back home to look after her brother and mother. She lives in the only old house left at the edge of the new Shadow Ridge estate. She and Kayla become unlikely friends and Ellie’s story is finally told.
The odd woman who scared Kayla is finally revealed to be a sad and vindictive woman whose husband was killed when Ellie also lost the love of her life. There is a sad justice for Ellie who gets the answers she was looking for at the back of Kayla’s wood and lake.
Ellie can return to her home in California and Kayla and her daughter can live happily in their home at last.
What a moving and life affirming story this is. Love survives death but you can move on to a new life after your loss
This is the first book I've read by Diane Chamberlain and it definitely won't be the last. It's a stunning, powerful , emotional and immersive read that covers an important and pertinent topic. It is told in dual timelines of 1965 and 2020. In North Carolina in 1965 Ellie, a white student volunteers for a civil rights group to increase voter registration in the South and falls in love with a young black activist. In 2020, Kayla a young widowed architect is moving into the house she designed with her late husband on the street where Ellie grew up. Chamberlain is a powerful storyteller and I could not put this book down. Highly recommended
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review a digital ARC.
Diane Chamberlain's latest haunting novel resonates so strongly with our contemporary realities where once again widescale attacks are taking place on what every citizen should be able to take for granted, the basic right to vote. In a dual line narrative, the author takes us back in time to 1965, a turbulent period of American history, to the dangerous and courageous fight for civil rights and efforts to increase voter registration within black communities in the hostile and racist American South. Architect Kayla Carter is a widow, mother to a young 3 year old daughter, Rainie, she and her husband, Jackson, designed their dream home in the beautiful Shadow Ridge Estates in North Carolina. However, Kayla is in two minds when it comes to moving in, Jackson died in an accident whilst working on their home, and the house will always hold memories of his tragic death.
She is left feeling uneasy and threatened when a odd older woman, who seems to have far too much knowledge about her, tells her not to move into the house, but why? Kayla then meets her neighbour, 65 year old Ellie Hockley who has come back, after a 45 year absence, due to family circumstances. At first the two women get on well until painful memories from the past are reawakened in Ellie after she learns more about Kayla. In 1965, privileged white student Ellie was home for the summer, best friend Brenda is pregnant, planning to marry Garner Cleveland and Ellie for four years has been with Reed Miller. Inspired by her late Aunt Carol, Ellie shifts her life in a completely different direction that is destined to reshape her and to have lifelong repercussions. Despite advice to the contrary, she becomes a civil rights activist and volunteer for the Summer Organisation and Political Education (SCOPE) project.
The dual narratives come to connect the tragic past with the present, Ellie with Kayla, in this enraging, suspenseful, and unforgettable story of race, family, love and horrifying brutality. Whilst it is a blend of fact and fiction, Chamberlain does take some liberties with history in her vibrant retelling. She immerses the reader in the riveting and timely narrative with her wonderful characterisations that bring the 1960s battle for civil rights vividly alive. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
I was looking forward to reading this book as I have enjoyed several of Diane Chamberlain's other books and, as usual, I was quickly drawn into the story and compelled to keep reading. The book weaves together events from 1965, where a student, Ellie, becomes involved in a civil rights campaign to encourage black people to register to vote, and 2010, where Kayla, who has recently been widowed prepares to move into her new house and it seems that someone doesn't want her there.
The two timelines are woven together skillfully with the connections gradually being revealed. Some parts of the book depict scenes of racial violence and are difficult to read, but it is an important reminder of what attitudes were like in the 1960s.
All in all, another excellent read!
Yet another triumph for Diane Chamberlain. The story is told in two timelines. The first is the story of Ellie who lives in North Carolina in 1965. She is twenty years old and gets involved in the race conflicts of the time - she joins a group of young people from the Northern states who are trying to get votes for black people. The racism is quite shocking. In 2010, Kayla, a young widow, meets Ellie who has come back to to look after her aging mother and sick brother. The two families are connected and their stories come together in a tragic way. This is a powerful story with strong characterization.
Wow. Loved this book, but then again, I love all her books!! Love how there's 2 stories at the same time, both interlinked. The issues were well researched and certainly highlighted racial issues and how it affected many lives, many many years down the line. Loved how the characters were described. They certainly were very likable and you could relate to them. Would definitely recommend this one.
This was a compelling and moving read that held me completely within its grasp from start to finish.
The story is unveiled through Ellie's story, in 1965, as she is becoming a young woman with her own mind and beliefs and through Kayla's more current experience of facing life in a new home, built with her husband but where she now finds herself bereaved and with a young daughter to care for. Both women are stronger than they think, but are afraid of what they face and, as their stories begin to interweave, you literally hold your breath.
I don't want to spoil this book for anyone by saying too much but do read it. It is tense, it is heart breaking but it is also beautiful and tender. It made me angry, it devastated me, it made me cry, it made me nervous but it also made me believe in the power of humankind to change and to challenge and to love - it is wonderful.
Absolutely loved this book. The plot centres on two woman and how the past can affect the futures of others. Its easy to think the issues raised in the book are behind us but recent events are perhaps proving otherwise.
Omg omg omg!! THIS WAS AMAZING!! And so relevant to the current time qere living in. All I can say is read this book, you will not regret it. And to be honest, whether you like mystery thriller, romance, domestic noir, real life, historic.... this book actually has something for everyone. It's beautifully written and I was literally reaching for it every spare second I had. Just read it, you'll be hooked!!
I simply love this authors storytelling. It is a brilliantly written book with two main characters and timelines simultaneously being told. Love the way the connections between the dual time frames are revealed layer by layer. And the final conclusion to the entwined story was a surprise! Recommending this to all my friends ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I am an avid reader of Diane Chamberlain novels and felt privileged to be given the chance to review her latest novel The Last House on the Street. Chamberlain is a master writer of dual time frame novels and this was perfectly executed and unputdownable.
The setting is a small town in North Carolina where in 1965, Ellie Hockley joins Scope as a civil rights campaigner to fight for the right to vote for the black townsfolk. Ellie is a strong minded young woman who is prepared to go e up everything that summer to fight the cause. What becomes clear is how bigoted her neighbourhood is as everyone turns against her and her fellow civil rights activists. Things reach a new level of anxiety and become very dangerous when she falls in love with a black co worker.
Current day Kayla recently widowed is moving into the beautiful home she and her husband had designed before his tragic death. She is hoping to rebuild her life with her young daughter. However, someone doesn't want her there and a series of nasty incidences jeopardise this.
I thoroughly enjoyed how the character of Ellie returns in current time as a 65 year old woman and how the characters are then woven together.
At times this novel was difficult to read due to the nature of the content and in particular the involvement of the Klu Klux Klan but Chamberlain doesn't overdo the graphic detail. It was more a case of my over imaginative head painting in the images and I did find those difficult to shift.
I absolutely loved the ending and had not worked it out at all which is always a great thing.
If you like powerful, moving stories which deal with big issues and relationships then this is one not to be missed. Thank you to Net galley and the publishers for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.
Diane Chamberlain is the master of dual timelines and weaving thrilling narratives that combine events in the past and the present. This is another engaging, engrossing read, starting off in 2010 in the fictional Shadow Ridge Estates, where 65 year old Ellie has returned to live in her family’s old, unrefurbished house next door to Kayla and her young daughter, who live in a new-built house chosen by Kayla and her husband just before he passed away. But when Kayla begins to receive hostile messages, the it becomes clear that this is going to be no suburban dream. The dual timeline then splits to Ellie’s experiences as 1965 college student and civil rights activist and Kayla’s life in 2020. As the atmosphere becomes more and more threatening, little by little secrets that Ellie and Kayla have each kept are revealed and the link between the two women becomes clear. Diane Chamberlain is to be commended for addressing sensitive, traumatic topics in a contemporary, spellbinding way. This is another of her novels that deserves as wide a readership as possible. I would like to thank the publishers and NetGalley for the free ARC provided in return for this unbiased and honest review.
A fantastic story across the two time lines.
The issues seen in the 1965 storyline around the right to vote for Black people in the Southern states were well written, from the KKK to the casual racism the population faced every day, The romance that develops in this time line is fraught with tension and the reactions of the young girls family and friends is awful.
In 2020 the story starts with pain and loss but develops into a mystery surrounding that last house on the street.
The truth resolves in both time lines and tie together in the present beautifully and leaves you wanting to know more about the times and the people.
With grateful thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest opinion.
Having read numerous books by this lady I was delighted to be reading this one.
This book is full of pain sorrow and harrowing times yet tenderness is always there, it flows quite beautifully and was a sheer joy to read, strong women at the helm what you expect from this outstandingly brilliant author.
What a tremendous page-turner!
Told simultaneously from the point of view of Ellie, a college student turned civil rights campaigner in 1964, and Kayla, a recently widowed architect adjusting to her new home with her young daughter in 2010, this novel will grip you from the very beginning. It's a while since I've read an entire novel in one sitting but I could do nothing else until I unravelled the mystery of what bound these women together.
I feel in love with these wonderfully realistic and relatable characters instantly and thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I could not put down this book. Both timelines are engrossing, with Ellie's arguably more enthralling, and all the characters are entirely believable. You know you're in safe hands here when it comes to writing different perspectives. Yes, it's gritty and real and shocking, but it's a story that needs to be told. And you can really see the deep impacts of decisions and actions on everyday lives. I liked that everything wasn't neatly tied up, because life isn't like that. There were hardships and losses and a sense of a battle still being fought. The setting too was incredibly well done - I could feel the heat and see the town and the areas around it come to life, even at times feeling that sense of claustrophobia of the trees and the lake. I'll be recommending this to everyone as soon as it's published.
A beautiful, powerful and moving book - packed with such raw emotion, I found it impossible to stop reading.
Kayla is recently widowed and moving into The Last House on the Street (a brand new home in North Carolina, designed by Kayla and her late husband) with her young daughter. It appears however, that a certain person would rather she didn’t…
The book is told seamlessly over two timelines - Kayla’s in 2010 and Ellie’s in 1965. In 2010, Ellie is staying in her family home down the road from Kayla and is her only neighbour. Ellie is in her 60’s and returned to her hometown after years of absence to care for her sick brother and mother. The reader is shown how these two women’s paths were destined to cross.
Ellie’s narrative tells the tale of a passionate young girl standing up for the civil rights movement in the 1960’s. Faced with opposition from her family, friends and townspeople, Ellie has a strong moral compass and is determined to help the cause. It is her honest and innocent voice that completely engaged me - the segregation and discrimination was painfully vivid throughout and I felt propelled back to the past..
A difficult read but one that I could not put down. Thank you so much to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the chance to read in return for my review.
Diane Chamberlain has worked her magic yet again, The Last House On The Street made for a fabulous, enthralling read that captured my every emotion, anger, fear, sadness, disgust, and surprise. Set across two timelines in North Carolina, the story follows two women on a voyage of heartbreak, injustices and prejudices. 1965- Ellie is determined to alter the injustice in the world and joins SCOPE that set about helping people of colour to register for the vote. Fast forward to 2010- Kayla a recently widowed architect, moves into the home she and her late husband designed. Decades later, past and present are set to collide in the last house on the street.
The characters are true-to-life and multi dimensional; I felt I connected to the characters from the very beginning of this book as Ellie and Kayla struggle to come to terms with their losses. I really liked the fact this book incorporates so many themes, forbidden love, historical fiction, social justice, and even an intriguing mystery.
There are sensitive issues including racism, interracial relationship, and grief, but the author deals with each one sympathetically. The two timelines blend perfectly together, creating a read that grips you firmly in its clutches until the last page in its clutches until the last page.
The setting, a small Southern town in Carolina, divided by bigotry, during a volatile period of history, made this book such a powerful read. The authors’ writing is impeccable, creating a story that’s raw and emotionally charged and beautifully written. Highly recommended
As with all of Diane chamberlains previous books this book was impossible to put down once I had started it. It was a shocking, heartbreaking and a fantastic book to read. Would definitely highly recommend reading it.
I am a huge fan of Diane and was over the moon to receive a copy of her newest novel from NetGalley- thank you!
Told in 2 timelines - 1965 and 2010 - just what links the last house on the street to the events that happened, and are happening, generations apart?
In 1965, Ellie is determined to help the Negro population of her Southern county with registering to vote. When her worst fears happen, she flees home for. California and swears never to return.
In 2010, Kayla, a recently widowed young architect, is preparing to move with her young daughter into the house designed by her and her late husband. The first to be finished and lived in on a plot that now seems spooky and dark instead of modern and welcoming. When a strange woman warns Kayla not to move in, sinister things follow. Just what is going on and what is the link to the past?
I devoured this book and if you are. Diane fan, you will live the dual timelines, the characters and the twists abs turns we have come to expect. Highly recommend.
This is an outstandingly informative book in the context of the struggle for racial equality in the United States. LBJ is president and about to open up the voting franchise to all black people. A young girl from a white racist community goes to volunteer her help in encouragement black peoples to register to vote. She falls in love with a black man. That triggers a fierce reaction. He disappears feared killed. She isolates herself from her family. Then someone from the same community but in the next generation gets caught up in the aftermath of what happened and many puzzles are solved. This is an important analysis of race relations in America demonstrating the life shattering effect of prejudices. Very well written, it leaves serious messages. It is a good story as well as an important use of the history of the period. I strongly recommend it.
Another brilliant book from Diane Chamberlain, this time focusing on civil rights workers in the 1960s. The story switches from past to present easily, building up a picture of life in Carolina before black people were given the right to vote, not an era or place I was familiar with. As always Chamberlian’s skill for narrative and writing detailed, believable characters and relationships kept me hooked. I loved the way the story unfolded, and felt like I learned a lot about the lives and dangers for civil rights workers in this era. I also loved how the story came together for a satisfying ending. A must read! Thank you so much for this arc in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
After reading numerous Diane Chamberlain’s previous novels I was expecting a powerful and edgy novel and I was not disappointed. A small Southern town divided in their beliefs during a volatile period of American history comes back to haunt a future generation.
It is a brilliantly written book with two main characters and timelines simultaneously being told. Love the way the connections between the dual time frames are revealed layer by layer. And the final conclusion to the entwined story was a surprise!
I thought it had a quite unique story with one character set during the civil rights movement in the 60’s and the fight for social justice and a modern day character. In 2010. Showing the power of time, family secrets, revenge and lost love.
Thanks to NetGalley and Headline for this Advanced Review Copy.
Right away, the book description pulled me in, and I was delighted to receive an ARC of The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain. The novel certainly didn’t disappoint!
The story covers two time periods, 1965 and 2010, and the narrative switches between each as the events unfold and, eventually, collide.
Powerfully and beautifully written, this story will move you to tears and anger and then to the other end of the emotional spectrum so that you laugh aloud, when you find humour amidst the darkness, and smile at the warmth and bravery and kindness set against secrets, bigotry, and horrific prejudice. Only one thing is certain … that we cannot ever truly know a person, nor a community, and sometimes, not even ourselves.
In 1965 a group known as SCOPE set about helping people of colour to register for the vote. This culminates in a tragedy that has repercussions right up to the present day in the story, 2010.
In 2010, a new widow and her young daughter move into the last house on a street under development, which was the dream home Kayla and her deceased husband designed and built together. Before its completion, a freak accident left Kayla alone and ambivalent about the house. However, she had no viable option but to live there. Then strange happenings and outright threats begin.
Somebody doesn’t want her there. Why?
With so many secrets, lies, and torn consciences, will the truth win out before more people die?
I fell in love and hate with the true-to-life characters, which shows a book excellently written. The pacing was fast but not overwhelming. This is a novel you live rather than read, and it will stay with me for a long time to come. The Last House on the Street gets a resounding 5 stars from me, and I shall keep an eye out for more books from this amazing writer.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.
In 2010, a young woman is set to move into the house she and her late husband designed when she is visited by an older woman who warns her off in a threatening way. Kayla is already nervous about moving, after all her husband died in the house while working on the staircase so the visit unnerves her greatly,
In 1965, a young student Ellie is determined to help the civil rights movement by canvassing black people and getting them to register to vote. Her family and friends are violently opposed.
It's difficult to see the links between these two stories but it all comes together in a very satisfactory way. I loved both women's stories, especially Ellie's. The injustices and violence referred to in her story are so horrifying and written about in a sensitive way. It was great to get an insight into the civil rights movement and I feel humbled by the sacrifices of people who were only trying to get their basic right to vote.
An engrossing read. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
When Ellie Hockley decides to join SCOPE and help to register black voters she sets in motion a chain of events that would have repercussions for decades.
Kayla is struggling to move into her new home after her husband tragically died there. And now strange things are happening- is someone trying to scare her away?
This dual timeline story is gripping in both eras. I didn’t know the history of SCOPE and found it very interesting. It’s hard to believe that the kind of racism depicted in this book is actually in living memory. In some ways we aren’t so far away from it but I digress. This book has likeable and unlikeable characters but they are all well written and believable. I didn’t see the final twist until the last moment and I read this book in one sitting as I was so desperate to find out what was happening.
I really felt for Ellie and Kayla, both of whom had lost the man they loved. I was pleased they were able to strike a friendship! Diane Chamberlain writes interesting stories with fabulous characters and this book is no exception. I’m certain that it will do well. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for my copy of this book.
1965. A young white female student becomes involved in the fight for civil rights in North Carolina, falling in love with one of her fellow activists, a Black man, in a time and place where an interracial relationship must be hidden from family, friends and especially the reemerging Ku Klux Klan. As tensions rise in the town, she realises not everyone is who they appear to be.
2020. A recently widowed architect moves into the home she and her late husband designed, heartbroken that he will never cross the threshold. But when disturbing things begin to happen, it's clear that someone is sending her a warning. Who is trying to frighten her away, and why? Decades later, past and present are set to collide in the last house on the street..
Thanks to NetGalley and Headline for giving me an advance copy.