‘A compelling and tender story, beautifully told by an exciting new voice’ Santa Montefiore
The breathtaking, escapist debut novel from Emma Cowell, perfect for fans of Victoria Hislop, Carol Kirkwood and Karen Swan.
Devastated by her mother’s death, Sophie longs to get away from an empty house full of memories and a life that hasn’t quite turned out as she had imagined.
So when a chance discovery among her mother’s belongings hints at a past Sophie knows nothing of, she jumps at the opportunity for escape and a chance to heal. The magical, idyllic Greek town of Methoni awaits…
But Sophie – determined to uncover her mother’s secrets – is about to discover so much more. Among the tranquil waters and cosy tavernas, Methoni’s locals offer Sophie the answers she craves, along with unexpected romance and, if she’ll take it, a chance at her own happiness…
Will walking in her mother’s footsteps help Sophie discover who she was meant to be all along…?
‘Emma Cowell tells an emotional, gripping tale about family secrets, love and loss’ Adriana Trigiani
‘Beautifully written. Emma Cowell writes with warm assurance and brings the Greek setting to life’ Sue Moorcroft
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 61 members
This book was sent to me for review electronically by Netgalley. This is a quick read and a great story…the daughter wants to find a lost painting for her mother and also escape her life as she mourns…great friends…mystery…love…breakups…death…mourning…surprises…this book has it all. The author has woven a story that keeps our attention from start to finish…beautiful…
Well this will be one of the summer reads of the year. Absolute perfection. I expected this to be a stereotypical love story but it is so so much more than that.
I felt well and truly whisked away with the Sun on my face- and by the time Theo enters I needed factor 50!
Like how the paintings of her mothers are used to get her exploring Greece, and the people in it,
This isn't afraid to tackle difficult subject matters and does so in an empathetic way and very sensitively. Taboo subjects such as grief, domestic/emotional violence, fertility and miscarriage all feature. This does not dampen the spirits of this escapism read but makes the characters feel more rounded, even more human and relatable. I am incredibly excited to see what this author does next. Simply beautiful.
Lovely book. Sophie is looking for a lost painting of her mum's. She discovers something in her mum's belongings that take her Methoni where she finds a totally secret side of her mum
I REALLY liked this book. It is a solid 4.3 stars from me.
The fact that i loved is that it doesnt shy away from addressing grief and trauma and it is such a great story. It is- and i've never called words gorgeous- but they are in this book. All in all, i really did love it.
An emotional journey to Greece for Sophia that undoubtedly will leave every reader feeling and understanding the pain of grief. Sophia finds the strength to emerge from a challenging last few years to once again take charge of her life and maybe discover real love does exist!
I was intrigued and engaged by the summary of this book and I was definitely pulled into the story once I started it.
Sophie has recently lost her mother and as she copes with her grief she discovers some mysteries in her mother’s past and sets out to search for some answers. She finds more than she expected on her trip to the Greek community that was so integral to her mother’s paintings and life.
Sophie is a well drawn character. Having been a caregiver for an aging parent and having lost them not too long ago, the grief layered in this book really resonated with me. All the little things, small moments, scents, belongings that catapult you into memory and loss. This was very well delineated here, with care and accuracy.
Theo, the love interest, is less clearly characterised and I would have liked more depth and development of him as a character. We get some of his history and motivations but I still felt we had some blank spaces there.
Considering Sophie’s previous serious relationship (and all its grim history) I was a bit surprised at the speed of the romance connection here.
The secondary characters are vibrant and interesting, sadly with the exception of Theo‘a dad. I wanted to see more of his personality and history than we got.
I liked the sprinkling of the Greek language in the book and the setting described seemed visually gorgeous.
The inclusion and treatment of fertility issues, pregnancy and pregnancy loss was handled sensitively and it was good to see them addressed directly.
Overall a good read. 3.5 stars
My thanks to the publisher for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
This is a great novel. Easy to read and hard to put down. It deals with many topics that we deal with daily. Caregiver for aging/sick parent, grief and mourning, fertility/miscarriages, domestic/emotional/stalking abuse, as well as secrets, bffs, and love.
I loved that Emma included words in Greek with English translation. Including PORTOKALOPITA. (Orange Cake) I wished the recipe was included.
This is Emma's first novel and I look forward to reading more.
I highly recommend this book.
Following the death of her artist mother, and Sophie follows a clue to her mother's past all the way to Methoni in Greece. Here an emotional story of enduring love, loss and secrets unfolds in the most gorgeous setting. I couldn't put this book down, staying up til the small hours to finish it! A stunning debut novel and I eagerly await the next from this author.
I have never been to Greece but this book is so descriptive I feel as if I have! It is totally immersive and covers so many topics, food and friendship, miscarriage, abuse, stalking, and the grief of loss. All wrapped up in the hunt for a missing oil painting and a burgeoning love story of two damaged people. I found it hard to put down, an excellent debut novel.
Thanks to Avon and NetGalley for the ARC. My opinions are my own.
An absolutely beautifully written book. It was gripping from the very beginning. It was heartbreaking to read about the death of Sophie's artist mother. I loved reading about her finding the lost painting and her efforts to try and find it. I loved how the story unfolded which kept me hooked to the story from beginning to end, So many twists and turns. Who would have thought that a daughter would walk in her mothers footsteps their lives following the same path, Simply wonderful.
A heartbroken daughter travels to a small town in Greece to search for her mother’s missing painting. During her stay she finds peace and love in the community and in the arms of a wonderful, caring man.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Wow I’ve just finished reading this and there are still tears in my eyes. Such a powerful book. I loved the twists and turns, will they won’t they with Theo and Sophia. The amazing story of Sophia’s mum and her paintings. Of Theo’s dad who has the most marvellous green eyes. I could feel the heat of the Greek sun as I was reading it. Tasha, Sophia’s best friend and her ups and downs (I don’t want to give any spoilers!). I loved it
A compelling story. Highly recommended. A perfectly paced and beautifully observed story... I really did race through Well written, with a plot and characters that haunt you long after you've finished.
Having just finished this book I feel warm & cocooned as if I have just come back from a break in Greece myself.
A fabulous debut novel evoking the sights, smells and traditions of Greece whilst dealing with the heart-breaking, sensitive storylines of grief, miscarriage and IVF.
This book completely drew me in , the writing is superb and I would 100 per cent recommend it. Thank you so much for letting me read an advance copy.
From the very beginning, reading Sophie's preparations for her mother's funeral, I knew this was going to be a very special book. How wonderful to experience a story written by someone who obviously loves words, can use them to their best and can write the most evocative descriptions.
Sophie went to the Greek island of Methoni with many doubts and fears, not quite knowing what she would find or who she would meet. Her hunt for the elusive painting of her mother's is fascinating. The people who surround her are kind, gentle and caring, which makes the book so readable. Descriptions of the homes and the food are just so 'Greek'!
Thanks to NetGalley for a review copy. I loved this book and hope to read more y this author.
what a fab story the warmth of greece and some good food tells the heartbreaking story of sophie to begin with and then unfolds to a brilliant love story of love and anger and ends so tearful and happy whoever reads this book is sure to shed tears so good
Wow, what an absolutely stunning read, loved the characters, loved the storyline, love the setting. One of the best books I've read lately
This story follows Sophie's search for happiness, a painting, some new direction to her life, etc as she attempts to fulfill her mother's last request. The question is, was this the real reason that Sophie was directed towards Methoni? This book is so much more than a love story, although it is a love story to Greece. An enjoyable page-turner.
Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to review this book.
An intense read at times. A story of a daughter finding her dead famous artist mother’s missing painting. Took you between Greece and London. Throw in family secrets, miscarriages, controlling x partners . and a very beautiful love story times two and you have this amazing book. A great read..
This is the first book that I have read in one day, in a long time! I didn't want to leave Greece when it was over. As Sophie started uncovering her mother's secrets, I found myself flipping faster through the pages and loved the sub plot of her journey in the special seaside town of Methonis. I like a story about self discovery while also taking the reader on a trip in a beautiful destination. I will be reading more from this author!
I love this gorgeous cover! This book was very descriptive, you could picture the beach and the amazing sky. I was expecting more about the finding of the picture but instead we have a love story. I liked the characters for the most part but at times Sophie thought too much. It is a nice love story spanning two generations.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy
I loved how this book instantly transported me to Greece. I really enjoyed this book it was a heartwarming read. Thank you for my ARC
Emma Cowell's debut novel which was very enjoyable even if slightly predictable. Although I struggled through the first chapter with the language, the description of grief is real and heartfelt. The insights to life and love and loss is heart warming and inspired. Grief and grieving is a sensitive hard journey.
This is the tale of Sophie, shattered by the death of her beloved mother, when she discovers a box of photos and a path to follow to the village of Methoni in Greece, to discover more about her mum, and more about herself!
Beautiful Greece as a backdrop is fantastic, the characters beautifully drawn. The story touching, around love and loss, where we are always with one or the other. I need a holiday in Greece now!!!!
Really enjoyed reading this book, and following through the characters journeys.
Thank you NetGalley for the early read.
Absolutely loved this story and all it had to offer. The book was brilliantly written and kept me on tenterhooks with what would happen...
Grief changes everyone - often in unforeseen ways. With style and deft prose, author Emma Cowell has created a beautiful homage to family, love, and the paths grief takes us down. For Sophie, her mother's death leads to an unexpected discovery and a journey into the past. Traveling from England to Greece and back again, Sophie finds a mystery that changes her life, her love, and her overall aspect of life. An excellent read worth adding to your shelf.
I enjoyed parts of this book but did find some of it overlong and repetitive so making other parts drag. Excellent descriptions of sunny Greece to escape to with some mouthwatering food involved. Good characters but I did rather blow hot and cold with the main one, Sophie, plus her friend Tash who almost seemed superfluous with her IVF subplot. Full of frustrations and misunderstandings., many unnecessary. On the whole a little predictable but a good holiday read. A generous 4 star, more a 3.5.
I enjoyed Emma Cowell's debut novel immensely. Greece, and the coastal village where most of the action takes place, is a compelling and attractive character in itself. So, too, are the main characters explored thoroughly so that they are convincing as they move alternately from London to Greece. There's a nice mix of emotional and differing behaviour to give the narrative texture and colour. The storyline entertains until the last page, with a gamut of emotional themes that are relevant in past and present cultures.
The only mild criticism I have is that I found Sophie's internal ramblings repetitious, slowing down the pace of the story. I feel sure a final edit would address this anyway. Otherwise, it’s a lovely story that I could see on film.
Thanks for the opportunity to read this manuscript for an honest review.
After the death of her mother, a famous artist, Sophie travels to Methoni in Greece in search of a missing painting and the secret of why her mother disappeared there on holiday every year.
The descriptions of Greece and, in particular, the food took me back to a holiday on a Greek islandmany years ago. In addition to the search for the missing painting there is a romantic interest in a local man, Theo. Counterbalancing the glorious location and food there are more serious subjects including abuse and miscarriages - the latter will strike a chord with anyone who has been unfortunate enough to have suffered from this. In summary not a light read (not that there is anything wrong with these), with the above subjects included, but one to make you think and either relate to the issues or to give thanks that you've not suffered from them.
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley, however this did not influence my review of the book.
I knew straight away within the first chapter this was going to be a great read. These are the type of novels I love.
This novel revolves around Sophie who has lost her mum which I cannot possibly imagine. What better way to help ease the situation than a sunny country and feeling closer to your mum? Her mum loved Greece so much so that she travels there each summer for work. Sophie feels that her mum tried to separate her and her love of Greece. Maybe not, she just wants a break to have that part of her that makes her herself without the child part. That much I do understand.
Sophie is in search of a missing painting her mum had. There’s 5 paintings as a set that have been mysterious since their existence and now Sophie is on a quest to find them. Perhaps finding them means she will be closer to her mum.
As Sophie is in Greece she comes across some interesting people and I find it to be a fun adventure exploring with her as she begins to suss out people on her adventure to find her mum’s paintings and those that are not as nice. It’s a funny thing how our instincts keeps us in check. Towards the end of the novel it becomes predictable.
I love the front cover! If you are making a list of summer reads, this should be included. This novel is written in a way where it is as if you are sipping coffee with your friends over a catch-up. Instantly likeable and heart-warming this novel takes you on a sunny adventure.
This was a quick and easy read that dealt with some hardhitting issues but did so sensitively ewhich I appreciated. It was well written with a good tone and pacing, an engaging plot and well developed characters that I fell in love with.
The book was full of vivid descriptions and vivid imagery to the point where I felt like I had slipped into the pages and could feel the sunon my face and sand between my toes, smell the glorious food and other smells and see the amazing sights and people captured within the book.
I loved it and will definitely be reading more by the author.
One Last Letter from Greece is a gorgeous read!
Sophie is an instantly likeable character. My heart went out to her as it is devastating to lose a parent, especially when they’re only in their 50s. I can fully understand her need to get away for a while. When she finds there is the possibility that one of her mother’s paintings might be in Methoni, Greece, she makes it her mission to try to find it, giving her the perfect excuse to escape for a while.
Little does she know what she is about to discover.
I love how brave some people are when it comes to travelling alone as I can’t imagine me ever doing it. Methoni sounds like a gorgeous place though. I could almost feel the heat of the sun and could happily find myself sitting on a balcony, sipping pinot, watching the glorious sunset over the sea. Hopefully under happier circumstances though.
When Sophie meets Theo the chemistry between them is palpable, although not the most conventional of introductions. I was rooting for them from the very beginning. I fully believe in love at first sight. (It happened to me, and I have been married for twenty years next month.) I loved how their relationship develops but could also understand the practical issues they face, given that Sophie lives in London, has a business to run and a best friend who needs her.
I understood her friend’s initial reaction to her relationship with Theo too as I experienced the same scepticism at the beginning of our relationship. Those closest to us, naturally, don’t want to see us hurt and many can’t understand that ‘when you know, you know’ feeling. It makes us seem quite naive initially, like we’re being a bit stupid for believing someone could fall in love with you so quickly and unfortunately only time can change that perception. This made her friend’s reaction very relatable. Sophie’s reaction to her lack of understanding too. I really enjoyed the dynamic of their relationship. Their genuine love for each other and ability to be nothing but their absolute selves with each other is heart-warming.
I was totally swept along with the romance and intensity of this story. It isn’t without its ups and downs, as is often the case. A real rollercoaster of emotion. What Sophie finds out about her mother’s summer trips to Greece is just heart-breaking. My heart broke into tiny little pieces for one other character. I won’t say who though as I don’t want to give anything away.
This book made me cry (a lot), but also made me giggle at times and smile (a lot!). I absolutely LOVED it and can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s an excellent debut novel and I look forward to reading more by Emma Cowell in the not-too-distant future, I hope.
**Many thanks to the author and publisher for my review copy via NetGalley**
The story starts with Sophie's mum's funeral service and straight away we get insights into Sophie's life - her friends; her mum and her awful ex.
A chance find in her mum's cupboard leaves Sophie determined to hunt this lead down. And off she sets to Methoni, Greece. To not only find this lead; but to find herself and to find closure and a few other things to be found along the way - not giving away any spoilers.
The book ends, fittingly, with one last letter from Greece, but its not by who you would expect it to be; nor about what it will be about. A good ending to a lovely book.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read this book.
With the recent death of her mother, Sophie feels the loss not only of her as a mother, but a best friend. While trying to cope with her grief, she comes across a picture that mother painted while in Greece. As a well-known artist, Sophie's mother had a good following. While going through some old photos, Sophie finds a picture, that is one of five. Not only that, her mother never discussed this with her and Sophie was quite surprised. However, this last photo of that painting was never found. Taking a chance, Sophie decides to leave her home behind and take a a trip to Greece, a chance that she might find that original painting. Booking this trip, Sophie will be there for 3 weeks in an effort to find that art. What will she find there? Reading this book was delightful, a comfortable and entertaining novel. With the backdrop of Greece, it was wonderful. I've been there and this book just makes me want to go back!! Highly recommended.
A heartwarming read which transported me to Greece and made me wish I could stay there! Thank you for the advance copy which I very much enjoyed.
This story swept me right into it and carried me along as it progressed and evolved. Mourning the loss of her mother, Sophie decides to travel to a place in the world that meant so much to her mother, in the hopes of coming to terms with her loss and the uncertainty of her future. What she finds there is love and a bit of mystery.
Theo is a fisherman who has given up his dreams in life in order to carry on family tradition. Even though his family is a bit messed up...
As these two people struggle with who they are, the circumstances that have impacted their lives, and who they want to become, they discover that some love really is all you need.
Thank you to Emma Cowell, NetGalley and Avon Books UK for an advance review copy.
Sophie is grieving since the death of her mother. While clearing her mother’s possessions she finds a photograph of a beach scene labelled Methoni, Greece. Behind the photo Sophie finds finds a copy of a seascape that could have been a copy of a painting by her mother. Sophie is haunted by the seascape and needs to know where the original is located and who the man is in the painting.
Sophie travels to Methoni to try and discover the location of the mysterious painting. Sophie finds the place where the mysterious painting was painted and romance while searching for the missing painting.
I loved the descriptions of the seascapes and village life and the delicious food.
This was a love story about artists, art collectors, grief and family secrets.
When Sophie travels to Greece in search of a lost artwork by her late mother, she does not expect to uncover family secrets, too. Will learning the truth help her cope with her grief? And will her relationship with handsome Greek fisherman Theo prove to be more than a summer fling?
This was a lovely romantic read for summer, with a strong element of mystery to keep the reader turning the pages, and a devastatingly attractive hero in the shape of Theo. The fact that both he and Sophie have their own issues to work through gives their relationship an extra edge, and you;re never quite sure how things will turn out.
Couple the intriguing plot with the atmospheric evocation of life on a sunny Greek island, and your perfect summer escape is guaranteed!
This book was so wholesome from start to finish. The wrtiting was so good. I have never been to Greece but after reading I'm putting it in my bucket list. The journey of trying to find the painting was so beautifully done. I'll definetely be looking for authors other books.
“Will talking in her mother’s footsteps help Sophie discover who she was meant to be all along?”
After her mother’s death and breaking up with her fiance, Sophie heads to mainland Greece, to Methoni in the southern Peloponnese, to uncover a family secret. Her quest is to find a missing painting created by her mother and in the process, use the opportunity to heal.
In my opinion, this could have been a five-star book except for three things: (1) too much concentration on her mother’s funeral at the beginning of the book and (2) too much concentration on her BFF’s fertility treatment and discussions about miscarriages throughout the book and (3) Sophie’s choice to change her return flight to Methoni. I believe a paragraph or two would have sufficed and readers would still understand that Sophie was grieving. I failed to see the connection between Tasha and her IVF treatments to the main plot of the missing painting and Sophie’s experiences in Greece. Yes, the friends were united in their struggle to start a family, but such a large part of the story didn’t need to be dedicated to this struggle. Frankly, I skipped these sections. They did not add to the plot nor propel it forwards. They actually took away from the main action. Finally, I was disappointed in Sophie’s prioritization when one of the most important decisions of her life was on the line.
Despite these minor disappointments, this was still a fabulous read. I loved the genuine characters and relationships, the Greek hospitality, the investigation of the painting, and the growth Sophie experiences. This debut author has amazing potential and I look forward to her next book.
The author deftly explores love, loss, and second chances in showing readers the journey towards self-love and self-actualization. I found myself humming “What The World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love” as I sat down to write up this review!
I was gifted this advance copy by Emma Cowell, Avon Books UK, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
This is a new author for me and I really enjoyed the way she wrote. The story is told in the first person with lots of wonderful description and at times I could almost imagine I had joined Sophie on her Greek adventure. After the death of her mother (and a recent separation from her fiancé) Sophie decides to try and track down the fifth painting in a series (the Methoni series ) produced by her mum many years ago. The art world are unsure if this painting actually exists but, Sophie finds a photocopy of said painting and believes looking for it will not only help the grieving process but, provide a centrepiece for a future art exhibition in honour of her mums work.
She travels to the beautiful old fashioned town in Greece called Methoni and uncovers far more than she could have ever dreamed of!
Throughout the story Sophie is helped and encouraged by her friend Tasha who is undergoing IVF - even if this is via video and phone chats. Although written with humour this sensitive subject is dealt with well by the author.
This is a lovely summer read ideal to take away on holiday with you.
This was a nice romance with some good characters and a nice twist.
It gave a real feel of Greece and the food leaving me feeling that I had been on vacation.
A lovely romantic story in which Sophie, looking for a painting by her recently departed mother, travels to Greece. There she finds more than she expects and is finally able to understand her relationship with her mother whilst putting her own insecurities to rest allowing her to move on. A quick read that could easily have continued with this storyline.
I have just finished One Last Letter from Greece; Emma Cowell’s debut book and it is brilliant.
Emma had me totally gripped from the beginning and kept me reading into the early hours.
I love the story's setting in Greece and Emma had a brilliant way of drawing you in that you felt you were there with them. I love the Greek people, especially the way that treat Sophie as one of their own, especially Christina.
I would definitely recommend this and look forward to reading more by Emma in the future. A story which will stay with me for a little while.
A brilliant debut novel that kept me hooked from start to finish.
After Sophie’s mum dies she finds a painting her mum had completed set in Greece in a town called Methoni.
Trying to come to terms with her mothers death and the sorrow she is feeling she decides to take a trip to Methoni to find out more about the painting and her mother. There Sophie will find a lot more including romance.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review, it was an absolute pleasure.
A lovely first novel from Emma Cowell.
The book begins by telling the reader that Sophie's famous artist mother has passed away. When she discovers a link to Greece and a missing painting by her mother, she decides to visit Methoni and try to locate the final piece in the collection. Can Sophie find the painting, and understand why her mother visited Greece so often without her daughter?
Lots of side stories, including an abusive ex and child loss. I'm not sure the story needed quite so much detail on some of them, but it didn't detract too much from the main storyline for me.
A truly emotional book, I cried at many points. Beautiful descriptions of the locations and of the food make it a very visual novel.