Tag Archives: The Last Letter

Book Review & Giveaway ~ The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop

A Father’s Deceit
A Husband’s Betrayal
A Loved One’s Death
A Mother’s Choice
A Daughter’s Resentment
A Time to Forgive

For every daughter who thinks she knows her mother’s story…

Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the last letter…

Katherine Arthur’s dying mother arrives on her doorstep, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie’s husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty — a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.

Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine’s world apart. Now, seventeen years later, Katherine has found the truth — she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it’s too late?

My Thoughts: 

Kathleen Shoop does a wonderful job describing life on the prairie in this story of historical fiction. Many authors romanticize the life that pioneers led, but actual history shows us the true hardships they endured on the prairie.

The story pivots back and forth in time, from 1888 ~ Dakota Territory and 1905 ~ Des Moines, Iowa … from Jeanie’s point of view and Katherine’s … mother and daughter. The Arthur family led a high society, privileged life until a scandal sent them to head for the hills – literally. They found a small cooperative community of several homesteading families and moved into a nearby abandoned dugout. Life was extremely hard on this spoiled family. Jeanie and Frank had a hard time adjusting from high society to barely existing on the harsh prairie. They endured every hardship imaginable, fire, grasshoppers, blizzards, drug addiction, infidelity, and even death. Needless to say, relationships were strained to the breaking point.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot (or what’s in the last letter), so I highly recommend reading this book to learn for yourself how this family managed to survive.

Buy the book from…

Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com   Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Kathleen’s debut novel, The Last Letter was garnered multiple awards in 2011.  Her second novel, After the Fog (Silver IPPY), was a category finalist in the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. Her third novel, Love and Other Subjects, earned a Silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention from the San Francisco Book Festival. Recently,
Kathleen has released the her first romance novella, Home Again (Book One). Book Two, a novel-length work in the Endless Love series called Return to Love, will be released in May, 2014.

Books Two and Three in the historical fiction series that started with The Last Letter are nearly complete and should be released by fall, 2014.

Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

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018836-glossy-silver-icon-symbols-shapes-square-2 I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


THREE Lucky Winners will each receive a $15 Amazon Giftcard, courtesy of author of The Last Letter, Kathleen Shoop


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