It’s been almost three years since Anna’s husband Spencer died in a tragic accident and she’s still finding it difficult to come to terms with his death and move on with her life. After a particularly disastrous New Year’s Eve she dials Spencer’s old phone number just to hear his voicemail but to her surprise a man answers. Brody is the first person who understands exactly what Anna is going through, and as she begins to confide in him she learns how to start living her life again. But Brody hasn’t been honest with Anna, and his secret threatens to ruin their new-found friendship.
Written by award-winning author Fiona Lucas, The Last Goodbye is a moving story of love, loss and hope. Anyone who has ever lost someone close to them will know that grief is incredibly hard, at times all-consuming and feels as though it’s never-ending, and Fiona Lucas has done an incredible job of writing such a powerful story which sensitively deals with the topic of death. Her portrayal of a wife grieving the loss of her husband is incredibly realistic, and it’s also refreshing to read a story with such an accurate description of someone dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. The choice of a dual narrative works for the most part and is a clever concept in order to slowly reveal Brody’s own challenges.
Fiona Lucas has created well-rounded characters who the reader grows to care about, and even minor characters, such as Spencer’s family, are developed enough to be likeable. Through Lucas’s vivid descriptions, readers are able to gain an insight into the person Spencer was, and grieve with Anna as she comes to terms with her loss.
While the concept may sound a little unbelievable, in reality The Last Goodbye is in fact a convincing story, which is helped by the slower narrative. The action takes place over a number of months, and snippets of information about Brody’s own life are released over the course of many chapters. Grief takes time and so it feels right that Anna and Brody’s friendship doesn’t feel too rushed. As a result the reader ends up utterly invested in both Anna and Brody’s journeys on the path to recovery.
For some The Last Goodbye may not be an easy read, but it is certainly a compelling book which draws the reader in and leaves them guessing right up to the very last page. A beautiful and at times truly heartbreaking tale, The Last Goodbye is an uplifting and hopeful story that proves it is possible to find happiness even during the darkest of times.
The Last Goodbye is out now.