I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review. All opinions are my own.
Quick Summary of When We Last Spoke by Marci Henna. With the heart and humor of Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes and Rebecca Wells’s Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, author Marci Henna introduces you to the Cranbournes—a mostly lovable and undoubtedly nutty family who’ve had more than their fair share of hard times.
A beautiful blend of tears and laughter, When We Last Spoke tells the tale of sisters Juliet and Evangeline, who are dropped off by their Broadway-bound mother at their paternal grandparents’ Texas ranch in 1967. After their cherished father is killed in Vietnam, the girls are orphaned. Still mourning their son’s death, grandparents Walt and Ruby accept their role as guardians, only to be surprised soon after by another permanent houseguest’s arrival—Walt’s kooky mother, Itasca.
Fast-forward to the present, where the warmhearted home in which the girls grew up is now just a faint memory. The estranged sisters are in need of a good dose of Walt’s famous stargazing wisdom: “You’ve got to look real close. Pay attention to what’s around you in this life. You’re liable to miss something important if you don’t.”
Packed with plenty of quirky characters and hilarious escapades, this must-read novel also digs in deep to the things that matter most—family, friends, love, and forgiveness.
When We Last Spoke Hits a Lovely Note with Memoir Fans. While this series is fictional, this novel reads like a memoir--and fits its setting in both time and place perfectly. The cast of characters, with their quirks and their interactions--and the small town, Southern atmosphere certainly seem like the creations of a person reliving their past. If you like the style of a memoir, where the author generally pulls in random memories from different times and people from the past, then, you will fall into stride with this book. If you need a consistent flow of story from beginning to end--the style of this novel may require a little patience at times.
When We Last Spoke Offers Quite a Cast of Characters--Just like Life. Sometimes, we fail to realize the the roles that many of our life's characters play in the "making" of who and what we become. Small town life often offers fewer characters than city living--but, they are generally far more memorable in their own rights. Henna does a wonderful job creating characters to dot the girls' memories of years gone by. Readers will likely find more than a few characters with which to identify from their own pasts (especially if they have grown up in the South or even the rural Midwest).
Would I recommend When We Last Spoke by Marci Henna? Readers will not find an action packed mystery or an over the top, fictional tale on the pages of this book. Instead, they will find a heartwarming story of friends and family and life's journey. Sometimes, we find a point in our life where we need to re-ground ourselves and seek out the past to make peace with the present. This book follows two sisters as they find some peace in who they were and who they have become. I would recommend it to memoir fans--or to readers who simply enjoy a homespun, life story filled with food, life's ups and downs and memories of the past.
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Disclosure: Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post, but all opinions are my own.