The Last House on the Street Summary and Reviews

The Last House on the Street

A Novel

by Diane Chamberlain

The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain X
The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2022
    352 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

A community's past sins rise to the surface in New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain's The Last House on the Street when two women, a generation apart, find themselves bound by tragedy and an unsolved, decades-old mystery.

1965

Growing up in the well-to-do town of Round Hill, North Carolina, Ellie Hockley was raised to be a certain type of proper Southern lady. Enrolled in college and all but engaged to a bank manager, Ellie isn't as committed to her expected future as her family believes. She's chosen to spend her summer break as a volunteer helping to register black voters. But as Ellie follows her ideals fighting for the civil rights of the marginalized, her scandalized parents scorn her efforts, and her neighbors reveal their prejudices. And when she loses her heart to a fellow volunteer, Ellie discovers the frightening true nature of the people living in Round Hill.

2010

Architect Kayla Carter and her husband designed a beautiful house for themselves in Round Hill's new development, Shadow Ridge Estates. It was supposed to be a home where they could raise their three-year-old daughter and grow old together. Instead, it's the place where Kayla's husband died in an accident―a fact known to a mysterious woman who warns Kayla against moving in. The woods and lake behind the property are reputed to be haunted, and the new home has been targeted by vandals leaving threatening notes. And Kayla's neighbor Ellie Hockley is harboring long buried secrets about the dark history of the land where her house was built.

Two women. Two stories. Both on a collision course with the truth--no matter what that truth may bring to light--in Diane Chamberlain's riveting, powerful novel about the search for justice.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Chamberlain delivers the goods with this affecting and spellbinding account of a community's buried secrets...the dual narratives merge beautifully before an explosive conclusion. This will keep readers enthralled." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The forbidding, kudzu-choked forest, complete with a treehouse, a murky pond, and an ominous clearing, is ideal for a coverup that compromises even the most irreproachable characters. A mild-mannered mystery with a moral quagmire at its heart." - Kirkus Reviews

"Diane Chamberlain is at her absolute best in this dual timeline about Ellie, a young crusader for civil rights in 1965; Kayla, the woman who moves into the house next door 45 years later, and the woods that connect more than just their properties. Sensitively and unflinchingly told, this novel will make you cry, seethe, swoon and rage. I've loved every book Diane Chamberlain has written, but The Last House on the Street, without doubt, is her masterpiece." - Sally Hepworth, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Sister

"Diane Chamberlain elegantly braids together two stories, set apart by history, to render this taut, edge-of-your-seat tale of two women reckoning with the dark truth of the land they each call home. As compelling as it is important, the novel's focus on the efforts of a group of college students in the South during the Civil Rights movement will no doubt make it a favorite amongst book clubs everywhere." - Chandler Baker, New York Times bestselling author of The Whisper Network

"A powerful novel of our time, both a searing indictment of racism and the power of humankind and a page-turning thriller. It is a very powerful book. Strong and fierce." - Cathy Kelly, bestselling author of Other Women

This information about The Last House on the Street shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Reader Reviews

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Elizabeth @Silver's Reviews

Elizabeth @Silver's Reviews - Great for Historical Fiction Fans
We move back and forth from 1965 to 2010 America.

1965: We learn about the SCOPE (Summer Community Organization and Political Education) program and meet Ellie who leaves to help with getting folks registered to vote through this program.

Ellie’s family is not happy she will be doing this, and her boyfriend Reed Miller is definitely not happy, but he lets her go.

2010: We meet Kayla who along with her husband designed and built a huge house in a new development but whose husband fell to his death while the house was under construction.

A few days before Kayla is to move into her home, even though she doesn’t want to move in now that her husband is dead, a woman comes to her office and tells her to not move into that house and says she feels like killing someone.

Kayla does move into the house, though, with her father’s encouragement even though she finds out from a letter in her husband’s things that her father suggested they not build there.

An unknown surprise also awaits Kayla a few houses down from her new home. She meets Ellie who has no reaction when Kayla tells her that Reed Miller is her father.

What a connection after all these years between Reed and Ellie.

And wonder what happened on this street that has people saying the woods are haunted?

When threats start happening, Kayla wonders why she moved here.

Maybe she shouldn’t have built a house here. Maybe the woods are haunted.

Back to 1965:

We follow Ellie as she does the canvassing with the group and as she tries to keep out of any trouble.

I never knew of this organization or the danger the members were in.

Ahead to 2010:

We see Kayla and Ellie interact and feel the tension when Kayla’s father’s name is mentioned again. She has to find out what it means.

When Kayla meets Brenda, her warning about not living in her new house is chilling but she defends her choice to move in.

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE STREET is an emotional, heartbreaking, well-researched, educational read.

Another book historical fiction fans will not want to miss with shocking ending revelations. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Author Information

Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-eight novels published in over fifteen languages. Her books include Big Lies in a Small Town, The Stolen Marriage and The Dream Daughter. She lives in North Carolina with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her sheltie, Cole.

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