BookBrowse Reviews Last Will by Bryn Greenwood

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Last Will

by Bryn Greenwood

Last Will by Bryn Greenwood X
Last Will by Bryn Greenwood
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Apr 2012, 284 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Judy Krueger
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A richly detailed novel about a down-and-out man, a billionaire's fortune, and unlikely love

Bernie Raleigh is a 30-year-old man to whom nothing good has ever happened. He is the grandson and sole heir of the richest man in Oklahoma City. Kidnapped when he was almost 10 by a local psychopath hoping for a large ransom, he was traumatized, psychoanalyzed to no avail, rejected by his mother, and grows up to be a useless failure. However, he finally finds a job he likes as a librarian and hides away in Kansas City. When his grandfather dies, Bernie finds himself back in the Raleigh mansion, the loneliest and most confused billionaire in the world.

Meda Amos is a direct descendant of two Russian immigrant sisters who were forced to turn to prostitution when their parents died of influenza in the 1800s. Meda is both blessed and cursed with great beauty, making her irresistible to men. She is raising a daughter, working as a maid at the Raleigh mansion, living with her aging grandmother and trying to look out for her alcoholic mom, who believes in UFOs and alien abduction.

With exquisite wry tenderness, Bryn Greenwood has written a modern Cinderella tale. Last Will is an almost perfect summer read, a romance set in the freezing cold Oklahoma winter, told in three first-person voices: Bernie, Meda, and Aunt Ginny, who is Bernie's aunt, guardian angel, and fairy godmother. As soon as I turned the last page, I wanted to go to the beginning and read it all over again; I suspect I may reread this captivating story many times in the years to come.

Ms. Greenwood made me love her characters, introducing them so smoothly I felt I already knew them and would never forget them. The back-stories of Bernie and Meda are expertly revealed in bits, giving out details only as needed to further the plot.

Because of his past, Bernie's depression and wish to be anonymous combine with the unconscious assurance of the rich, making him an unpredictable mix of hapless kindness and hopeless estrangement from others. Because of her past, Meda is tough, wise beyond her years, but oh so conflicted about the attentions of this rich young man. Watching them grope towards understanding as they help each other heal is maddening but irresistible.

Last Will is consummate storytelling. In the tradition of Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, George Eliot, or Jane Austen, it is a deeply engaging tale of romance, money, tragedy, and society with a healthy dose of humor and a respect for love. So curl up with the A/C on and tell your reading groups.

Reviewed by Judy Krueger

This review is from the Last Will. It first ran in the August 8, 2012 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Introducing Bryn Greenwood

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: My Heart Underwater
    My Heart Underwater
    by Laurel Fantauzzo
    Corazon — Cory — Tagubio is a Filipina-American teenager living with her family in ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Sun
    Black Sun
    by Rebecca Roanhorse
    Reading the first book in a series is always difficult because readers know that, by definition, it ...
  • Book Jacket: Somewhere in the Unknown World
    Somewhere in the Unknown World
    by Kao Kalia Yang
    Resettled refugees are mostly invisible. Their needs are rarely publicized and their struggles are ...
  • Book Jacket: The Orchard
    The Orchard
    by David Hopen
    The protagonist of David Hopen's first novel, The Orchard, is 17-year-old Aryeh Eden, a Brooklyn boy...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Migrations
    by Charlotte McConaghy

    An instant bestseller set on the brink of catastrophe, for readers of Flight Behavior and Station Eleven.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Exiles
by Christina Baker Kline

The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant historical novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win This Book!
Win Jack

Return to Gilead with Jack, the instant New York Times bestseller

Enter to win Marilynne Robinson's latest novel in her classic series.

Enter


Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I G I O Ear A O T O

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.