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

  • 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 August 8, 2012 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 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 Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Only Child
    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin
    Rhiannon Navin's debut novel, Only Child received an overall score of 4.8 out of 5 from BookBrowse ...
  • Book Jacket: Brass
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...
  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The French Girl
    by Lexie Elliott

    An exhilarating debut psychological suspense novel for fans of Fiona Barton and Ruth Ware.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Beartown

Now in Paperback!

From the author of a A Man Called Ove, a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.