Last Will is a richly detailed story about finding love in a world that can scarcely offer the real thing.
Bernie Raleigh is a failure at nearly everything he touches. Nobody notices a loser, and after being kidnapped for ransom as a child, Bernie has spent his adult life trying to avoid being noticed. That's impossible now that he's inherited his grandfather's enormous fortune. The inheritance comes complete with a mansion, a lot of obligations, and a very problematic housekeeper named Meda Amos. Beauty queen, alien abductee, crypto-Jew, single mother - Meda is all those things, and she may be the only person who can help Bernie survive his new and very public life.
WHILE YOU WERE OUT...
When Joel reached toward the van door, I said, "Don't open it," just the way my book on lucid dreaming told me to. The book said to contradict anything I didn't like, but Joel ignored me.
"Well, hey, Bernie, what say we give you a ride home?" he said.
"Shut up and go away." That didn't work either. Amy stood next to Joel, her white-blond hair fluttering in the breeze. Joel's fingers closed around the pitted chrome lever. Before I could protest, the door rolled open, and the back of the van gaped like the mouth of a hungry cave. He was in there.
"I'm not doing this, and if this doesn't stop, I'm going to wake up," I said. Then I did.
In that sense, the lucid dreaming worked. It kept away the nightmares, but it cost me sleep. Half an hour later, when my mother called, I had just fallen back asleep.
"Did I wake you?" she said.
"No," I said, even though I knew my voice was gravelly with sleep.
"It's not even ten o'clock." She cleared ...
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).
Full Review (421 words).
Bryn Greenwood grew up in the minute Kansas town of Hugoton; ten blocks by ten blocks. After escaping to college, earning three degrees (a BA in English, a BA in French Literature, and an MA in Writing) and making up stories all the while, she completed her first novel and sent it out to agents. Ten rejections, eight other novels, and eleven years later, Last Will was finally published.
Bryn worked as a teacher in Japan and, upon returning to the United States, became a sex educator at high schools and prisons in Florida. While there, she also taught at community colleges, spent time at non-profit organizations, and met a co-worker who became a first reader of Last Will (and who is acknowledged in the novel's dedication).
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