The Last Goodbye is a slow burn story that caused me to feel so many different emotions. It is a story of grief, of tragedy, of memories, of complicated family dynamics and of new beginnings. The first person you meet is Anna, who lost her husband three years ago, and is struggling with the loss. On New Years Eve, she decides to call his cell phone just to listen to his voice on the greeting one last time. Only this time she doesn’t hear the greeting that she was so used to but instead another man’s voice. She is shocked by this but, little by little she starts forming a friendship with this new person.
The new person who Anna begins talking to is named Brody and has experienced some sort of loss of his own. He is not very open about the loss at first but, is supportive of Anna and what she is experiencing. He becomes this strong voice of reason for her even though they have never physically met. Their phone calls go from periodically to almost daily to through out their day. It was a slow burn friendship that took its time to evolve into the potential for something more. It had really good pacing and felt believable to me as a reader.
The characters of Anna and Brody also felt so well developed to me. Anna is still trying to understand the tragedy of her husband’s death. She’s hurting. She’s angry. She feels like she is being pushed away and unable to move forward. I felt her emotions. I felt what she was going through especially when it comes to trying to process her grief and to her relationship with her in-laws. Brody was also a very emotional character. His emotions come from a different place as his tragedy was several years ago but, it still felt every bit as real. As a reader, I could tell how closed off he is, and how this new friendship with Anna forces him to grow and also finally work through his own grief. He starts taking the steps and the finds the professional help that he needs to deal with his trauma and move forward. I really liked how the mental health aspect of this story was handled.
Fiona Lucas does a wonderful job with the grief of this story as well. It has a value throughout the story. It grows and changes as the characters grow and change. It was heart-wrenching but there were also some lighter moments with the use of Brody’s dog, Lewis and Anna’s best friend, Gabi. I will warn the readers that there are some triggering moment for some as this is a story that involves tragedy and grief. I don’t want to give too much away as these aspects as so important to the story but, they are there and I felt them too.
The Last Goodbye is another one of those hidden gems that I found on Netgalley. I’m so glad I decided to request it based on the synopsis. This is a story of tragedy and grief but it is also a story of healing and growth. I was invested in watching Anna and Brody grow together and how they show that there is no proper way to grieve and heal. The emotional progress and ultimate ending was so very worth while for me as a reader.
Rating: 4 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**