I have been wanting to find a book that was folksy and charming and that I really felt I could sink into.
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I found that when I read When We Last Spoke by Marci Henna. Juliet and Evangeline are just young when there father is sent off to fight in the Vietnam war. Not long after, their mother decides it’s time to try to make a name for herself in New York City. She drops her daughters off at their paternal grandparents’ home in Texas and is never seen again.
Juliet and Evangeline love their grandparents, Walt and Ruby, but they expect that they’ll only be staying with them temporarily. That all changes when Juliet is 9 and Evangeline is 7. That’s when the family learns that their father has been killed in the war. Still, they hold out hope that their mother might someday come for them.
The majority of this book is set when the girls are young. For awhile, their cantankerous great grandmother, Itasca, lives with them. That makes for some interesting days and evenings, especially as Itasca is fond of dressing up in outfits that made her resemble different people such as Emily Dickinson. Itasca also routinely talks to George, her husband, who died when they were only married a few years.
I loved the part of the book that focused on their childhoods. Fireside, Texas just seemed so quaint and all American. Despite being abandoned by their mother, the girls did have an idyllic childhood with Ruby and Walt.
The very last section of the book is set in the present, when Juliet and Evangeline are estranged and living in different parts of the country. Walt and Ruby are deceased. This was my least favorite part of the book because Henna didn’t clearly explain why the girls were estranged, nor how Walt and Ruby died. Plus, at this point, I felt the author was trying too hard for a perfect ending.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed the heart of the story and how the author weaved in the way that Walt and Ruby made their presence known in the girls’ lives, even after Walt and Ruby had passed on.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans scale.
One lucky reader will get their own copy of When We Last Spoke.
To enter, simply follow Mom’s Plans on Instagram and then come back here and comment that you did and leave your Instagram name.
For an additional entry, visit Fireside, Texas Novels Facebook page and then come back here and comment that you did.
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents ages 18+ and will close on February 13, 2017. The winner will be chosen via random.org.
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.