The Last Letter
Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal Winner - Best Regional Fiction
IndieExcellence Book Awards Finalist - Historical Fiction
“I was absolutely mesmerized by this moving novel. Told through the voices of Katherine, the daughter, and Jeanie, the mother—the women weave the tale of their family’s hardships and travails on the untamed plains of the Dakota Territory in the late 1800s. Through sheer courage and immense bravery, they withstood unimaginable tragedy and seemingly insurmountable obstacles to survive. But secrets held close in order to protect would later come back to nearly tear the family apart. But the discovery of a long lost letter would bring clarity and resolution to the pain and heartache the women had endured for years.” —Melissa Foster, NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Have No Shame
Katherine wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't found the letter...Katherine Arthur's dying mother arrives on her doorstep, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted. But, she did her best and made a go of it. For Jeanie's husband, Frank, it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty-a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine's world apart. Now, seventeen years later, Katherine has found the truth—she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it's too late? The Last Letter is the novel for every daughter who thinks she knows her mother's story.
“Kathleen Shoop, in her debut novel, has crafted a beautifully written novel that will captivate readers. Evoking the strong emotions that are often found in mother/daughter relationships, Shoop mixes the heartwarming closeness of family with the heart-wrenching pain of betrayal to present a story that will resonate fans of exquisite literature. I look forward to seeing more work from this talented author. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction with a western flair.” —Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
“This story is AWESOME. The story itself has excellent flow and the words are woven so that I would at times forget I was reading and just see the story move through me. It is a sad tale, although still beautiful. I also enjoyed all the detail of what a hard life it was to be a pioneer in the Dakotas. How people made a success of it was in part just pure dumb luck, because the land doesn’t seem to help at all. So, go pick up this book—I am giving it 5 stars and permanently adding it to my library to enjoy again and again.” —Lilac Wolf and Stuff Reviews
“Kathleen Shoop hypnotizes readers with her words bringing the story to life in such an enthralling way that it is so hard to put the book down. The Last Letter, the first book in The Letter Series, had me completely hooked. It took hold of me and transported me into the story and into the unforgiving prairie life. I felt all the emotions within it, sadness, joy, loss, grief, anger, frustration, my heart felt as if it was actually about to break as I became completely overwhelmed. The author’s writing is superb and the reason I think I felt so emotional was the pure connection she makes happen between the reader and characters. I find myself now desperately awaiting the next book in the series from this amazing author.” —Sharon Martin, Beck Valley Books
About the Author:
Kathleen Shoop, PhD, is a language arts coach in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Last Letter (2011 IPPY Gold Award Winner--Best Regional Fiction, Midwest) is her debut novel. She is published in four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and regularly places articles and essays in local magazines and newspapers. Kathleen is also married and the mother of two children.