The Last Hour (Thompson Sisters)
Okay no spoilers in this but still, I’m gonna say this: If you are in the mood for a deep, detailed love/life story (both are equally prevalent), that will VERY likely make you sob, then stop reading this review and get this book. The writing is amazing, the story laid out so well. Profound, and you will feel it. I don’t want to give you any hints that might keep you from experiencing this one fully. Keeping that in mind, this one has been a bit more difficult to review.
To me, this is his best one yet!! I’ve been following this series and gently easing myself into this family, without even realizing it was happening. Yet, by the third book, I had that “feels like home” feeling when I realized just how well acquainted I am with them, already. How invested I am in their happiness. And how much I want to be there for them in their times of sadness. Well… except for this one. While it was the best one so far, it was also the most heart wrenching and so crazy-real.
I had to distance myself as I was reading. It’s a… “reflex”. A self-preservation thing where if I have a good grasp of a painful issue right off the bat, well… I go into self-preservation mode. But it never works. I can hold back all I want. I can manage to reach the “sad” parts and maybe only tear up. Maybe only shed a tear, even. But it catches up to me. ALWAYS. Holding back only delays the inevitable.
I’ve been a Moody McCranky-Sulk all day and I couldn’t put my finger on it. DUH!!!! Subconsciously I knew what my problem was. But I procrastinated. Sulked. Went MIA. No new “today” posts. Anywhere. Not on my blog. Not on my Facebook. Nuthin’. I was… “away”. Then, evening came and I procrastinated in a different way. Celebrated the great author news… posted book covers, refreshed and refreshed and refreshed my Facebook. Yep. Procrastinated. Internally, I agonized over telling you guys I felt… lonely. But I was. Lonely. My mom knows. My husband knows. My dogs know. And now you know.
Maryse’s Book Blog: I read an emotional book last night, finished it at 2am, and just… wow. Though I’m trying to find a way to release it into words and do so without spoilers… but here’s a hint —> *my heart*. Still feeling it after a day away from these characters. Charles Sheehan-Miles, I love your book-family. I miss ‘em!
Leanne: That book killed me….but was a great read
Rita: I’m reading that one now; it’s really killing me.
Nicole: I COULD NOT stop crying toward the end…it was so sad…it’s one of those books I can only emotionally handle reading once…so good
Maryse’s Book Blog: My heart feels it even more right now… crazy right? I dunno why, but writing this review is difficult for me. Re-reading some parts.
Dawn: I read that as a BETA…wow, just wow…it’s difficult to put a review into words. I had to sit with it for a while. Brilliant.
Kirsten: I do feel like part of the Thompson Family too Maryse. I still think about it.
Maryse’s Book Blog: I’m feeling lonely… I’ve ben thinking about *ahem* you know… all day. ALL DAY. The author got some words from me in the middle of the night. I may have even growled at him. I yelled at him. Called him by his whole name and everything. I said “CHARLES SHEEHAN-MILES WHAT DID YOU DO!!!????”
Charles Sheehan-Miles ^^truth. Maryse thank you so much
Cynthia: I had to put it down, I needed a break. He’s a brilliant writer, Just Remember to Breathe and A Song for Julia were amazing books, but this one was breaking my heart and I was scared that it wouldn’t be put back together. I can’t put into words how deeply it was affecting me.
Nicole: Do u have to read them in order cuz im feeling like I need a book that will make me cry….
Maryse’s Book Blog: Nicole – nope. You can read this one first by the way it was written (stand-alone) but I’d recommend reading them in order. However, if you wanna cry… here it is!!!!
Dawn: Nicole….get some stock of tissues…and for days after…I’m not joking!
ClaudiaL Me too Maryse, I can’t stop thinking about this book…It’s one of the best on my list!!!!!!!
Naiky: It killed me!!! … I sobbed like a baby!
Kerri: I finished it last night at 3:30am! I literally sat there staring for like 15mins after I was done, I was spent emotionally, oh my heart needs something light and so unlike what I just read. You are right Maryse, Charles is an amazing writer!
And after a day of reflecting, and not being able to get it out of my mind, NOW I just wanna… sob. I wanna go back to my book, and well… you’ll know. You’ll understand. Twists. Turns. Reality. Stuff.
A bit of history about the series: A well-to-do large family, that is somewhat close, and yet has it’s fair share of personal issues. A distant mother, an affluent father with a public image to uphold, and five (?) daughters that have all experienced joy and pain. Have been there for each other… and have isolated themselves at times, too. I’m curious about all of the sisters and am bonding to each one’s story, as if they are real. As if they are my own friends. Or my own family.
And Carrie is the one I’m closest to. The one in THIS book. I’ve bonded to her because how can you not? But I’ve especially bonded to Ray. He is the ultimate hero. There’s a strong military influence in this author’s books, but more-so on an emotional level. The struggles. The fear. Their integrity, and their sense of duty.
My life was a web of promises, and it wouldn’t take much to pull the thread on them.
The real-life nightmares. The aftermath.
I hadn’t talked with anyone about what happened. I hadn’t told anyone. And of tonight was anything to go by, that silence was taking it’s toll.
I’d talk with her. And let her make a decision. If she wanted to walk away at that point, at least she had a choice in the matter.
The problem was… I really wasn’t ready to talk about it. I wasn’t even ready to think about it.
Men in uniform have taken on a whole new meaning. I mean… I know what we normally say as we waggle our eyebrows when referring to ‘em. But it’s SO much more than that, and it’s proven here, in Ray’s character. This is a HUGE story. But it’s a story within a story.
The present. The past. The incredible love story. I could just indulge in that love all day. The accusations. The investigations. The military life. And a tragedy that puts so much into perspective. So much. A possible second chance and a family coming together. The love story. Have I mentioned the love story?
All I could do was try. All I could do was be here. All I could give her was my love, even if she never knew.
I guess there was one other thing I could do. I could fight.
This book is great. And then as you simmer on it, and realize that you’re still in the book even though hours have passed since you’ve hit the end, you’ll know. It’s… amazing. So important. So deep. So real. So perfect in it’s own way. At least to me.
Yeah, I think I’m gonna 5-star this. I’ll never forget this one, and I’ve been in “it” all day. The writing is amazing. The characters are deep, real, and solid. Mature and responsible. There’s something bigger, more meaningful to appreciate through the moments of pain. And in the grand scheme of things, I can take comfort in this.
Don’t laugh. I mostly read contemporary romance. It’s got to have a happy ending.”
He nodded, seriously, and said, “I’d never laugh at that. Real life should be that way.”
Here’s the Thompson Sisters Reading Order (Thank you so much Charles, for sending this review copy my way. Or should I say Grrrrrrrrr to you?)