Just Read: “The Last Thing He Told Me” by Laura Dave

Read August 27, 2021 – August 27, 2021

This was a pick by a book club I’m in. The book club is pretty big but on average I’d say only 4-5 people end up being able to meet and it’s not necessarily the same people. I don’t always go; it depends on the book and my schedule. The Last Thing He Told Me looked interesting enough and some of the girls had mentioned enjoying it in the chat a few days before the actual meet up so I figured I’d give it a try… except I thought the meet up was on Sunday, not Saturday! I realized a little late Friday night that I mixed the days up, woke up at 6am Saturday morning, and managed to read the entire novel before 10am brunch. All of those 4 novel weeks during grad school paid off… I can still speed read!

What is it about? 

Hannah is kind of newly married to Owen and attempting to take on being a stepmother to Owen’s teenage drama queen, Bailey. She’s a woodworker and her craft brought her to initially meeting Owen a couple of year’s prior. The story starts with Hannah receiving a strange note from a young girl, instructing her to protect Bailey, and it unravels from there into a big web of mystery and deception.  When Bailey finds a duffel bag of cash from her dad with another note, it’s clear Owen isn’t going to be around anytime soon.

The girls end up going on a wild goose chase trying to solve the mystery of Owen’s disappearance; did he plan to leave, is he in danger, and why are things not adding up? Hannah’s desperate to find her husband but even more desperate to discover the truth. She is taking her job of protecting Bailey seriously but inadvertently puts her in danger as they search for clues in the past. It’s possible life will never be the same again until they find Owen and it’s not likely they’ll ever find him.

What does it have?

  • Mystery
  • Identity Crisis
  • Step-motherhood
  • Starting Over

I really enjoyed how Dave used woodworking, Hannah’s profession, to provide metaphors. She adds quotes from other authors at the start of each section and refers back to the skill when giving backstory about Hannah. It’s a first-person narrative and at one point Hannah explains, “The first lesson [my grandfather] ever taught me was that it wasn’t just about shaping a block of wood into what you wanted it to be. That it was also a peeling back, to seeing what was inside the wood, what the wood had been before.” Hannah’s whole investigation while trying to find Owen is peeling back those layers and truly when getting to know him, isn’t that what we are all doing? We are constantly trying to learn about our partners, our friends, and discovering what lies beneath might be the key to understanding who they are.

Is it worth reading?

I definitely enjoyed it and it might be up your alley. Are there better books? Yes. Is this one good, too? Also yes. If you’re looking for a quick and easy to read mystery, I’d say go for it. Next month we are reading We Were Never Here and I put the date in my calendar so I don’t end up with a speed-reading-3-hours-before-the-meet-up situation again!

Here’s a look into our Book Club Brunch at The Hen and the Hog in Pompano Beach, Florida

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