“Do you want to know what keeps me awake at night?…Thinking. That’s what keeps me awake. Thinking about killing someone.”
That is just the first chapter. The Last House on the Street just gets better from there.
Kayla and Ellie are two women with absolutely nothing in common. Kayla is an architect and a widowed single mother in her twenties in North Carolina. Ellie is sixty-five, never married, has no children, teaches yoga, and has been working with Civil Rights groups for over forty years. She also lives in California. These two women have no reason to cross paths. That is, until Ellie’s brother Buddy gets sick, and Ellie flies back to North Carolina – a place she hates and never wanted to visit again – not even returning when her father died.
Kayla and her husband Jackson designed their very modern dream home. It is the first home completed in a new subdivision being built on the same street where Ellie’s childhood home sits. In fact, Ellie’s childhood home is the only original home left on the street. After Jackson dies, Kayla is not sure she wants to move into the new house with her three-year-old daughter Rainie. Strange things start happening making it clear to Kayla that someone does not want her in that house.
Behind Kayla’s house, along a trail in the woods that leads to a lake, is a treehouse. Ellie and Buddy played in that treehouse as children. It is also the place to where Ellie would sneak to see the man she loved – a forbidden love her family would never accept. Ellie had the best night of her life in that treehouse. It is also a reminder of the worst night of her life – the reason she left North Carolina with no plans to ever return.
The Last House on the Street is a tragic story of love, loss, and betrayal. Can Ellie ever forgive the sins of the past and put the past behind her? Will Kayla be able to discover who wants her gone and why? And why the stranger who stays awake thinking of killing someone took Rainie? Will they ever be safe in their new home?
Diane Chamberlain tells Kayla’s story in 2010 and Ellie’s story from 1965, when she first started working with the Civil Rights Movement. Chamberlain makes it easy for the reader to transition between the two very different time periods, decades apart, to bring Kayla and Ellie together. The accuracy with which the author describes the Civil Rights Movement in 1965 is so vivid, the reader can easily travel back to 1965 and see the disparity between races in North Carolina. The accuracy of Chamberlain’s descriptions add validity to the story and the author’s skill in using fiction to educate her readers about a very dark time in our country’s history. I commend her for her use of history, and I look forward to reading more from Diane Chamberlain.
You may purchase The Last House on the Street by clicking on the book cover.