The Last Goodbye,
by Fiona Lucas
Publication: William Morrow; June 8, 2021
Spencer was the love of Anna’s life: her husband, her best friend, her rock. She thought their love would last forever.
But three years ago, Spencer was tragically killed in an accident and Anna’s world was shattered. How can she ever move on, when she’s lost her soulmate?
On New Year’s Eve Anna calls Spencer’s phone number, just to hear his old voicemail greeting. But to her shock, someone answers…
Brody has inherited Spencer’s old number and is the first person who truly understands what Anna’s going through. As her and Brody’s phone calls become lengthier and more frequent, they begin opening up to each other—and slowly rediscover how to smile, how to laugh, even how to hope.
But Brody hasn’t been entirely honest with Anna. Will his secret threaten everything, just as it seems she might find the courage to love again?
The Last Goodbye by Fiona Lucas has been on my NetGalley shelf for an embarrassingly long time and I finally got to it yesterday. Anna lost her husband Spencer in a sudden accident and three years later is still struggling to move on. On New Year’s Eve, she calls his old number, as she has done several times, just to hear his voice and leave a message. But this time a man answers. Brody is struggling with his own traumas from his past and has basically become a recluse living in a cottage with his dog and doing everything possible to avoid being around people. In the beginning, Brody is just trying to be kind and allow Anna someone that she can talk to about her grief, but soon a friendship forms. As the two phone friends become closer, they start to wonder if there could possibly be something more between them.
The first thing I will say about this book is that it is all worth it in the end. Not trying to be completely insensitive, but for the first 25-30% of this book I was feeling completely weighed down by Anna’s grief and inability to move forward. Between her negative outlook and her wretched mother-in-law wanting to forever immortalize her deceased son, I almost gave up. However, as Anna and Brody’s friendship develops, so does Anna. I absolutely loved watching her take baby steps and then bigger steps and then coming to be a woman that was nothing like the woman at the beginning of the story. And along with Anna’s amazing strides she was making, it was also pushing Brody out of his comfort zone and getting him to the point where he also wanted to be better.
Even without knowing all of the pieces to Brody’s puzzle, I think I fell in love with him by the halfway point of the novel. But by the end, I was all in and completely mesmerized by the changes he had made. I found it interesting that it was constantly Anna moving forward, but then after their attempted meeting, it was Brody that surged ahead while she did not. Brody had experienced an unimaginable loss and when he finally started getting back to himself, it was amazing.
The Last Goodbye is not a light read and at times is emotionally taxing. However, it is a worthwhile read and I think anyone can relate to this novel whether you have experienced your own loss or not.
*Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.