With the heart and humor of Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes and Rebecca Wells’s Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, author Marci Henna introduces you to the Cranbournes—a mostly lovable and undoubtedly nutty family who’ve had more than their fair share of hard times.
A beautiful blend of tears and laughter, When We Last Spoke tells the tale of sisters Juliet and Evangeline, who are dropped off by their Broadway-bound mother at their paternal grandparents’ Texas ranch in 1967. After their cherished father is killed in Vietnam, the girls are orphaned. Still mourning their son’s death, grandparents Walt and Ruby accept their role as guardians, only to be surprised soon after by another permanent houseguest’s arrival—Walt’s kooky mother, Itasca.
Fast-forward to the present, where the warmhearted home in which the girls grew up is now just a faint memory. The estranged sisters are in need of a good dose of Walt’s famous stargazing wisdom: “You’ve got to look real close. Pay attention to what’s around you in this life. You’re liable to miss something important if you don’t.”
Packed with plenty of quirky characters and hilarious escapades, this must-read novel also digs in deep to the things that matter most—family, friends, love, and forgiveness.
On one level, When We Last Spoke is about the relationship between sisters Juliet and Evangeline Cranbourne. On another level, the book speaks to sisterhood in general (blood relations or not), the things that bind us together and those that tear us apart. When We Last Spoke is like Stand By Me for the ladies.
I could drum up little or no sympathy for the girls' mother. It's bad enough that she 'abandoned' Evangeline and Juliet at all - even to follow her dream. IMO, when you bring a soul into the world, you are responsible to teach them how to (be able to) live. That's kind of hard to do if you willingly walk away.
On the other hand, Walt and Ruby should be put up for sainthood - as should any grandparent who took on the job of raising their grandchildren for ill or absent parents. I started having children later than most, and it's all I can do some time to keep up with them ... and they're of an age where they can do for themselves now!
When Last We Spoke is not all hearts and flowers, but then neither is life. But reading it felt like I was learning about my own family's history, and gave me a deep satisfaction. There are many things to like about WLWS, not the least of which are the sisters' potentially blooming relationships with a couple of gentlemen in the town. This is my first experience with Ms. Henna's work, but if her other writing is as good, she's got a new fan.
TRAILER & NEWS
In addition to the trailer showing the story, WLWS is also being developed for film! How exciting is that?!?!?!
And as if that weren't enough, I've been told the author will give away a Kindle version of the book on Amazon from February 20-24. That in just a couple of days!
MEET THE AUTHOR
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads
Marci Henna was born in Austin, Texas and lived as a child in Kenya, East Africa with the Wakamba tribe where her parents managed a medical research station. She later moved to the Hill Country ranch which has been in the family since the 1800's and currently lives in Austin.
(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via FlyBy Promotions in exchange for my honest review.)