Clear your calendar to read Diane Chamberlain’s The Last House on the Street! You won’t want to stop once you’ve started. Publishes January 11, 2022. Order or buy it from your local independent book seller.
The Last House on the Street, as with her previous book, Big Lies in a Small Town (2020), sees Diane Chamberlain return to the dual timeline format. This time, she melds two seemingly unrelated stories, decades apart, to a surprising climax.
Inspired by the passage of the Voting Rights Act, Ellie Hockley of Round Hill, North Carolina, forgoes working at the family pharmacy and being with her fiancé in the summer of 1965. Her passion turns instead to civil rights volunteerism with SCOPE (Summer Community Organization and Political Education), the purpose of which is to educate Blacks about their right to vote. After being accepted into the program, Ellie finds herself living and working in a Black neighborhood not far from her well-to-do part of town. The summer is marred by KKK rallies, prejudice where she least expects it, and an unthinkable affair with a colleague.
In 2010, 28-year-old architect and recent widow, Kayla Carter, and her young daughter, Rainie, are about to move into the dream house she and her late husband designed. But a strange old White woman who seems to know too much about Kayla—including about her husband’s accidental death in their new home—shows up at her office, warning her that nothing good will come of living there. The more Kayla explores the property, the stranger things appear, and the more unsettled she becomes.
Stories converge, relationships are connected, transgressions are discovered, and a stunning conclusion reveals more than one tragedy. Chamberlain’s attention to detail not only about the characters’ own histories but also about SCOPE and civil rights activism in the 1960s makes this story unique and highly satisfying.
Diane Chamberlain lives and writes in North Carolina, and she is the author of 28 novels. Visit her on her web site here.
Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with a digital ARC of this book.