The Last Piece
A sudden departure. A story decades in the making.The chaotic but happy equilibrium of the Nightingale family is thrown into disarray when Cecily—whose children can’t remember her ever being remotely spontaneous—disappears to a Greek island with no warning or explanation.Her reasons for doing something so out of character are a total mystery to her three daughters, high-powered executive Felicity, unfulfilled GP Julia and organised mother-of-five Lily. What connection could she possibly have with Kefalonia?But Cecily has gone to continue a story she thought ended decades ago—one that could have a huge impact on her family. And when she returns, she’ll have to tell them the truth.Will Cecily be able to hold her family together once she reveals her big secret? And might she discover that she’s not the only one with a story to tell?

The Last Piece Details

TitleThe Last Piece
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 28th, 2020
PublisherLake Union Publishing
ISBN-139781542020770
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit

The Last Piece Review

  • Ceecee
    January 1, 1970
    Felicity is really annoyed with her mother Cecily. Why has she upped and gone to Kefalonia without a word to herself or twin sisters Lily and Julia? Why is her father Norman being so mysterious? Eventually the girls find out the truth and it’s the last thing they expected. First of all, the characters in the book are lovely. The family are close, their lives intertwine and they are all so different. I like how each daughter has issues which makes them interesting and you follow how they deal wit Felicity is really annoyed with her mother Cecily. Why has she upped and gone to Kefalonia without a word to herself or twin sisters Lily and Julia? Why is her father Norman being so mysterious? Eventually the girls find out the truth and it’s the last thing they expected. First of all, the characters in the book are lovely. The family are close, their lives intertwine and they are all so different. I like how each daughter has issues which makes them interesting and you follow how they deal with things. The character of Marnie who Cecily meets in Kefalonia is the ‘missing piece’. She is not an easy person but I really admire her directness and you can feel and understand her awkwardness. I like the ripple effect that she has on the story and also that it does not have a perfect ending. This feels right and it fits well. There are some good descriptions such as of Kefalonia and I like the Harrogate setting where the family live - the author had me drooling with the mention of the iconic Betty’s and the Fat Rascals. Yum. If you happen to be in the York or Harrogate area I suggest you go and try one yourself!!! However, it takes a while for the book to get going and for a long time very little happens. Then from Part Three when we get Cecily’s story as a teenager the novel really moves up a gear. This section is very good and the 1960’s attitudes are portrayed very well although Cecily s parents are unusually modern in their outlook. Overall, once the book gets into its stride I enjoyed it. It’s an easy read which portrays family and family dynamics well. With thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for the ARC. I love the book cover! 3-4 stars rounded up.
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  • Sherri Thacker
    January 1, 1970
    A mother has a 50 year old secret from her 3 daughters and takes a trip to Greece when she receives a letter asking her to come to a yoga retreat. She goes to Greece but does not tell her daughters that she went and they had to find out from their dad. Lots of secrets throughout, all the way until the very end. I enjoyed this book and the many stories it told. A quick read for me.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release book in exchange for my honest opinion. To be published A mother has a 50 year old secret from her 3 daughters and takes a trip to Greece when she receives a letter asking her to come to a yoga retreat. She goes to Greece but does not tell her daughters that she went and they had to find out from their dad. Lots of secrets throughout, all the way until the very end. I enjoyed this book and the many stories it told. A quick read for me.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release book in exchange for my honest opinion. To be published July 2020.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Our lives are like jigsaw puzzles. Each piece contains a story that when fitted together, portrays a photo of our journey. Looking at a section is only a snapshot but an important outline of our backgrounds. Without warning, Cecily Nightingale disappears to Kefalonia leaving her three daughters puzzled. As the matriarch of their family, she presides with a loving but firm hand keeping her children in line. Questioning their mother's actions, they realize that their father knows more than he reve Our lives are like jigsaw puzzles. Each piece contains a story that when fitted together, portrays a photo of our journey. Looking at a section is only a snapshot but an important outline of our backgrounds. Without warning, Cecily Nightingale disappears to Kefalonia leaving her three daughters puzzled. As the matriarch of their family, she presides with a loving but firm hand keeping her children in line. Questioning their mother's actions, they realize that their father knows more than he reveals. However, Norman insists that it's Cecily's story to share. Meanwhile, Cecily is preparing to meet the daughter she gave away at birth. An unexpected letter requested her presence at a Greek retreat. Imogene Clark takes readers along for the tumultuous ride as Cecily hopes at last to have her 'last piece' complete the family's puzzle. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for opportunity to read #TheLastPiece in exchange for an honest review. It was my first Imogen Clark novel but it won't be the last. I loved Clark's character development and teared up at the raw emotions displayed between Cecily and Marnie. Cecily desperately wants to fill the missing piece or void that giving up her daughter created but Marnie remains impermeable.The standoffish reception shocked Cecily but while her demeanor was gruff at times, I appreciated that the author presented a real account that not all meetings go as planned. I would encourage other readers who enjoy books about family dynamics to check out "The Last Piece." After reading, I have a new appreciation for my family.
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  • Melissa Borsey
    January 1, 1970
    A well written, heartwarming family drama about a mother who raised 3 daughters and meets the daughter she gave up when she was a teenager. I thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.
  • ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
    January 1, 1970
    This story is about women, and how they cope with crises and keep the family together. The story is emotional. The characters and their motivations are believable, and the plot although simple showcases this character-driven story well. The pacing and writing style, are classical, with the emphasis on narrative and dialogue. This doesn't detract from the story, just gives it a distinctive voice that will appeal to many readers of family drama and relationships.As quickly as we feel the pain, our This story is about women, and how they cope with crises and keep the family together. The story is emotional. The characters and their motivations are believable, and the plot although simple showcases this character-driven story well. The pacing and writing style, are classical, with the emphasis on narrative and dialogue. This doesn't detract from the story, just gives it a distinctive voice that will appeal to many readers of family drama and relationships.As quickly as we feel the pain, our hopes rise and we see the potential for healing. Ms. Clark paints the characters with just enough detail to give you all you need to take the picture and run with it yourself. This was a very emotional read especially when truths were discovered and the emotional process of coming to terms with the different types of motherhood, but a rebirth of sorts for a life and love that is always present… but not always acknowledged.Thank you NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK and Imogen Clark for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.#TheLastPiece #NetGalley
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    The Last Piece is a beautifully written complicated story of family that keeps you guessing through the first half of the book. It drove me crazy that I didn't know exactly what the secrets were but it's also the thing that made this book so interesting to read! Once I was finally clued in to what Cecily's mysterious trip is all about, I couldn't book the book down!
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  • Aida R.
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsfree copy provided by netgalleyi love a good family drama/mystery story. this was exactly that, plus complicated emotional situations. i particularly liked that each character has their own personality and you can tell them apart very easily. i loved the sisterly relationship between the girls, and i loved the supportive norman. i was quite happy with the ending and how everything developed.
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  • Ghada
    January 1, 1970
    #TheLastPiece #NetGalleyA well written heart warming family drama about a mother of 3 daughters who reveals in her sixties that she's in fact a mother of 4 daughters. After 50 years apart since she gave her for adoption, Marnie contacts Cecily inviting her to a yoga retreat in Greece. Not a spoiler actually since the reader could easily see where the story was building up to. Most of the characters are likable, even Felicity with her neurotic high functional life style. I liked the sisters relat #TheLastPiece #NetGalleyA well written heart warming family drama about a mother of 3 daughters who reveals in her sixties that she's in fact a mother of 4 daughters. After 50 years apart since she gave her for adoption, Marnie contacts Cecily inviting her to a yoga retreat in Greece. Not a spoiler actually since the reader could easily see where the story was building up to. Most of the characters are likable, even Felicity with her neurotic high functional life style. I liked the sisters relationship who seemed to be a harmonious unit despite their differences. Cecily and Marnie though I couldn't grasp a solid opinion regarding them, I don't know if Cecily is kidding herself about having no option but giving her baby to adoption yet in the same time I really wouldn't know, different circumstances, different time who knows if that wasn't really her only option. Then comes Marnie, the most character I struggled to like or accept then I keep reminding myself about her situation, shouldn't that give her card blanche for however she behaves. I don't really know since the story left us with more questions about what actually happened in her life to make her unsatisfied about her adoptive parents.As a whole I liked the book and would recommend reading it.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    I did not dislike this book, but I am not raving about it either. Cecily gave birth to a daughter, in a mother nd baby home when she was 16. She was then adopted. 50 years later she contacts her birth mother who is now married with 3 more daughters. Certainly an interesting story idea, which is told from the viewpoint of Cecily and her 3 youngest daughters. Marnie, the eldest, is a mystery at the start of the book and seems to have be an unsociable character. Her reasons for contacting her birth I did not dislike this book, but I am not raving about it either. Cecily gave birth to a daughter, in a mother nd baby home when she was 16. She was then adopted. 50 years later she contacts her birth mother who is now married with 3 more daughters. Certainly an interesting story idea, which is told from the viewpoint of Cecily and her 3 youngest daughters. Marnie, the eldest, is a mystery at the start of the book and seems to have be an unsociable character. Her reasons for contacting her birth mother are not clear and do not seem to get any clearer as the book moves on. Cecily, as expected, has never forgotten her daughter and hopes that they can have a mother-daughter relationship, which is perhaps a little optimistic when they meet each other only a few times. The stories of the other daughters are interesting though some detail seems irrelevant to the main story . The part of the book about "the confinement" is extremely well written and gave understanding in Cecily's mindset, both around the birth of her first daughter and later in life. Certainly a book to give you something to think about but it left me with lots of unanswered questions.Thankyou to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review
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  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    This book pulled me in immediately with the realistic dialogue between the three sisters in the beginning. Felicity,  Julia and Lily are texting back and forth about an unexpected and uncharacteristic event.  Their mother, Cecily Nightingale, has up and flown off to Greece on some mysterious trip.  The Nighingales rarely take any holiday away from their Yorkshire home.Lily and Julia, who are twins, found it amazing Cecily would up and just go anywhere without their father Norman.  They are old h This book pulled me in immediately with the realistic dialogue between the three sisters in the beginning. Felicity,  Julia and Lily are texting back and forth about an unexpected and uncharacteristic event.  Their mother, Cecily Nightingale, has up and flown off to Greece on some mysterious trip.  The Nighingales rarely take any holiday away from their Yorkshire home.Lily and Julia, who are twins, found it amazing Cecily would up and just go anywhere without their father Norman.  They are old homebodies who never do anything out of the ordinary.  When the sisters converge on Norman to ask about thier mother he is rather deceptive, other than telling them Cecily is not ill so they needn't worry.  The women have to wait it out to see what heppens when their mother comes home the following week.Supporting chararacters:Felicity, the oldest, is married to a scoundrel and has a 4 year old son.  She has a high powered business career and has a very rigid view of life.  I guess if I were married to Richard I'd have an edgy personality as well.Julia and Lily are twins with an unusual birth story.  Lily arrived seven weeks early and had a rough start to life while Julia stayed put until her proper birth time.  Therefore, although they are twins and share that special mental connection and personality, they have different birthdates. Julia is a medical doctor and single. Lily is married to Marco and five sons.  She makes everything seem easy and has a lovely personality, quite the contrast to snappy and judgemental Felicity.We find out why Cecily Nightingale took her mysterious trip about a quarter of the way into the book.  You can figure it out by then and you will see how it impacts all f the family once she returns.  I can't say without giving spoilers so I'll save that for Goodreads.When I got to the end I felt a little let down until I thought about it for a bit.  It seemed abrupt, then I thought of the title.  The Last Piece.  Everything came together , even Norman's jigsaw puzzle and a family issue.(view spoiler)[ I couldn't say this in my review on my blog as it's spoiler but you could figure out fairly soon there was an illegimate child Cecily was meeting. The circumstances were well written but I have to say, you just couldn't warm up to Marnie, Cecily's daughter. Yes, she had felt left out and that most likely shaped her personality. But man, was she ever brash.The part near the end of the photos on Marnie's wall, those of the Nightingale family throughout the years was absolutely creepy. Yet Cecily or Norman didn't think so. The end was a letdown until I thought about the Last piece. The jigsaw puzzle and link to the real life situtaion between Marnie and her half sisters/Cecily and Norman. It couldn't be a big happy family. But the pieces of the story for all parties was expalined and understood. (hide spoiler)]There was a bit of foodie stuff mentioned such as fish and chips, Jamie Oliver meals, curry, roasted beef dineer and such sweets as black forest gateau and Fat Rascals.  I didn't know what that was so I looked it up. A fat rascal is a type of cake, similar to a scone or rock cake in both taste and ingredients. It originated in Yorkshire at least as early as the 19th century.Imogen Clark lives in Yorkshire and has three other novels publishedMuch thanks to Netgalley for the advanced complimentary copy. I was not compensated for this review and throughly enjoyed this book. Publication date is July 28, 2020. Genre is women's fictions.Imogen Clark lives in Yorkshire and has three other novels published.
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  • Hannelore Cheney
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Amazon Publishing UK for the eARC.What a lovely, heartwarming and heartbreaking story this is, I loved it.It features the Nightingale family, mum, dad and three daughters who happily live their lives with its ups and downs. Until the mother, Cecily, disappears to Greece, for reasons only her husband knows. When she returns home and tells the family why, their lives are upended and will never be the same again.The characters are so real, they come totally alive, I empathized with each a Thank you Amazon Publishing UK for the eARC.What a lovely, heartwarming and heartbreaking story this is, I loved it.It features the Nightingale family, mum, dad and three daughters who happily live their lives with its ups and downs. Until the mother, Cecily, disappears to Greece, for reasons only her husband knows. When she returns home and tells the family why, their lives are upended and will never be the same again.The characters are so real, they come totally alive, I empathized with each and everyone of them and recognized feelings, good and bad, that I have experienced myself. You really don't know what's going to happen next, so you compulsively have to keep reading. And the ending was unexpected, but made so much sense that I was quite content with it. Terrific read, highly recommended!
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  • Bonnye Reed
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC electronic copy of this novel on July 20, 2020, from Netgalley, Imogen Clark, and Amazon UK publishers. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Imogen Clark writes a tight, compelling tale. It is always a pleasure to read her. The three Nightingale daughters of now-retired Cecily and Norman are all in their thirties and independent, though still residing in their home t I received an ARC electronic copy of this novel on July 20, 2020, from Netgalley, Imogen Clark, and Amazon UK publishers. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. Imogen Clark writes a tight, compelling tale. It is always a pleasure to read her. The three Nightingale daughters of now-retired Cecily and Norman are all in their thirties and independent, though still residing in their home town, and very differently focused on this life. The eldest, Felicity, has a high-stress, high powered career as a GP and despite being married to Mr. Wrong she is finally the mother of young Hugo after several runs at IVF. The twins with different birthdays are also truly independent thinkers - Julia is settled into a high-powered job, still single, and running out of time to find Mr. Right and start a family. Lily married young, and she and husband Marco are the parents of five sons, the youngest twins, and have expanded their Italian restaurants into a fairly nice conglomerate, still small enough to handle without losing control of the end product, but productive enough to allow Lily to stay home with the boys. And then Cecily receives a letter inviting her to Greece where Marnie Stone will be willing to meet with her. And Cecily drops everything and flies away. Why would she just fly away with no notice, no planning? Her daughters are flabergasted, and Norman is mysteriously silent on the whole matter. What is this all about? And how is it going to impact their well-established lives? Pub date July 28, 2020rec July 20, 2020publisher Amazon UKReviewed on July 30, 2020, on Goodreads, Netgalley, AmazonSmile, and Barnes&Noble. Not available forreview on BookBub, Kobo, or GoogleReads.
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  • abdulia ortiz-perez
    January 1, 1970
    I received this free book from Netgalley for honest review.4.5 stars ⭐ ⭐⭐ ⭐💫This is the first time reading from this author.I really could say that this was great one. I love everything about this book. The words was just like yes give me more. I love the cover even more. My emotions was everywhere in a good way! Like OMG! What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. I received this free book from Netgalley for honest review.4.5 stars ⭐ ⭐⭐ ⭐💫This is the first time reading from this author.I really could say that this was great one. I love everything about this book. The words was just like yes give me more. I love the cover even more. My emotions was everywhere in a good way! Like OMG! What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel did just that to me.Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good!Can't wait for the next book.#netgalley #thelastpiece
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  • Natalie Rampling
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book. It was a quick, easy read and just what I needed. Whilst I can appreciate the more serious themes of the book, I did not feel like it was considerably memorable. The characters were great and very distinct, and I liked how we could see their different personalities through how they lived their lives. However, I did not see the book as life changing or one I would insist on recommending to friends. I would recommend it to people needing a relief from the current situation.
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  • Sandra McKenna
    January 1, 1970
    A brilliant and very moving story. After receiving a letter, Cecily leaves for a visit to Greece without telling her three daughters that she is going. Only her husband knows the reason for the visit, and he is not revealing anything. A brilliant and very moving story that had me hooked from beginning to end.
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  • Lady Kate La Fleur
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review The Last Piece ★★☆☆☆ – 2.5 Writing: 3.5 starsCharacters: 3.0 stars Plot: 2.0 starsOriginality: 1.0 starsCover: 3.5 starsRecomendability: meh, nothing special. It was written okay, but the language didn’t draw me in. The book was decent and readable, but I won’t be recommending it. The mystery was far too obvious, I hoped for some twist that would make this story stand out, it didn’t come.I was mostly bored, the story was too s I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review The Last Piece ★★☆☆☆ – 2.5 Writing: 3.5 starsCharacters: 3.0 stars Plot: 2.0 starsOriginality: 1.0 starsCover: 3.5 starsRecomendability: meh, nothing special. It was written okay, but the language didn’t draw me in. The book was decent and readable, but I won’t be recommending it. The mystery was far too obvious, I hoped for some twist that would make this story stand out, it didn’t come.I was mostly bored, the story was too similar to many others and I didn’t resonate with any of the characters. Also, there were details that didn’t add anything to the plot.I don’t know, perhaps, it was just me, but I expected more from the story, something more akin to Danielle Steel and her captivating books.
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  • Fiction Addition Angela
    January 1, 1970
    I have read Imogen Clarks books in the past and have enjoyed her writing. They are easy to read and perfect for escapism when sometimes life needs to give a little release.This is largely centred around a family called the Nightingales and we have Dad Norman, Mum Cecily and their grown up daughters Felicity, Lily and Julia.When mum disappears to Greece totally out of character without any warning the daughters try to immediately question why would their mum do that? The reason we find out is tha I have read Imogen Clarks books in the past and have enjoyed her writing. They are easy to read and perfect for escapism when sometimes life needs to give a little release.This is largely centred around a family called the Nightingales and we have Dad Norman, Mum Cecily and their grown up daughters Felicity, Lily and Julia.When mum disappears to Greece totally out of character without any warning the daughters try to immediately question why would their mum do that? The reason we find out is that Cecily gets a letter from her fourth daughter who she gave away for adopted nearly fifty years ago and since that day has never seen or discovered what her long lost daughter became.The Last Piece goes between scenes in Greece and the UK and shows how their daughters are all living different lives with their own challenges.Lots of family drama, secrets and arguments feature in this novel and will tug at your heartstrings.Although I enjoyed it, it's not one of my favorite Imogen Clarks books.Certainly gives you something to think about and I learnt a lot about how the adoption process may have been in the 1970's - this may give some readers feelings of abandonment provoked by adoption.Thank you Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Caroline Kerdouci
    January 1, 1970
    The Last Piece is a sweet charming little book with an unexpected realistic edge. Meet the Nightingales, living in Harrogate Yorkshire. Norman and Cecily are parents to three grown up daughters Felicity and twins Lily and Julia and grandparents to six boys. Like any family they have their ups and downs, sibling rivalries never far from the surface but it’s fair to say they are a close knit unit. That is until the day mother hen Cecily takes off on an unexpected trip to Kefalonia alone. Husband N The Last Piece is a sweet charming little book with an unexpected realistic edge. Meet the Nightingales, living in Harrogate Yorkshire. Norman and Cecily are parents to three grown up daughters Felicity and twins Lily and Julia and grandparents to six boys. Like any family they have their ups and downs, sibling rivalries never far from the surface but it’s fair to say they are a close knit unit. That is until the day mother hen Cecily takes off on an unexpected trip to Kefalonia alone. Husband Norman is reticent to explain the reasons why so their daughters are left to jump to their own conclusions.Scenes at the idyllic retreat in Kefalonia where relaxation and isolation are the order of the day sounded absolutely blissful. I almost felt envious of Cecily having the chance to unwind, eat good food, swim in warm waters and soak up the Mediterranean sun until I remembered she was there to confront her past. I couldn’t help feeling she was in for a bumpy ride.It’s fair to say that although much of the storyline is predictable it’s far from all sweetness and light. I don’t think I’m giving away spoilers here as the reason for Cecily’s spontaneous trip to Kefalonia is glaringly obvious (apologies if anyone disagrees!) I particularly enjoyed Cecily’s backstory taking the reader back in time to 1968, an era when it was still very much frowned upon to be an unmarried pregnant girl and mother and baby homes were still in existence. Hard to imagine now, living in such liberal times but in those days adoption for these babies born out of wedlock was incredibly common. The impact on both mother and baby and any future reunion makes a great basis for fiction, which the author has capitalised on, treating the subject matter with authority, warmth and compassion. I was easily swept up in the Nightingales own version of such a scenario, thanks to the sensitivity of the author’s style of writing.It was interesting to discover how Cecily’s emotions regarding Marnie change over the course of the book. Her trip to Kefalonia at the beginning is one that is filled with hope and trepidation but also a sense that finally she can openly admit to having four daughters rather than three. Cecily’s time in the mother and baby home shows a teenage girl who is naive yet pragmatic, unaware how this momentous event will affect in her in the intervening years. Guilt and sorrow and even shame that she so willing gave Marnie up for adoption has clearly haunted her in the present day, prompting much empathy for her on my behalf. She is a loving, warm character for whom family means everything so I could understand her nervousness, anxiety and anticipation at finding the missing piece in her family puzzle. Is it any wonder that her emotions then are all over the place and not what she expects when she is finally reunited with Marnie?Something else that struck me was the impact of Cecily’s bombshell on the rest of the Nightingale family. Felicity and Julia’s lives are in turmoil for very different reasons so to add a stranger into the mix is unsettling for everyone concerned, including Norman. The fact that Marnie is direct to the point of rudeness, frosty and taciturn doesn’t do her any favours but I have to admit to liking her prickly personality. If Cecily was hoping for a happy reunion then she’s much mistaken but Marnie’s hostile attitude I imagine to be quite realistic given the circumstances.All members of this family are likeable, with traits that we might recognise in our own sisters but aside from Cecily good old Norman who is calm, sensible and unflappable won my heart. How can you not love a man who happily does jigsaws?!? In fact I thought the use of the jigsaw as a metaphor for the unravelling of this storyline was a lovely touch.The Nightingales are such an ordinary family, each character believable with their own individual hurdles in life relatable. The Last Piece is perfect as a lighthearted but emotional read, just right for a Sunday afternoon’s indulgence. This is the first title I’ve read by this author but it won’t be my last. My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read.
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  • Ioana
    January 1, 1970
    The novel started fine, with a fast pace, a mystery (that wasn't that mysterious in the end, in my opinion), and the promise of a good story; and yet, I didn't enjoy this one.The plot is weak and it's easy to see where it'll take the reader. The focus is on Cecily Nightingale, a mother of three daughters, who discovers that the daughter she gave up for adoption fifty years ago has summoned her to Greece. This isn't a spoiler because you learn this fairly early in the book.I don't know why there The novel started fine, with a fast pace, a mystery (that wasn't that mysterious in the end, in my opinion), and the promise of a good story; and yet, I didn't enjoy this one.The plot is weak and it's easy to see where it'll take the reader. The focus is on Cecily Nightingale, a mother of three daughters, who discovers that the daughter she gave up for adoption fifty years ago has summoned her to Greece. This isn't a spoiler because you learn this fairly early in the book.I don't know why there were chapters focusing on all her three daughters, yet each thread is left blowing in the wind because we have no real closure or finality to their stories. Maybe this is because Cecily's story isn't a strong enough story line on its own. There is a build-up, but you can plainly see Cecily's story and secret, and the same is true for Julia, one of Cecily's daughters.We are also handed everything on a platter, little is revealed through conversations. Norman, Cecily's husband, thinks of the past and voila! you have their history presented to you. That's too easy for me. There aren't many characters in the novel, yet I didn't feel any fondness towards anyone in particular. However, I know for sure I didn't like Cecily. She seems naive to the point of entitlement and even judgmental - the "wobbly stomach" of another woman she sees in summer clothing makes Cecily feel "nauseous", but she feels proud of herself for going to the beach and showing her "wobbly thighs".Marnie, the fourth daughter, is a fifty year old woman. However, I constantly had to remind myself of that because from every interaction Cecily had with her I had the impression that Marnie's in her 20s. Cecily refers to Marnie as "young people" which makes everyone seem silly. Speaking of silly, Marco, one of Cecily's sons-in-law, after twenty years in UK can't seem to be able to use the verb to be, for the life of him. Why make characters silly and fake?The relationship between Cecily and Marnie is cold and Marnie is plain mean, not to mention somewhat disturbing, given the obsession we learn she has with the Nightingales. Why she insisted on meeting Cecily on an island in Greece, when they all live in UK, is beyond me. For the sake of change of scenery, I assume.I am hitting this novel hard, I can see that. But as a reader I didn't see any depth. The characters were merely sketched, I couldn't like anyone because there was no character development, and everything was just handed over to read, not revealed, if that makes sense. It does read rather fast, and maybe if you've read Imogen Clark before you might find this enjoyable. It wasn't the novel for me, although I was looking forward to it.Disclaimer: I received this novel from the publisher via Net Galley. All thoughts expressed here are my own.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books?? BTW - stay home and save lives!!!!!!!! No tan is worth dying for.I requested and re When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books?? BTW - stay home and save lives!!!!!!!! No tan is worth dying for.I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.A sudden departure. A story decades in the making.The chaotic but happy equilibrium of the Nightingale family is thrown into disarray when Cecily—whose children can’t remember her ever being remotely spontaneous—disappears to a Greek island with no warning or explanation.Her reasons for doing something so out of character are a total mystery to her three daughters, high-powered executive Felicity, unfulfilled GP Julia and organized mother-of-five Lily. What connection could she possibly have with Kefalonia?But Cecily has gone to continue a story she thought ended decades ago—one that could have a huge impact on her family. And when she returns, she’ll have to tell them the truth.Will Cecily be able to hold her family together once she reveals her big secret? And might she discover that she’s not the only one with a story to tell?After two books I did not even read past chapter two, finally home run! How much of a home run? I read it in one fell swoop! (it is too hot to even go outside today so that helped, too.) I sincerely loved the characters in the book and the family dynamics - uncle and father at the same time? LOL- I feel like I am amongst my Arkansas relatives. The book is well written and all the ladies in the book are well fleshed out and integral parts of the story. The men seem a little ignored but that is okay because this is a prime piece of chick-lit that is begging to be read. The problem with writing and reviewing books for far ahead os that one feels pregnant with them, and since pregnancy is a theme in this book, that worked out excellently.A great book from an author I have never read before. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🐦🐦🐦🐦🐦 (the closest I could get to a nightingale!)
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  • Debbie Viscosi
    January 1, 1970
    Cecelia loves her family. She has raised three wonderful daughters and is enjoying being a grandmother. A mysterious letter shows up in the mail and suddenly she is on a flight to Greece. Her husband Norman won't explain her absence, he merely tells their daughters that she will explain to them when she returns. This book is a heartfelt look at family, love, loss, and reconnecting. Cecelia's trip to Greece is to meet the daughter that she gave up for adoption 50 years ago when she was 16. After Cecelia loves her family. She has raised three wonderful daughters and is enjoying being a grandmother. A mysterious letter shows up in the mail and suddenly she is on a flight to Greece. Her husband Norman won't explain her absence, he merely tells their daughters that she will explain to them when she returns. This book is a heartfelt look at family, love, loss, and reconnecting. Cecelia's trip to Greece is to meet the daughter that she gave up for adoption 50 years ago when she was 16. After becoming pregnant, she was taken to a mothers home to continue her pregnancy. Once she delivers her baby she will return home. Imogen Clark gives insight into how unexpected pregnancies were handled in the 1960s. The home was not a vacation. The girls went to class and had chores every day. This helped the time pass. It is moving to read how the pregnant girls were looked down upon by the local townspeople. Reading how the babies were turned over to adoption by people unknown to these girls is heart-wrenching. As a mother, I could feel and identify with their pain.When Cecelia meets her firstborn daughter, it is not as she expected. The daughter, Marnie, is very cold and standoffish. Cecelia knows that it might take time for Marnie to open up. So Cecelia shares the story of her life and her pregnancy with Marnie. She invites Marnie to visit her at her home and meet her half-sisters. Several months later, Marnie contacts them and wants to visit. This visit is tense and awkward. Marnie doesn't commit to any further contact with any of the family. Devastated, Marnie vows to take it slow and build a relationship with Marnie and then bring her back into the family once she is comfortable.What absolutely amazed me was the insight that Imogen Clark had to the thoughts and feelings of Cecelia and Marnie. I am an adult adoptee, finding the thoughts, prayers, and concerns that I have long felt in a book was astonishing. Imogen Clark is able to provide the reader with loving insight into such an emotional situation. The ending of this story is bittersweet and beautiful. This is an absolutely wonderful book..
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  • Kimberly Tierney
    January 1, 1970
    The Last Piece is the story of Cecily who, after receiving a surprise letter in the mail, sets off to Greece for a week. Cecily is not spontaneous. The last time she did anything that could be considered spontaneous was over 50 years ago. What transpires in Greece sets Cecily on a journey of nostalgia and self-reflection of that time 50 years ago.Cecily’s invitation to Greece was sent by Marnie, who was involved in Cecily’s last spontaneous moment. She has also lurked in the corners of Cecily’s The Last Piece is the story of Cecily who, after receiving a surprise letter in the mail, sets off to Greece for a week. Cecily is not spontaneous. The last time she did anything that could be considered spontaneous was over 50 years ago. What transpires in Greece sets Cecily on a journey of nostalgia and self-reflection of that time 50 years ago.Cecily’s invitation to Greece was sent by Marnie, who was involved in Cecily’s last spontaneous moment. She has also lurked in the corners of Cecily’s mind every day for the last 50 years. Their meeting is intense. It is filled with uncomfortable conversations that are healing to one of them but leads to more questions for the other. When they part ways it seems as though the past can be worked through and the future can have some type of relationship between them.Cecily’s family knows nothing of Marnie, nor why her letter would send Cecily jetting off to another country for a week. So when, after months go by, Marnie says that she is coming to visit Cecily and meet the rest of her family, Cecily is both nervous and excited. However, things do not go well at all.After spending months in emotional and mental turmoil Cecily decides to go see Marnie on her own territory, as a surprise. This time things seem to be able to get worked through a bit more. Each woman walks away feeling confident in the closure of their unique relationship. They have discovered who they are to one another, and who they are as individuals.While written before the global pandemic shut down this is the perfect time for right now as many of us are spending a lot more time alone with our thoughts, trying to figure out who we are and where we fit into the lives of our family and friends. And even though this is a work of fiction, it is comforting in these times to read of someone else struggling through the muck of family relationships during difficult times.The Last Piece is a story of how we never fully know the entire story of someone’s life and that appearance can be deceiving. Cecily, Marnie, and their families all have their secrets, and in the end, they realize that sharing the secrets, airing them out, is better than holding them in.
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  • Fay Flude
    January 1, 1970
    This might just be my favourite Imogen Clark read so far.A beautifully poignant tale of love and loss, travelling back to sixties Britain when unmarried mothers were sent to Homes and usually parted from their babies.The Last Piece sweeps the reader along in its wake, caught up in the ebb and flow of family drama that many of us will be able to relate to.I loved the Nightingale family. Julia and Lily the twins, one a GP and single, the other married and with five children under the age of 9, and This might just be my favourite Imogen Clark read so far.A beautifully poignant tale of love and loss, travelling back to sixties Britain when unmarried mothers were sent to Homes and usually parted from their babies.The Last Piece sweeps the reader along in its wake, caught up in the ebb and flow of family drama that many of us will be able to relate to.I loved the Nightingale family. Julia and Lily the twins, one a GP and single, the other married and with five children under the age of 9, and elder sibling Felicity, unhappily married with a child who was very hard to conceive.They all live locally in Harrogate, Yorkshire, near to Mum and Dad, Cecily and Norman.All the of the characters are distinct and have very likeable personalities. The differences, the quirks, the varying circumstances they find themselves in, are all very true to family compositions and dynamics. A wonderful portrait of the the ups and downs, of infidelity, divorce, motherhood and varying types of family set up, The Last Piece explores all those connections that make us family.Not everything is joyous though. There is some real heart-breaking, soul searching sections where the reader is transported to another time and place, where we ache with regret alongside Cecily and feel every bit of the confusion, doubt and pain that being a mother can bring.I liked the way the novel was dived into parts, each one telling of a particular time in this family's life. I particularly enjoyed the reality of the Mother and Baby Home in Wales and the parts where Cecily is in Kefalonia.And what held this book together in such a delightful way, was steady Norman, attempting Jamie Oliver recipes, trying to clear out the shed and working on a jigsaw puzzle that after months of completing, just doesn't have that Last Piece. Sometimes though, the whole picture is fine without that one little bit because, as the author describes so well, real life is never, ever perfect but it doesn't stop it from being good.Join Cecily and Norman, Felicity and Richard, Julia, Sam, Lily and Marco in their journey with Marnie and learn more about what it is to belong.
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  • Paige Emily Willoughby
    January 1, 1970
    The last piece by Imogen Clark ⭐️⭐️⭐️Summary 📖 - Each family is built up of puzzle pieces, that eventually create the puzzle. Some pieces aren’t as spoken about as others, and this book is no exception.This book follows Cecily, wife to Norman and mum of four daughters, one of which she gave up following her parents wishes when she was just 16. Cecily has heard nothing for fifty years, until one day she received a letter out of the blue inviting her to Greece for the week - so without warning, Ce The last piece by Imogen Clark ⭐️⭐️⭐️Summary 📖 - Each family is built up of puzzle pieces, that eventually create the puzzle. Some pieces aren’t as spoken about as others, and this book is no exception.This book follows Cecily, wife to Norman and mum of four daughters, one of which she gave up following her parents wishes when she was just 16. Cecily has heard nothing for fifty years, until one day she received a letter out of the blue inviting her to Greece for the week - so without warning, Cecily disappears to a Greek island retreat leaving her three daughters puzzled and her husband Norman in charge of not just the child care of their grand children but the understandable worry that comes from their mum leaving without an explanation. Cecily is looking to have the chance to explain herself and find a the final piece to add to her puzzle, but will it go as she hoped? Review ⭐️ - Firstly, thank you to Net Gallery, for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my review. This may of been my first Imogen Clark book, but I definitely don’t think it’ll be the last - I loved the character development throughout this book, especially Cecily and her daughters - if anything I’d love to know more about them and continue reading about their stories however I have to say I didn’t warm too Marnie at all - her life must of been tough don’t get me wrong, but she didn’t show much or any compassion to her mother who didn’t have any choice in the decision to give her up! This book gave such a real account that not all meetings go as planned. Very early on, I knew where the book was going but nothing fully prepared me for the shock of their trip to London - though with that in mind, after the reaction from Marnie I wasn’t exactly surprised. This is definitely one of them books, that you can get lost in for the afternoon! 🏠
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  • Nicola
    January 1, 1970
    This book gets 5stars for the ending alone!I've read all of Imogen's books and was waiting with bated breath for this one - how could she possibly top 'Where the Story Starts', which at the time I had thought - how could she possibly top 'The Thing about Clare' and even before that I'd thought - how could she possibly top 'Postcards from a Stranger' - BUT WITH THIS NEWEST RELEASE - SHE ABSOLUTELY HAS!The story opens with three grown-up sisters panicking that their mother has hot-footed it off to This book gets 5stars for the ending alone!I've read all of Imogen's books and was waiting with bated breath for this one - how could she possibly top 'Where the Story Starts', which at the time I had thought - how could she possibly top 'The Thing about Clare' and even before that I'd thought - how could she possibly top 'Postcards from a Stranger' - BUT WITH THIS NEWEST RELEASE - SHE ABSOLUTELY HAS!The story opens with three grown-up sisters panicking that their mother has hot-footed it off to Greece without explanation and leaving their dad at home alone. What could possibly make Cecily do something so out of character? What unravels next is a lifetime of secrets and some heart-breaking decisions that have the potential to rip the neat little family apart. Meanwhile, as the children are busy judging their mother for her erratic and unexplained behaviour, they themselves are all hiding secrets of their own and not everything is as it seems on the surface within their own lives. As is Imogen's style, she tells the story from different character's point of views, and those eagle-eyed story nerds will notice that she expertly intertwines third-person narration, with one character written in first-person. A truly complex skill to pull off so seamlessly, and in a such a way that the reader doesn't even notice. Instead, they feel more connected to the characters. Imogen's prose rolls off the page, and as I'm someone who can personally relate to the topic at the heart of this story, I have to commend Imogen on how she portrayed this very real, but highly controversial topic. I'm so pleased she ended the story as she did - it was the braver option - but the right choice for the characters involved. Well done. I'm not sure how I can wait another six months for her next offering!
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  • Faith Hurst-Bilinski
    January 1, 1970
    Cecily has three grown daughters, Julia, Lily, and Felicity. They are all thrown, in quite different ways, when their mother just takes off for Greece one day. She isn't flighty. She doesn't do this. The sisters are very much sisters. Julia enjoys shocking the others with the news. Felicity is overwrought, but mostly about her own convenience and not what the heck is happening with her mother. They descend on their father for answers. Dad only reveals that Mom was invited, so she went.I think I Cecily has three grown daughters, Julia, Lily, and Felicity. They are all thrown, in quite different ways, when their mother just takes off for Greece one day. She isn't flighty. She doesn't do this. The sisters are very much sisters. Julia enjoys shocking the others with the news. Felicity is overwrought, but mostly about her own convenience and not what the heck is happening with her mother. They descend on their father for answers. Dad only reveals that Mom was invited, so she went.I think I was drawn to the sisterly relationships most of all. I'm a sister many times over and, man, those can be complicated and simple at the same time. My relationship as a daughter is complicated. My relationship as a mother is simple. But my sisters....I see that reflected here. There is so much to sisterly relationships because there is, at least in theory, an evenness to them that is not there in mother/daughter relationships. Yet, they aren't even. I don't know if I make sense. I only know that this got me thinking of the varied relationships I have with my 4 sisters and how different those have always been than that with my brother. We judge each other much differently. And support each other much differently.Cecily's journey had me drawn in slowly. She is attending some sort of retreat and someone paid for it. We don't find out right away what was in the letter that brought her to Greece. Its a mystery but solving it wasn't really pressing for me. It took longer to be really involved in her part of the tale. Then we learn of Marnie. Her other daughter. This was a short book about the relationships of women in a family. I know it well. Thank you to Netgalley, Imogen Clark, and Amazon Publishing UK for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Charles
    January 1, 1970
    IMOGEN CLARK – THE LAST PIECEI read this novel in advance of publication through NetGalley in return for an honest review.As it must be for an author, releasing their fledgling child into the big wide world for others to greet with warmth or tear apart, so too is it for an avid reader approaching the latest work of a favourite author, not wanting to be disappointed by the new-born, yet wanting to lend encouragement nevertheless.Phew! Sweat flicked from the brow! I’m happy to report that not only IMOGEN CLARK – THE LAST PIECEI read this novel in advance of publication through NetGalley in return for an honest review.As it must be for an author, releasing their fledgling child into the big wide world for others to greet with warmth or tear apart, so too is it for an avid reader approaching the latest work of a favourite author, not wanting to be disappointed by the new-born, yet wanting to lend encouragement nevertheless.Phew! Sweat flicked from the brow! I’m happy to report that not only is this child is fully fledged, it is an outright winner. More than equipped to fly the nest solo. It’s one of her very best.What more could one want in lockdown? A visit to the blue skies of Greece? Teas in Bettys of Harrogate? An interesting and likeable family to meet – three very diverse daughters, each with their own secret, a mother and father of whom anyone would be proud to call their parents… and a powerful spanner thrust into their happy nest.It is this spanner, a bolt from the past, which starts the story, and sends Cecily, the mother, hotfooting it to Kefalonia, uncharacteristically tight-lipped about her mission to Norman, her husband, and the rest of her family. How each daughter reacts, and what Cecily finds when she gets there, form this page-turner of a story. I admit that I had to ration myself to two chapters at a time, otherwise I would have raced through it at one sitting – and I am a person who likes to savour the nuances of the journey rather than rush from point A to point B. And what a point B. Daring and unexpected and yet right. No spoilers here: read and enjoy!If this doesn’t reach Number One – well, if I wore one, I would eat my sun hat. And when it does, perhaps treat myself to a Fat Rascal. (You’ll get that, when you read the book!). I know which is the better bet. Yum, yum.
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  • April
    January 1, 1970
    Received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for feedback.The initial pacing felt a bit slow/awkward but once various plot pieces were in place, this was somewhat understandable because there are multiple stories weaving around the main one (Cecily's) and things of this scope takes time to develop. These additional stories made the overall book richer but didn't shift focus away from the main one. I guessed Cecily's secret fairly early on but wasn't fully correct regarding how this reveal would Received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for feedback.The initial pacing felt a bit slow/awkward but once various plot pieces were in place, this was somewhat understandable because there are multiple stories weaving around the main one (Cecily's) and things of this scope takes time to develop. These additional stories made the overall book richer but didn't shift focus away from the main one. I guessed Cecily's secret fairly early on but wasn't fully correct regarding how this reveal would affect each family member or how things would be resolved by the end of the book. I was saddened by the circumstances that brought Cecily and others to this point but appreciated the amount of details regarding her time at The Home.The chapters alternating between Greece and England kept things interesting as readers "saw" things from most perspectives. My opinions of various characters shifted from first impressions to the way they were by the end of the book but one stayed fairly constant for me: Norman. I liked him at the start and still liked him at the end. Most of the others shifted between like and tolerate based on the scenario. I say most because there are two characters I didn't like as soon as they were introduced and certainly didn't like their actions/behavior throughout the book. I won't say who because I don't want to color others opinions of them. This book didn't have the happy ending I am used to (which is okay) but what it mostly did was make me stop and think. What would I have done if I was in Cecily's shoes? What would I have done if I was one of the others being told Cecily's secret? I honestly don't know those answers and that's okay, too. Would I read anything else by this author? Much easier to answer: yes.
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  • Samantha Brosnan
    January 1, 1970
    ‘The Last Piece’ is a breezy, sentimental read that showcases the Nightingale family during a tumultuous time in their lives. Cecily spontaneously leaves for Greece with no word left for her three adult daughters, and their father, Norman, isn’t giving away the reason Mom left. But when she comes back, she reveals a secret that changes their family, and introduces someone new into their lives - you could probably guess but I won’t tell you either. The story revolves around how these characters h ‘The Last Piece’ is a breezy, sentimental read that showcases the Nightingale family during a tumultuous time in their lives. Cecily spontaneously leaves for Greece with no word left for her three adult daughters, and their father, Norman, isn’t giving away the reason Mom left. But when she comes back, she reveals a secret that changes their family, and introduces someone new into their lives - you could probably guess but I won’t tell you either. The story revolves around how these characters handle this new person along with everything going on in their lives. Felicity, after going through years of IVF, finally had her boy, Hugo, and she is putting all her energy into being the best mom possible, but her husband isn’t on the same page. Julia, the younger twin (kind of a cool story here) to Lily, is struggling with her impending biological clock and takes a plunge that not everyone in her family supports. And then, Lily, our patient, kind, mother of five boys with no complaints, angel of a character is struggling(?) to be the person she feels she needs to be to fit in with her sisters. I loved the characters in the book - they were very alive and realistic and their storylines were so true to life. I appreciate that they weren’t necessarily resolved at the end of the book in the truest sense of the word, as their lives continue past the end. Speaking of the end, I thought it was interesting the path our new character chose, not only throughout her whole life but at the end here too. It’s not a traditional choice and that was refreshing. Overall, it was an entertaining family drama with likable characters and an interesting premise.
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  • Jessica Mauk
    January 1, 1970
    //📚BOOK REVIEW - The Last Piece by Imogen Clark ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🚪Thank you @netgally, @imogenclark and @lakeunionpublishing for the opportunity to read this book prerelease in exchange for my honest review🚪The chaotic but happy equilibrium of the Nightingale family is thrown into disarray when Cecily—whose children can’t remember her ever being remotely spontaneous—disappears to a Greek island with no warning or explanation.Her reasons for doing something so out of character are a total mystery to her th //📚BOOK REVIEW - The Last Piece by Imogen Clark ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🚪Thank you @netgally, @imogenclark and @lakeunionpublishing for the opportunity to read this book prerelease in exchange for my honest review🚪The chaotic but happy equilibrium of the Nightingale family is thrown into disarray when Cecily—whose children can’t remember her ever being remotely spontaneous—disappears to a Greek island with no warning or explanation.Her reasons for doing something so out of character are a total mystery to her three daughters, high-powered executive Felicity, unfulfilled GP Julia and organised mother-of-five Lily. What connection could she possibly have with Kefalonia?But Cecily has gone to continue a story she thought ended decades ago—one that could have a huge impact on her family. And when she returns, she’ll have to tell them the truth.Will Cecily be able to hold her family together once she reveals her big secret? And might she discover that she’s not the only one with a story to tell?🚪This was a charming story about family and the secrets we keep to protect our loved ones and ourselves. The story was a slow burn for me, and I found the characters flawed, but lovable. Cecily vacillates between trying to do what’s best for those around her while also centering herself and her feelings, hoping to make peace with the situation at hand, and keep peace among her family. I found myself rooting for everyone at various moments in a nod to the phenomenal accomplishment of writing characters that are complicated complicated and messy, and truly feel as if they could be my own sisters. 🚪Overall a wonderful peek into an average family, and the secrets we all keep close.
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