When We Last Spoke
Imagine you’re a woman in your 50s. One day, your daughter-in-law leaves her family. Your son is shipped off to Vietnam. Their two young daughters come to live with you and your husband. Just as you’re getting used to that, you get word that your son has been killed. That’s not all either, because your quirky and ornery mother-in-law moves in, too.
If this all stresses you out, you can relate to the plight of Ruby Cranbourne in “When We Last Spoke,” by Marci Henna. But Ruby is that woman we’d all like to be: sweet, a great cook, loving, and seems to have won the relationship lottery with handsome farmer husband, Walt, who treats her well.
This book is narrated by the older of the two granddaughters taken in by Walt and Ruby, Juliet. She begins telling the story when she’s an adult, but most of the book is a flashback to Juliet and sister Evangeline’s childhood in fictional Fireside, Texas, with their grandparents.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters all have vivid personalities with memorable southern language, and you’ll feel like you know them. The 1970s setting comes alive and feels very authentic as well.
As I read the book, I kept thinking that it had similarities to the Mitford series by Jan Karon: sweet, evocative of a place and time that aren’t current, but where it would be pleasant to spend some time.
The book is free on Amazon through Friday (Kindle version).