The Last of the Stanfields

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

The concept of this book is good, the expectation going in was high but this style of writing was difficult to follow for me as a reader. It probably suits others, maybe those with more dedicated to the storyline or those willing to reread sections. I want a book to flow and have decent pacing unless I am heavily invested in the book. 
So, I would say this was a so-so book for me.

#TheLastOfTheStanfields #NetGalley
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I really enjoyed reading this book. It bounces between the past and present and at times can leave you re-reading parts to make sure you’re following, but I find that intriguing. The characters were developed really well, they had wonderful storylines and plot twists. 
You will stop multiple times in the book to say....”what just happened” and feel like your mind is blown. 
It was also fascinating to learn about your family and parents past lives, I love reading a good book about a “secret life”. 
This book has intrigue, love, honesty and imgination. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.
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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC in return for an honest review. 

The premise of this book  was quite intriguing, so I had high hopes when I started reading it.
Two strangers from across the world received a strange letter telling them to investigate the mysterious pasts of their own mothers. It got very confusing with the POV's and with the jumping back and forth between the present and the past. The bantering between the two main characters was very childish, defensive, and at times, rude. I am not sure how that turn into a love story... The big mystery that they try to solve was not very believable and well, doesn't really make sense. The extend that their mothers were willing to go to achieve their goal was beyond me.
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I apologize for not being able to give my feedback before this title was archived.

Many thanks to the publisher anyway for accepting my request. I'll write a proper review as soon as possible, even though the book is now already published.
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I have read a book from this author in the past so I knew that this book would be well written.  I like that the book had a good amount of mystery, suspense, and history to it.  I, also, like that the book switched to different characters and time periods.    I liked that the characters were well written, well developed, and made the story amazing.  I will definitely be recommending this book to others and will definitely read more from this author in the future.
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This book was requested from Net Galley in exchange of an honest review
The Last of the Stanfields is a name that immediately invokes visions of family sagas and great historical feats. The very retro cover art adds weight to that supposition as well and does not mislead in the least. 
The story weaves between modern day England and Canada and Baltimore, USA in the 1950’s and even makes forays into France in the 1940’s. However, this is not exactly a World War II novel. Essentially, the main theme of the book seems to be that parents don’t always share their true histories with their offspring in an effort, sometimes misguided, to protect them from the harsh realities of life and sometimes simply to hide their own guilt or shortcomings as youngsters.
This book turns out to be a reader’s favorite kind of surprise, as it captures the interest right from the very first few pages and manages to hold it throughout. The Donovan family is instantly likable and engaging. The relationships between the children and their one remaining parent and their relationships with each other as well are very engaging and dripping with a whole lot of family feeling. Which makes one begin praying that they stay that way for as long as possible because it is obvious that some bomb shell is about to be dropped into this mix soon enough. The bombshell appears in the form of an anonymous letter written to the elder daughter of the family and purports to know a secret that their mother had hidden from them for decades. Obviously, the letter is addressed to the one child who is insecure enough and curious enough to pursue this allegation. It leads to unraveling the life story of their mother which is heart-breaking and tragic at the same time. 
The mystery of their mother’s, Sally-Anne, misdemeanor has been unraveled very skillfully and intriguingly. Even if, at the end of it all, the reasons for Sally-Anne’s actions seem extremely juvenile and founded on petty jealousy and feelings of revenge, the overall arc of the story plays out pretty well. I felt sympathy and empathy for almost all characters except for the one that supposedly deserved it the most. That a woman would be willing to destroy her own family, while she was taking monetary help from them, that too in such a ruthless fashion was more than a bit chilling. Also, I kept wondering what the children would feel on retrospection about their mother’s behavior towards themselves once they knew of her very colorful past. 
The writing style is very much the kind that is easy to follow, with clear headings about places and dates to prevent any kind of confusion in the readers about timelines and such. I also like that some characters made their appearances with dedicated sections when one least expected them to, and revealed previously undocumented flaws in their repertoires. 
The only thing that stopped this book from reaching the full 5-star review for me was the pretty flimsy excuse that was presented as a reason for the daughter to hate her parents so much. It took much away from the principled girl that the author had set out to portray and made all her later actions seem a bit beyond the pale. They also raised questions about answering for crimes committed and whether it is so easy to simply overlook and forgive grievous acts. Because when all is said and done, Sally Anne got away with more than just a robbery in the end. Maybe she should have performed some form of penance or provided some reparation to the mother she spent hating half her life. And raising a family is not a punishment.
As is pretty obvious from the above diatribe, the book has created quite an impression on this reader at least, which obviously puts it up there in ‘must recommend’ books for 2019.
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This was a marvelous book. I had no expectations going in; I barely even knew what it was about, just had glanced at the blurb on NetGalley and decided that I really wanted to read it. I got SO lucky with this one [not all blind faith reads turn out like this one did]. 

This is the story of Eleanor-Rigby - a girl with serious wanderlust, who lives her life as a journalist that travels the world. She loves her family, but after the loss of her mother, she just cannot seem to stay at home or near home much anymore, much to the dismay of her twin, Michel, younger sister Maggie-Mae and their beloved Dad. She was fairly content with her life until the day she received a letter that changes everything she ever knew and believed about herself and her mother and takes her from London to Baltimore, Maryland, where she meets a man named George-Harrison who also received a letter [about the search for his father] and the game is on and the search for the truth begins and they continue on, no matter the cost. And the cost could be very steep. 

Filled with twist and turns and LOTS of sadness, this was an amazing story told from several points of view [which is needed to get the whole story] - from a safe house in the wilderness of France during WW2, to NYC, to Baltimore, England and Canada. And it is a story that is amazing, crazy and sad. Lies and secrecy will never get you anywhere but mired in sadness and bitterness and this book showcases that fact very well. 

These are fantastic and believable characters that you have empathy and liking for right from the beginning. And the end is really quite perfect. 

I am so glad I took a chance on this book - it was such a great read for me! 

Thank you to NetGalley and AmazonCrossings for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. The Last of the Stanfields turned out to be kind of weird. The story line was choppy and strange. The characters were hard to identify with. The entire thing is so all over the place. It's entertaining and engaging in a ridiculous way. Overall, it's actually not bad, just different. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Amazing read! The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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There’s no point in reading a Marc Levy novel and keeping your literary critic hat on. He is very much a sui generis writer and you either go along with that or you don’t. His books are whimsical, with a bit of magic realism on occasion, unashamedly romantic and plain good fun. I don’t think that this is one of his best, as the plot is simply too convoluted and the jumps about in time and space make for a disjointed narrative. It’s all rather too hard to believe as well, with unlikely plot twists and turns, coincidences galore, and too many characters. However, this tale of family secrets and hidden pasts is an entertaining and amusing tour de force, which I very much enjoyed and one which is probably best read quickly and uncritically.
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A book that starts slowly but will hook you after a few pages.
I liked the characters, the setting and how they were written.
The style of writing is interesting and the book is both entertaining and engaging.
Recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC
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