Today we have a review from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com
Cathy chose to read and review Last Child by Terry Tyler
Following on from the impressive Kings and Queens, The Last Child tracks the fortunes of Harry Lanchester’s children, Isabella, Erin and Jasper. The narrative flows smoothly, with chapters from several of the main characters’ perspectives, each moving the story along seamlessly. Again, Terry Tyler very cleverly parallels each fascinating character with their Tudor equivalent, in a modern day setting and with her own unique interpretation.
Ex nanny, Hannah Cleveley opens the story the year after Harry’s fatal heart attack. Lanchester Estates is being managed by Ned Seymour, young Jasper’s uncle, until he comes of age, with assistance from Jim Dudley. There’s no love lost between the two men and Isabella and Erin support opposing camps which doesn’t make for easy business relations especially when Isabella finds out that Erin has sold some shares to Jim Dudley.
Jasper, at thirteen, is more interested in getting up to mischief with his friends, and other people who should know better. Grounded for drinking, Jaz (he won’t answer to Jasper any more) records his thoughts on a dictaphone at Hannah’s suggestion. Reading his take on his life is amusing and sad at the same time.
Tensions are running high at Lanchester Estates as Isabella heads the company after another family tragedy, and starts to implement her less than popular strategies. Disliked at work and lonely in her private life Isabella makes a relationship choice that is ultimately her undoing.
And Erin, beautiful and dedicated to the continuation of her father’s company, rectifies the consequences of Isabella’s reign at Lanchester Estates. In love with Rob Dudley, their on, off and on again relationship runs throughout the story, but determined never to marry, not having had any experience of happy ever afters to make her reconsider.
It’s impossible not to be drawn in by these very realistic and distinct personalities. I love the writing style very much, the humour and the easy, eloquent expression. The complex relationships and complicated family dynamics, the love, loss, and the promise of new life, along with the devastation of dementia and the complexities of mental illness are all written extremely well.
I also love Jim Dudley and Raine Grey’s romance and I’m so glad their characters weren’t too closely represented by their historical counterparts, they are two of my favourites and their relationship is very moving and quite tragic. This is so compelling and after the ending I hope there will be more to come!