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When We Last Spoke Paperback – June 9, 2015
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About the Author
Marci Henna is a novelist living in Austin, Texas, with her husband. She holds a BA in literature from the University of Texas and spent many years serving as a trustee on various nonprofit foundations, several of which attended to children’s needs. Although she’s resided in Texas and New Mexico for most of her life, Henna has also lived in Kenya with the Wakamba.
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Top Customer Reviews
The small town of "Fireside, Texas where no strangers are known! We are the home of the free and the brave and everlasting polite persons. We never take the last cookie and never eat beets, but thank the hostess for them anyway."
When We Last Spoke is narrated by Juliet, the older of the girls by 22 months. It briefly opens in modern day with Juliet asking Evangeline to come home and quickly slips to the time when she and her sister were unceremoniously left on Walt and Ruby's doorstep. Anyone who's had to raise their grandchildren or who were raised by their grandparents knows that life changes in an instant in these situations.
Their grandfather Walt is a good-looking rancher who's married to Ruby, who's still quite glamorous and a former traveling performer with her sisters. Together they raise two very busy girls.
I really enjoyed this book and had a difficult time putting it down. I like the small town feel where everyone knows everyone else's business but they also take care of one another. While not an overly Christian novel Marci Henna knows that writing a good book doesn't require nudity and obscene language. When We Last Spoke is the story of could just as easily been about any two sisters you know.
The story is of two little girls abruptly dumped on their grandparents by an uncaring, selfish mother who flees the scene. The father is in Vietnam fighting the war. I felt deep sympathy for the girls as well as the grandparents for being thrust into this situaiton. Early in the book the paternal great-grandmother is also brusquely deposited on the threshold of Ruby's and Walt's home and quickly insinuates herself rudely into each one's life. Situations and events evolve day by day and in a quirky way Ruby and Walt show grace and caring.
As the story progressed, I saw that during a visit to town, the little girls got a perception that their beloved grandfather, Walt, was having an affair with the local woman who wore tight pants (and grandmama had had choice words about how the woman's bottom moved) and real flashy makeup. Then in several spots the words "durn," "damn," and "dammit" were used. I do not care to read books with curse words and children seeing actions which caused them to perceive and discussing a grandparent's adultry. Perceptions can be wrong and wrong can be done based on wrong perceptions.
The book is well written depicting life in a small Southern town with quirky characters whose conversations are rife with quirky "sayings" that will keep you chuckling and sometimes simply wondering. I think the book is essentially clean and and wholesome and it is certainly heartwarming.
I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review of my honest opinion which is freely given.
When real life problems are faced, Marci’s characters face them head on the best way they know how. There’s hardships, death, forgiveness and even blessings of family members that hold the family together even when they don’t realize it. In the end they find out that little things matter and family is very important.
When We Last Spoke is a book that you can sit on your front porch, sip sweet ice tea and just read all evening. Not necessarily an on your toes, page turner. But a heartfelt, good feeling story of real life. Simple story and simple characters with a not so simple life and the people that see them through it all. Everyone has a Walt and Ruby in their life…and if they don’t, they should!