Set against the smoky, gaslit allure of Victorian London, this sweetly romantic historical debut is full of humor and stars a whip-smart female heroine ahead of her time.
Where one story ends, another begins.
1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner, Mr. David Randall, to track down the reclusive author’s former whereabouts.
David is a successful young businessman, but is overwhelmed by his workload. He wants to prove himself to his late father, as well as to himself. He doesn’t have the time, nor the interest, for this endeavor, but Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer.
Their search for the elusive Mrs. Smith and the rightful ending to her novel leads Lucinda and David around the country, but the truths they discover about themselves—and each other—are anything but fictional.
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Last Word by debut author Samantha Hastings is a fun yet intellectual romp through Victorian London—the perfect book for book-lovers.
Where to Buy
Do you like adorable love stories, mathematically gifted Victorian girls, or swoon-worthy cinnamon roll young men? Great.
Now, go buy The Last Word. I suppose if you want more details I’ll go ahead and tell more reasons why I completely love this book!
In this day and age, I really think it’s important to highlight girls in STEM for YA (and anyone between the ages of like 0-100) and Samantha Hastings gives us a ‘feminine’ girl who is talented in numbers and it makes my heart so happy. Not only that but our MC is a girl who likes to have answers, whether to a numbers ledger or to an unfinished story and I can truly relate to that.
Another thing I truly value is historical accuracy, Hastings has done her research and it’s obvious. Yes, of course, there should always be leeway for the imagination in works of fiction but Lucinda is a woman in Victorian times and as such she is faced with boundaries put in place because of her gender and her class. The fact that Lucinda still manages to weave her way around all of that and in a realistic manner is superb. Not only that but she gives us and Lucinda the ending that is deserved, and manages to make it perfect and within the suspense of disbelief.
This is also not a story without sadness, though it’s full of adventure, fun, and a quest for answers on an unfinished story it also contains loss, heartbreak [and not of the romantic kind], and the will of a young woman who wants to prove her worth, to be just as she is. In Victorian times women rarely got that chance and even now it’s still hard for many.
I continually love the banter between Lucinda and David, I ship them, I will die on their hill. There’s obvious chemistry there without being too mushy for my old cold heart.
Not to mention the deeper we get with Lucinda, the reasoning behind her wanting to find out the end is even more important than simply wanting to know the last word(s). This is a quest for Lucinda, and I’m so glad she goes on this adventure for it.
Honestly, this book was perfection and the only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 is because I didn’t want it to end. But the pacing is great, the storyline fulfilled, and I was completely satisfied with it. Hastings has given us a true delight in this book and I look forward to reading anything else she ever writes after this.
**Thanks to Xpresso Tours, NetGalley, Swoon Reads, and Samantha Hastings for a chance to read and give an honest review of this.**
[PS: LUCINDA AND DAVID FOREVER!!!!]
About the Author
Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. The Last Word is her debut novel.
To win a print copy of The Last Word [US/CAN only] please click the link below.