BOOK CLUB: The Last Truehart

The Last Truehart is Darry Fraser’s 6th published novel, and the 5th I have had the pleasure to read and review.  I love Fraser’s work and unashamedly admit to awaiting the release of each of her new novels with excited anticipation, and The Last Truehart did not disappoint.

The story commences in 1865 with the Confederates American warship the Shenandoah moored in the Williamstown dock in Victoria.  Alice Truehart and her fiance Leo Smith were down at the docks to see the ship sail. 

When Leo announced ‘And now, me darlin’ golden-haired beauty, … with the doleful brown eyes a man can never forget, I’m  just goin’ on board for another look.’ Alice should have known, but she could never have believed that the man she loved, the man she was to be married to that very afternoon, would enlist and desert her, and their babe that she carried.

1898, Alice Truehart-Smith is dead and her daughter Stella stands at the graves of her mother and grandparents, Ellen and Dr Henry Truehart. As she stands there she is disturbed in her musings by a stranger, an investigator, who introduces himself as Bendigo Barrett and advises her he has information about her father.

At the same time as Mr Barrett manifests in her life, Stella starts to get the feeling that someone is watching her, strange footprints in her garden, half caught glimpses of a person at the edge of her vision.

Meanwhile, Leo, Stella’s father had returned to Sydney and was residing in Manly with his wife and three children.  On his deathbed, the children are advised of another child, his firstborn whose mother he deserted when pregnant. 

Eventually agreeing to accompany Barrett to Sydney to meet the person who has contracted him to find her, Stella finds herself increasingly in danger as a mysterious jewel and its whereabouts take centre stage.

As information is discovered that threatens to tear Leo’s children’s lives apart, Stella finds herself increasingly drawn to Bendigo Barrett, but can she stay alive long enough to resolve the mystery of the missing jewel, and enable her to act on her feelings?

As always Fraser has written a book with strong female characters, and a plotline that grabs you and makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens next, at times with your heart in your mouth.  There is no doubt in my mind that Fraser’s skill as an author increases with every book she writes, already I can’t wait for her next book to be released!

Many thanks to Darry Fraser, Harper Collins Publishers (Mira imprint) and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review The Last Truehart. Highly recommended, I give it 4 stars.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Last Truehart by Darry Fraser. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

ISBN: 978 1489294548 / Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers Australia

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