Book Review: The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff

I was asked by the author’s publicist to read and review The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff and to post my honest option about it. I didn’t receive compensation for this review.

So here goes. Oh and heads up, *THERE MAY BE SPOILERS*

I wanted to read this book because I was intrigued by the storyline. It’s about a young woman, Addie, who is shipped to America from Italy during WWII to live with her aunt and uncle in Atlantic City where she meets the Connally family. The Connallys basically become her surrogate family and she begins to develop feelings for the oldest Connally brother, Charlie.

But war (and the actions of the middle brother, Liam) changes everything and Addie escapes to London where she becomes a war correspondent, rebuilding a new life until Charlie steps back into the picture once again.

Told ya it was intriguing.

But I have a few issues with the book:

• I feel like there’s a lot of telling and not so much showing happening throughout the book. For instance, there’s a fight that occurs later in the book between Charlie and Liam and Addie narrates the scene as if she’s hiding behind a bush, blindfolded. I know the protagonist is looking back on her life, but action needs to happen in front of your readers’ eyes. Always.
• Addie has not one, not two, but three love interests and for me, it made her seem a little all over the place. However I understand now that this is more romantic historical fiction than historical fiction, so if you like the former, it probably won’t bother you.
•When the author did show a scene versus just telling it, she quickly added a “telling” line right after it. I know it can be difficult to avoid over-explanation and to truly trust your readers, but readers are smart cookies. They’ve got this.
•There were a few editing issues. For example, photograph is used instead of “phonograph” in one chapter.

Despite these issues, I still give Ms. Jenoff a solid 3 (out of five) stars. ✴✴✴

She’s a decent writer, the book’s premise is well thought out and just because I’m not a romance fan shouldn’t be the reason you don’t read this book.

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