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The Last of the Stanfields

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  8,015 ratings  ·  640 reviews
A mystery, a love story, and a search through a shadowy past. Two strangers unite in this novel of family secrets by international bestselling author Marc Levy, the most read contemporary French author in the world.

When London journalist Eleanor-Rigby Donovan receives an anonymous letter alluding to a crime committed by her deceased mother, her life is turned upside down.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 2019 by Amazon Crossing (first published April 20th 2017)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,015 ratings  ·  640 reviews

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Katie B
This book had a good mix of mystery and family drama. The story involves family secrets that have been held for decades and span multiple countries. I really enjoyed Eleanor-Rigby slowly uncovering the truth about her mother and her past. Definitely satisfied with my Amazon Kindle First free selection this month.

Journalist Eleanor-Rigby Donovan receives a letter in the mail hinting that her mother committed a crime. Given that her mother is dead, she can't ask her if there is any truth to the le
All we can ever see of our parents is what they wish to show us . . .

Mysterious letters to characters on two continents send a young couple on a quest to discover not only the writer of the letters, but a long buried secret that both their mothers shared.

I assume that was the author's intention, but it didn't work for me. I didn't find the "big mystery" believable, OR interesting, and the cutesy names of the players - Eleanor Rigby and George Harrison - only served to aggravate me further. I di
Lynda Kelly
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I will most definitely be reading more by this author. This is probably one the best books I've read this year, I just loved it. It was my Kindle First free one for December.....I wasn't really blown away by any of the titles offered, to be honest, and just picked this as the best of a mediocre bunch......boy, was I wrong !! For me it has everything; murder and intrigue and really heartfelt moments that had me's pretty nigh on perfect. Even better since my hopes really weren't tha ...more
This was my choice for this month's Amazon Prime 'first reads' freebie. It was a month heavily skewed towards crime / mystery / thriller titles and I just wasn't in the mood. Having read another or Marc Levy's books - the one in which a bereaved daughter gets to spend a week with a lifelike automaton of her dead father - I knew he'd have something interesting to say.

That said, I was firmly in the 3 stars camp right up to the final pages when the 'reveal' bought this an extra star and a glow of "
Amanda Powers
Dec 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Weak Plot, Flat Characters

I'm not sure if it's the translation, but this really was a waste of time for me to read. The main characters are absolutely terribly written. They are complete strangers, and yet both want to jump each other. And it's bizzarely written. One moment, there's chemistry. The next moment, one is snapping at the other. The dad is put in as some sort of plot device, but really it's just pages of backfill. The book itself is over 300 pages not because the story is that complex
Dusty Drosche
This was a fun read and a great way to start 2019. A light mystery with many aspects the reader is able to figure out by the end but just enough twists and questions to keep you entertained. It’s also a super fast read despite the fact that there is not a ton of action. Love, family drama, mystery,secrets. WWII, this book has a lot going on but remarkably Levy is able to throw it all at you without much confusion. I did feel that the last 25% of the book seemed to stretch on a bit, the overall b ...more
Melissa Storm
Good writing and great characterization, but...
I gave up when the 8th narrator and 3rd timeline was introduced. It made the plot incredibly hard to follow, especially since the scenes did not stay in only the viewpoint character's head.
Emily Burke
Jan 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Total shit. Promising start even though the names and other details (pretty sure Michel’s dialogue is based on Data’s speech patterns from Star Trek) are corny. But, oy!! Took forever to finish because it was just soooooooo hacky & juvenile. When will I ever learn? Goodreads reviews suck. (And, yes, I’m writing one. I recognize the irony. But I am not lying to you like all the idiots who think a free book is good simply because it’s free.) ...more
Paul Swithers
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found the whole "mysterious letters that push you to investigate your family's mysterious past" a bit too worn of a trope to be satisfying. The passion and tumult that were hinted at never really surfaced in a convincing way and I never felt like I connected with the characters' true voices. The author's use of one character or another for a detailed explanation of the next plot twist felt more appropriate to a Nancy Drew mystery, than an adult literary work. That said the mystery was interest ...more
Dawn Michelle
This was a marvelous book. I had no expectations going in; I barely even knew what it was about, just had glanced at the blurb on NetGalley and decided that I really wanted to read it. I got SO lucky with this one [not all blind faith reads turn out like this one did].

This is the story of Eleanor-Rigby - a girl with serious wanderlust, who lives her life as a journalist that travels the world. She loves her family, but after the loss of her mother, she just cannot seem to stay at home or near h
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story here was good, but the telling left a bit to be desired. The dialogue, especially in the beginning, felt quite awkward at times. I don't know if I got used to it, or it actually improved. But even late in the book there were some bits that jolted me right out of the story. The narration varied: 1st person present, 3rd person past. And it resulted in a sense that we were being told things (feelings, events) that the narrator had no right to know. Which also pulled me out of the story. T ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
The Last of the Stanfields just wasn’t, for me, an enjoyable read. In fact, I usually inhale a book like I’m gasping for breath (quickly and with great fervor), but this took me two full days of starting and stopping. I even contemplating shelving it before I’d hit the 50% mark. In the end, I slogged through and was left tired and honestly glad to have finished.

The premise is that of two strangers, Eleanor-Rigby Donovan and George-Harrison Collins, receiving nearly identical letters, the content
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. The Last of the Stanfields turned out to be kind of weird. The story line was choppy and strange. The characters were hard to identify with. The entire thing is so all over the place. It's entertaining and engaging in a ridiculous way. Overall, it's actually not bad, just different. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read my first Marc Levy's novel (which was also the first one he wrote!) some twenty years ago.. It was sweet, but very short and simple. Reading "The Last of the Stanfield" I could clearly see how the author has improved his skills over time, that book is much longer and profound, with good characterization, a well crafted mystery and deep research (some of the story took place during WW II).
Maybe this time I felt there were even too many words, the first half was a really slow burner, which
Angie Boyter
Dec 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Incredibly implausible premise, but the author is supposedly the most popular author in France, and it was free, so I picked it up and persisted through 50 pages because the writing style is so engaging. Just too much suspension of disbelief to swallow. For example, in 1980 the book claims women in Baltimore were not allowed to be writers on papers, just researchers. I am sure that was not true. I knew the woman who was the Sunpaper restaurant critic in 1975. And one night a bunch of friends get ...more
Nicole McIntyre
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
An author is supposed to show, not tell, and this book suffered by not following that advice. For a book that jumps time, space, and narrator routinely, it would have been much more intriguing to have the scenes play out with first person perspective as opppsed to a third hand account blantantly laid out for the audience. This is particularly true, I think, for the heist and aftermath. How much more suspenseful, exciting, and tragic would it have been to read it in "real time" as opposed to a re ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I thought it was a good book. The buildup was a little slow and the climax was a little lackluster, but all in all the book delivered a well written story.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A summary of the plot doesn't convey how entertaining the book was, but it starts with a woman receiving an anonymous letter after her mother's death, suggesting that her mother had secrets and had committed a crime. The woman and her sister decide to unravel the mystery, while her charming father and Asperger-ish brother are privately sitting on a few clues themselves. A delightful story, well-written. I'll look for more of this author's books.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I found it slow to start - it was difficult to get into with so many different characters and timelines and back and forthing. Blah. It got better when you got a handle on what was going on. Story was vaguely interesting, but the writing style basically dragged you through to the end, not in a twisty hold your hand as you run through a warren of alleyways, but in the chained to a wrecking ball that’s going through brick walls kind of way. It was painful, not suspenseful.

I was also really confuse
Lesley Potts
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those Amazon Prime free Kindle books that appear on the first of every month can be hit or miss. I usually download one anyway, because you never know when you might need a book to read at short notice. The Last of the Stanfields was this month’s pick. To be honest, I accidentally opened it while fat fingering around my Kindle screen. I’m glad I did. The strands of the Stanfield family history gradually come together through four interwoven storylines set in four countries. And there’s an Art el ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Great story! I assume nothing was lost in the translation. I've read Marc Levy before, and he doesn't disappoint. Definitely recommend.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great read --- and a surprising, unforeseen ending!
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fiction allows the reader to escape reality and time becomes irrelevant. This novel is an interesting read.

Depending on your perspective, this novel can end happily or sadly. Two people, living in 2 different countries oceans apart, met and fell in love, and married each other. Not all real-life encounters have the same happy ending.

On the contrary, 2 different people who love each other dearly but due to circumstances, decided to live separate lives. Their love for each other remained untarnish
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think 2 stars is supposed to be for "its ok" right? The characters are unrealistically petulant, especially to strangers. Every conversation between any two of them turns into a 13 year olds wet dream of bickering.

Anyway, I do like having multiple plots especially across different generations/times so it was enjoyable. Just hated every character. Really all of them were unlikable. Sort me out.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book jumps between times and narrators a bit too much for me. I had difficulty following the story line and feeling engaged with the characters.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading this was like working on a mosaic puzzle... I think it’s a stretch to call it a love story. The book starts exactly as the blurb describes and it sucks you in. The writing’s voice seems to speak to you rather than just be words on the paper. But each chapter changes perspective - switching between telling other characters’ stories. Each chapter draws you in but you do need to refocus, reset and reinvest at each change. Quickly you realize that somehow the author is dropping clues and hin ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book seems to have got mixed reviews but as should be patently obvious from my rating, I really enjoyed it!! This is the first book I have read by Marc Levy but it certainly won’t be my last. The book had me hooked from the start as I thought the characters seemed to come alive in the page, the quality of the writing was really good and I loved the touches of ironic humour which occasionally appeared. Ray Donovan (not the TV fixer obviously 😀) seemed immensely likeable and I loved that all ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.

The premise of this book was quite intriguing, so I had high hopes when I started reading it.
Two strangers from across the world received a strange letter telling them to investigate the mysterious pasts of their own mothers. It got very confusing with the POV's and with the jumping back and forth between the present and the past. The bantering between the two main characters was very childish, defensive, and at times, rude. I am no
Amy Ingalls
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and added audio from Audible so I could listen to it on my commute.

I really liked this story. I thought the way the mystery unfolded, and the story going back and forth from the past to the present, was well done. All three timelines held my interest equally, which doesn't always happen. This wasn't a whodunnit, but more the mystery of one family and the secrets they kept and the ties that bound them together. I liked getting to know the Stanfields.

The aud
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book! Personal biased opinion, of course, because I admit l was hooked from the beginning when I heard the clever Beatles references in the names of the characters.
But the story was fun and it even had a heist incorporated in it! It was a really unique in my opinion book. Not some sort of classic but definitely fun and fresh.
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Plot Hole Near the End? 1 7 Apr 16, 2019 02:48PM  

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Marc Levy was born in France. When he turned eighteen, he joined the Red Cross, where he spent the next six years. In 1983, he created a computer graphics company based in France and the United States. Six years later, he co-founded an interior design and planning company with two friends; the company soon became one of the leading architecture firms in France.

At thirty-seven, Marc Levy wrote a st

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