Books and Jams Readalong discussion

LAST YEAR OF THE WAR - Sept 2020 > Part 4 (Ch 27-End)

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message 1: by Krista (new)

Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
You did it!

How did you like this one? Have you read other Meissner books? How does this one compare? What did you think about the ending? What is something you loved about it? What is something you would change or wish were different? What will you be rating this one?

message 2: by Krista (new)

Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
Well, I finished this much quicker than expected! I just didn't want to stop. Oh how beautiful that ending was! Yes, the tears were flowing. I love that Elise found someone to truly love and be loved by. I kind of guessed that would happen right away, but I still didn't mind it. Love that she found flower arranging as a way to shine and bring light to others. Beautiful.

The quote that stands out to me in this section is about fear and love from chapter 33 - "I knew what fear was...It was powerful and resolute. But I also knew what love was. Love was powerful, too. And as stubborn as fear. Love was brave, though. Fear, by virtue of what it was, could never be that. True love didn't know how to stop loving. Fear was always ready for a break, a distraction, a way out. Love wasn't. I was done with fear."

This is definitely a 5 star read for me, as I expected with Susan Meissner. I can't wait to hear what you all think!

message 3: by Kristi (last edited Sep 12, 2020 05:31PM) (new)

Kristi (sweetheavenlygrace) This book was full of emotional heartfelt quotes, I loved the authors writing style and look forward to reading more books by her.

I gave this book 5 stars. Such an amazing story with so many lovable characters and then some not so lovable ones.

I'm glad there was a happy ending. I'm glad that they found each other in the end. This quote was one of the many favorites within the book:

"We do not become different people as we age; we just add layers of experience onto who we already are."

message 4: by Beth (new)

Beth ONeal | 5 comments This book was a five star read for me. I just loved so many things about it.

I enjoyed her description of a mind challenged by Alzheimer’s. The friends that found each other. The emotions of figuring out who you are and where you stand.
I was frustrated that Ralph just dropped her so quickly and that Mariko felt she had to send back the letters in order to move forward yet I love that Meissner doesn’t shy away from the mess that resembles real life.

I just want to sit down and read it again.
Thanks Krista for providing the push to pick it up

message 5: by Elsa (new)

Elsa This was my first experience with Susan Meissner, and I hear her writing is reliably good, so I will read more. The part about Calista and Mariko discovering their wings was a little corny. I gave this one four stars. I really enjoyed it!

message 6: by Tiki-Tami (new)

Tiki-Tami I just finished reading the book. I loved how it all came together at the end. I loved most of the characters and all the places the story went thru. The only character I could not figure out was Ralph Dove. There were moments of him I thought were great and then moments where I was like "what is with this guy". I am guessing the war really took a toll on him. This was my first Meissner book. I will definitely look for more by this author. Great Pick for September.

message 7: by Debbi (last edited Nov 25, 2020 08:04AM) (new)

Debbi Faust | 164 comments Hi Krista! I know I am a couple of months behind with this book but here goes my review...and it is going to to be a long one, Sorry!

I loved it and gave it 5 stars. I have read 2 other Meissner books (As Bright As Heaven and The Fall of Marigolds). They were 5 star reads for me to.

I would change the ending. I am so worried about Elise going to New York with "Agnes". I wish Susan could have thought of a different way to end the book.

I loved the close family relationships in the book. Elise and Mariko had a "Kindred Spirits" friendship. I was happy that Mariko fell in love with her husband and he encouraged her to write letters to Elise. He sounds like a lovely man.

I have two favorite quotes from the book:
"The past is nothing you can make friends or enemies of. It just is what it is. Or was. It is this day you are living right now, this very day, that is yours to make of what you will. So make it beautiful, if you can."

"We decide who and what we will love and who and what we will hate. We decide what we will do with love and hate. Every day we decide. It was this that revealed who we were, not the color of our flesh or the shape of our eyes or the language we speak."

Krista, I am anxious to hear what your new plans are for group reads in 2021. You know I am in to whatever you do! xoxoxo's

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message 8: by Krista (new)

Krista (booksandjams) | 746 comments Mod
Debbi wrote: "Hi Krista! I know I am a couple of months behind with this book but here goes my review...and it is going to to be a long one, Sorry!

I loved it and gave it 5 stars. I have read 2 other Meissner b..."

LOVE those quotes! Thank you for sharing, Debbi!

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