Monday, February 2, 2015

The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle

Gia Andrews hasn't been home to Tennessee in years.  She tells everyone it's because she is out saving the world as a humanitarian aid worker, moving from disaster to disaster, saving lives and bringing relief.  That is all true, but the bigger truth is that she hasn't been home because she feels she has no home after the disaster that struck her own family.

Gia, as the youngest sibling, was the only one left at home when her stepmother was brutally murdered.  To complete the horror, her beloved father, the kindly town pharmacist, is arrested, tried and convicted of the crime.  He has been in jail for the last sixteen years, alone and still protesting his innocence.  Neither Gia nor her older sister or brother has visited or written him, believing in the facts laid out at the trial.

Now her father is headed home, not on parole but with a death sentence.  He is in the last stages of cancer and her uncle, the family head, makes it clear that all three siblings are expected to be there.  Gia reluctantly goes home and sees her father again.  It is the hardest thing she has ever done.

But then, she meets an author who is writing a book about the case and who believes her father was falsely convicted, just as he has always insisted.  Gia starts to look into the case and things just don't add up as she uncovers family secrets.  Along the way, she meets the new guy in town, who is running the local bar and restaurant, Jake, who believes in her and her attempts to finally uncover the truth.

Kimberly Belle has written a story of family loyalty and betrayal that will strike a chord in most readers.  Are there truly acts that are unforgivable, or do we owe those in our family unwavering support?  Can one live with the truth and continue to move on with the burden of family secrets revealed?  Readers will be interested in finding out Belle's answers to these questions.  This book is recommended for readers of family sagas and those interested in redemption and family dynamic.


Kristen said...

Oooo. I do think there are unforgivable acts so... And I find it interesting that the uncle says she has to go home so she's going. I'm too mule-headed to allow someone else to dictate that sort of thing to me. This is probably not a good thing, mind.

Sandie said...

Yes, there were several things in the novel that struck me as unlikely. Still, it was a good read.