One Last Dance
One Last Dance is the first I’ve read of Eileen Goudge’s work, and while the basic premise was enjoyable, there were plotting problems. And, though this book is general fiction, there were strong romantic and suspense elements. Unfortunately, these elements were not well intertwined. As for those plotting problems, the loose ends weren’t as neatly tied as I would have liked. In fact, one major loose end wasn’t tied at all.
The story revolves around three sisters, Daphne, Kitty, and Alex, whose parents are preparing to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. On the eve of the party, their mother picks up a gun and shoots her husband. In the aftermath of the murder, the three daughters are left to pick up the pieces and try to make sense of the tragedy.
The resulting story is what happens when dirty family secrets, long and deeply buried, are suddenly exposed, and what that exposure costs others. As a result, there are numerous plots going on simultaneously throughout the book.
Daphne, a novelist, comes home to sort out the mess her family has become, but finds herself facing the ghosts of the past, a less than satisfying marriage, and the man she loved years before, who just happens to be working for the D.A. prosecuting her mother.
The second eldest, Kitty, is a successful businesswoman in her mid-thirties struggling with not being able to conceive a child and desperately wanting to adopt. She believes in her mother and wants to do what she can to set her free. What she doesn’t count on is falling in love with a younger man.
The youngest, Alex is a single parent facing financial ruin. She is very angry at her mother and believes her father was a saint.
The storyline was intriguing. I felt great empathy for the sisters trying to come together and come to grips with what happened – though it is tearing them further apart. Yet, although I felt the story itself was interesting, the author didn’t grab hold of it and run with it. The story became very predictable and obvious to me – though I will refrain from any spoilers.
I will say, however, that the greatest disappointment of this book came at the end when the reader, expecting to find out from the mother “what happened that night,” is left dangling in the breeze – as are Daphne, Kitty, and Alex. We never find out. It was very frustrating to say the least. If the author had “finished” the book, One Last Dance would have deserved a much higher rating.
My recommendation? If you want to read One Last Dance, save yourself $24.95 and wait for it to come out in paperback.