Kait Layton checking in with a review of The Only One Left : A Novel by Riley Sager, which released this past Tuesday.
“The Only One Left” is a fast-paced thriller with a gothic feel. There is an old house that is atop a cliff that will eventually fall into the sea and the two main characters have family pasts trying to catch up to them.
You get pieces of the past through Lenora’s typed correspondence with Kit, who is the new caregiver from Lenora. Lenora was accused of killing her entire family in the late 20’s when she was a teenager, and Kit was accused of negligence due to leaving medication out while caring for her mother. Her mother took all of the pills and committed suicide. Both of these women have been accused of killing their own families and are brought together towards the end of Lenora’s life. They quickly bond over each other’s pasts and try to uncover the hidden truths of Lenora’s past together.
The first quarter of the book, I burned through. The second quarter began to drop off when Kit and Lenora were building a relationship and beginning to trust each other. But I understand as a caregiver with a new client you need to build rapport, especially one who is unable to speak. Then, you find out what happened to the last caregiver before Kit and things start taking off after that! There was a part when the fourth quarter of the book began and I just thought to myself, “Twist on twist on twist, Sager!”
This is my favorite Sager book since “Home Before Dark”! Thank you to the publishers for the digital ARC!
Bestselling author Riley Sager returns with a Gothic chiller about a young caregiver assigned to work for a woman accused of a Lizzie Borden-like massacre decades earlier.
At seventeen, Lenora Hope
Hung her sister with a rope
Now reduced to a schoolyard chant, the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast one bloody night in 1929. While most people assume 17-year-old Lenora was responsible, the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial after the killings, she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she set foot outside Hope’s End, the cliffside mansion where her family lived.
Stabbed her father with a knife
Took her mother’s happy life
It’s now 1983, and home-health aide Kit McDeere arrives at a decaying Hope’s End to care for Lenora after her previous nurse fled in the middle of the night. In her seventies and confined to a wheelchair, Lenora was rendered mute by a series of strokes and can only communicate with Kit by tapping out sentences on an old typewriter. One night, Lenora uses it to make a tantalizing offer—I want to tell you everything.
Riley Sager is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels, most recently Survive the Night and The House Across the Lake. A native of Pennsylvania, he now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
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