The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff

The last Embrace

All roads lead back to Addie’s past and the way she was separated from her own family. Her inability to focus her affections on one person, her indecisiveness, and not being able to see beyond her rose-tinted glasses. As a reader I found myself feeling sympathy for Addie, but also being annoyed at her thoughtless decisions and often devil-may-care attitude towards everything.

Saying that, the story takes place over the period of a few years and everyone involved is quite young, which explains the dramatic changes of heart and flighty behaviour.

Like many displaced families and people during war-time, Addie finds herself isolated and feeling as if she doesn’t really belong. It isn’t actually until well into the end of the story that she comprehends how much she loves her aunt and uncle, and how lucky she is compared to others in similar situations. Children, teens, young adults ripped from the warmth and security of their homes and family, not knowing that goodbye for now usually meant forever.

Addie encounters Charlie and his perfect family life at exactly the right time. She becomes enamoured with the thought of being part of their family, and some of them become enamoured with her.

Once again Jenoff shows the complexity of family dynamics in the midst of war-time and emotional fallout from tragedies within families.

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Read The Orphan’s Tale or The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff