Review of ‘Last salute’ by Tracey Richardson,
Audiobook narrated by Maxine Mitchell
Pamela Wright is a doctor finishing her residency in Chicago. When she gets the devastating news that her older sister Laura was killed in action in Afghanistan, she goes back to Ann Arbor, her hometown, to make arrangements for her burial. There she meets again with Trish Tomlinson, her sister’s high school sweetheart. Brought together by grief, they both share the bereavement process which eventually transforms into something deeper. But guilt and anger threaten to tear them apart…
‘Last salute’ is a good lesbian slow-burn romance audiobook dealing with the grieving process and finding one’s own identity after a devastating loss. As Pam and Trish get together to face Laura’s death, they are forced to confront their feelings about Laura and each other. Laura’s memory acts as a catalyst for finding answers to different events in both women’s lives. For a good part of the story, Laura is like a third wheel in Pam and Trish’s relationship and the reader wonders if they’d be able to move on. Needless is to say that this book is on the angsty side, but the angst is justified by the painful events.
This is a character-driven story and the author excelled at building their distinctive personalities, fears, and regrets. This is true not only for Pam and Trish, but also for Laura, who leaves a diary that helps both leads, and the reader, to get a better picture of her life choices. Parallel to this, Ms. Richardson explores the idea of war, its shortcomings, and strengths, if any. It’s not a light read but I found that the author achieved a delicate balance between angst and love, and even managed to add a small action twist near the end.
I’ve read this book a few years ago and I remember finding it too dramatic for my taste. Having said that, I found that the audiobook version took the story to a higher level thanks to the narration of Maxine Mitchell. Her performance of the characters’ voices was spot-on including the male voices. There are a few very emotional parts of this story that Ms. Mitchell performed with ease, conveying the feelings poignantly. The tone and the pace of the narration were just right for this story. If you are looking for a drama with a hopeful ending, this could be a good choice. The audiobook is available with the Audible Escape subscription which will provide you with more than 9 hours of entertainment.
Overall, a good lesbian slow-burn romance audiobook. 4 stars for the story, 5 stars for the narration. Average, 4.5 stars.