The Last of What I Am

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The Last of What I Am by Abigail Cutter is an enthralling and thought-provoking tale that delves into the profound impact of slavery and war on people. From the very beginning of the story, I was captivated by the main character, Tom Smiley, a ghost who still resides in his abandoned home, haunted by memories of his past. As Tom reminisces about his beloved wife, sister, daughter, and friends, I’m drawn into his world, filled with secrets and hidden fears.

However, Tom’s peaceful existence is abruptly disrupted when a young couple and their dog move into his home, unaware of his presence. The intrusion infuriates Tom, as he feels his sanctuary is being invaded. But as time passes, an unexpected bond forms between Tom and Phoebe Hunter, the new owner of the house. Tom opens up to her, sharing his poignant story. Then I learned that Tom’s life was marked by turmoil from an early age. Despite his wife Ellen’s efforts to bring him solace, Tom remained troubled. Eventually, he found himself fighting as a Confederate soldier during a time when slavery was rampant. The Civil War took its toll on Tom, as he witnessed the loss of his comrades, including his best friend. Meanwhile, back home, his family faced fear and poverty.

The Last of What I Am sheds light on the devastating consequences of war and the deep scars it leaves on those who experience it. Tom’s severe PTSD and the emotional struggles he faces in his relationships are portrayed with great sensitivity and realism. Through the pages of this beautifully written book, I gained a profound understanding of the depth of slavery and the lasting impact it had on individuals and society.

Abigail Cutter skillfully conveys the characters’ emotions, allowing readers to intimately connect with their thoughts and experiences. The well-developed and relatable characters add depth to the narrative, making it impossible to put the book down. The recounting of war experiences is particularly gripping, evoking a range of emotions and leaving readers both moved and curious to see how the story unfolds.

With elements of suspense woven throughout, The Last of What I Am explores themes of war, friendship, gender inequality, romance, and slavery. While a work of fiction, the novel effectively portrays historical events, lending an air of authenticity to the story. If you are a fan of historical fiction with diverse themes, I highly recommend adding this book to your reading list.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 310 pages
Publisher Union Square & Co
Publish Date 19-Sep-2023
ISBN 9781454951780 Buy this Book
Issue October 2023
Category Historical Fiction