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The Last Word

Where one story ends, another begins.

1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner to track down the reclusive author’s final papers.

Mr. David Randall is overwhelmed by his workload. He's eager to prove to the world—and to himself—that he's capable of following in his late father's footsteps. He doesn’t have the time for this endeavor, but Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer.

Their search for the elusive Mrs. Smith and the rightful ending to her novel leads Lucinda and David around the English countryside, but the truths they discover about themselves—and each other—are anything but fictional.


A Junior Library Guild selection.

"Witty, spirited, and utterly swoon-worthy. ... Filled with fierce feminism, impeccable period detail, and a charming romance that's sure to stay with readers long after the last word." ―Addie Thorley, author of An Affair of Poisons

"Hastings’ debut is a charming period piece with all the romance and scornful nods to high society any Austen fan will love. Lucinda moves beyond the cliché of being a young woman who chafes at the restrictions of a sexist world, as she’s elevated by her true passions―numbers and accounting. The Last Word is the perfect read for anyone who wants to spend a few hours in Victorian England in the company of a girl who understands that the entire country is being led by a Queen." ―Booklist

Refreshing ... Lucinda, a young Victorian woman with a modern sensibility well ahead of her time, has plenty of pluck and determination. Hastings' breezy prose and crafty plotting will leave readers racing to uncover her own last installment.” ―BookPage


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