The Last Hours

The Last Hours

Book - 2018
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When the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in Dorseteshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church cites God as the cause, and religious fear grips the people as they come to believe that the plague is a punishment for wickedness. But Lady Anne of Develish has her own ideas. Educated by nuns, Anne is a rarity among women, being both literate and knowledgeable. With her brutal husband absent from Develish when news of this pestilence reaches her, she takes the decision to look for more sensible ways to protect her people than daily confessions of sin. Well-versed in the importance of isolating the sick from the well, she withdraws her people inside the moat that surrounds her manor house and refuses entry even to her husband. She makes an enemy of her daughter and her husband's steward by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs ... until food stocks run low and the nerves of all are tested by continued confinement and ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat?
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario, Canada :, Mira,, [2018]
ISBN: 9780778369318
Branch Call Number: FIC WALT
Characteristics: 536 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm


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Mar 18, 2020

Social distance at a really significant level. The story of surviving a pandemic. A must read in 2020.

Feb 17, 2020

Wow! What a story. I wish I hadn't read it during the Coronavirus scare, but wow! I could quibble that it is more fantasy than historical romance, but who cares when a story is this engaging and the characters so compelling and the setting so vivid?
I'm putting this on the "must read" list I share with other people.

Oct 11, 2019

Loved most of it but felt let-down by the ending. Then I found out there is a second book so there is hope.

Jun 03, 2019

A good story that gives the reader an idea of life during the plague in the 1300s.

Apr 02, 2019

One of the best reads in quite awhile for me. Fascinating story that kept me spellbound and hard to put down. Looking forward to the follow-up book to see how the story ends.

Feb 23, 2019

I can praise this novel if I look at it as a story that just happens to have a background time of the Black Plague. It doesn't get accurate or detailed about the plague itself but rather it centers around love, murder, and mayhem during that time. Protecting the life of the inhabitants of the castle and survival are key. Yes, it was a bit babbling at times but made for a light, engaging read.

Jan 20, 2019

I was very excited to order in thru the library and read a new M. Walters novel. Now it is in my hands after waiting weeks, and I am scrambling to decide if she even wrote this.
I don't actively dislike the book. But it drags on and the characters are seriously unbelievable as is the talking. They would never have spoken that way back then. It smacks of 2019. They woudn't have had cause to think in the terms you are led to believe they do.
It was with relief I read other readers comments as I so wanted to not think it was only me feeling the gross disappointment in the reading of a MW novel
Gosh, what was she thinking... or better yet... whom did she employ to thrash this stuff out for her to stay "in the game"? Totally sad, will not read any sequel.

Dec 31, 2018

Where to begin... perhaps with cutting a hundred or so pages of the same arguments/discussions/issues, revisited again and again to no apparent purpose or resolution. About halfway through I said to my wife, "oh, don't tell me they are going to figure out it was carried by the fleas on the rats!"
Reader, they did - improbably, within months of the first outbreak, centuries ahead of anyone else coming to that conclusion. And those must have been raciing rats, to so quickly spread a disease that requires time to penetrate a population first of rats and then humans.
While I might wish the intellectual level of discussion amongst the serfs could be found among my friends, this, too, was a bit beyond my suspension of disbelief.
My first thought as I finished the book was, I'm surprised MW was satisfied with that. Then I learned there is to be a sequel, which I am confident I will be able to resist.

Oct 04, 2018

This is a terrific read. Well-drawn characters, good plot, and a great depiction of rural England on the cusp of the Black Death. This was my first Minette Walters book, and I was intrigued when I began to read more of her work, that the rest of her writing is nothing like The Last Hours. Also, I just finished The Scribe of Siena, which is centered around Siena in 1348, the same year as The Last Hours. Which I highly recommend as well.

Aug 16, 2018

Not having read a Walters book in awhile, I quite enjoyed the new genre. The writing was easily read, engaging, an the story line quite interesting. However, towards the end of the book, just as the action was getting going, it was like Walters was in a hurry to come to a close, and the book conclusion was very weak and rather disappointing.

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