Book reviews – March 2024 – Sallie Eden – The Last List of Mabel Beaumont

The Last List of Mabel Beaumont by Laura Pearson
Published by Boldwood Books, August 2023

Described as a “heartbreaking, beautiful, uplifting story, guaranteed to make you smile but also make you cry” it sounded like just the sort of novel I usually avoid. I’m so glad I persevered. It turned out to be a beautifully written, moving story. 

Mabel’s husband loved lists; after his death, she finds his final one and it prompts her to examine the story of their relationship. More importantly, it makes her consider what might have been if she hadn’t married Arthur, if Bill hadn’t died, if Dot hadn’t moved away and if…. 

She decides to revisit the past, but not before she realises it’s never too late to make new friends and try different things, although trying to fix others’ problems along the way doesn’t always turn out how she planned. 

Does that sound trite? It really wasn’t. Carefully drawn characters written with real affection and with such detail I began to feel I knew them and, more importantly, care about them. 

Does Mabel live happily ever after? And what about Julie? Patricia? The others? Yes, the ending is a bit predictable, but that doesn’t detract from what is a charming story. 

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