I know it’s not spring right now, but this book doesn’t just cover spring. There is a blizzard, spring blossoms, and summer fun all wrapped up in its pages. This historical romance is set in the quiet village of Llanwddyn in Wales in the late 1880’s. I don’t have a clue how to say Llanwddyn. It could be pronounced Lan-widden or Yanidin or Lawden or Land Down Under depending on your mood. But I digress.
The characters in this tale are Gwen–a 16 year old girl who lives with her strict aunt; Lewis–the blacksmith’s son who is supposed to watch over Gwen for her brother, his best friend; and Thomas–an English engineer sent to the village to supervise the dam construction.
When Gwen’s brother leaves for sea and changes come to her community due to the new dam being built (which in the years to come will force the villagers to relocate), she must dig deep within herself to find happiness.
This story intrigued me because it’s based on true events in Wales that the author discovered in her family history. The Vyrnwy dam was built in Wales to bring clean water to the people of Liverpool (which was a cesspool back then…ick!). Don’t ask me how to pronounce Vyrnwy either. I’m kind of glad I’m not a Welsh girl, because I think I would flunk my spelling tests.
This story is more introspective than others I’ve read. It’s not driven by a gripping plot and lots of twists and surprises. Still, I enjoyed it. Though it depicts a simple life, there are challenges the characters must overcome. The characters were great, and I enjoyed the love triangle in this one. I didn’t know who to cheer for at times because the author didn’t write one hero off with a character flaw to get him out of the way. They’re both true heroes.
The setting details and writing style were beautiful. This reflective piece made me smile and was perfect for reading in a cozy chair on a cold winter night. I could tell the historical details were well-researched and written in a way that enhanced the story and taught readers a piece of history. Overall, a thoughtful read and cozy romance befitting of simpler times.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book in from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review…and I can give One Last Spring two thumbs up.
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