Her Last Winter

3 Stars

This was an interesting story. I read the preview of the first chapter and decided this would be a story I could dig into. For the most part, this proved to be true. For a short story, it flowed pretty well. It didn’t try to give up too much information knowing the pages weren’t there to dig into that. A story about a woman dealing with a missing husband and how this has come to affect her life. It was believable, for the most part. It was the ending that undid it.

I was totally on board until the big reveal ending. What was a very smooth maybe even perfectly paced novel turned into a, ‘I want this to be a short story so I’m ending it here’ kind of thing. The set up for it was abrupt. Like it was mentioned in a paragraph about Cassie not trusting her husband, Rory’s, brother and then the next thing you know this one drop of info magically leads to the ending and a lot of info dump from Mike. Basically, the story just ends and left more questions than answers.

For example, if she genuinely thought it was an accident, what is the purpose of driving her crazy? He literally got away with it so this seems odd and wasn’t explained. The reason why he did it didn’t make sense. The brother has a stupidly successful business, lives in a big posh family estate yet he’s ready to murder for more land he doesn’t need. Furthermore, it would’ve been infinitely easier to convince Cassie it was a good idea to sell and have her lean on her perfectly alive husband with some persuasion, she was after all not happy with being broke. Sorta like the whole fake book charade that a simple google search could fix. Cassie was so convinced her book made her a small amount of fame. She even got noticed by a townsperson. There is no logical reason for Mike to have paid a young girl to pretend that Cassie’s book was real.

All in all, It just felt like there was no real reason to make her seem like she was crazy before actually trying to reason with her about selling the land. The whole ending felt rushed.
This is a very short story, only about forty-four pages. If a few more pages delving into Rory and his brother’s relationship, some time with Cassie finding clues to why she was being drugged, along with the officer who apparently was snooping was shown, then the ending would’ve held more weight. The ending did exactly what the book had not done until then, given information that the short page time would not be able to develop.

For the most part, this was an enjoyable read. Even though I knew where the plot was going I was still invested in finding it out all the same. The ending, however, felt rushed and underdeveloped even for a short story and I probably, definitely really, would’ve enjoyed a different plot twist. Or at least had more to go on than the one paragraph of monologue that just sorta happened.

If you’re looking for a quick engaging read this will deliver even with the not so great ending. It’ll be sixty minutes of something enjoyable if not quite perfect.

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