Last Suppers, The - Diane Mott Davidson *4.6 Stars*

Scorecard: (Out of 10)
* Quality of Writing - 9
* Pace - 9
* Plot development - 9
* Characters - 10
* Enjoyability - 9
* Insightfulness - 9
* Ease of Reading - 10
* Photos/Illustrations - NA
Final Score: 65/70 = 93%

My Review of Catering to Nobody: Book One

My Review of Dying for Chocolate: Book Two

The Cereal Murders: Book Three


*The Gush*

Simply put, I was not prepared for this book. I’d been looking forward to Goldy and Tom getting together since…a third of the way through book one and it’s finally here! The very beginning of the book was wonderful, Goldy flittering about as her wedding is only minutes away and we are so excited! …And then it all goes to hell (particularly ironic considering the church setting of this book). The priest who is supposed to marry them is killed and Schulz is taken captive by the killer. With Goldy left at the alter through no fault of her or Tom’s, the wedding is cancelled and the police are frantically searching for one of their own. Arch and Julian are devastated while the only thing keeping Goldy going is trying to figure out why her priest was killed and who has her hopefully soon to be husband.

By this point in the series, the reader has figured out that each book has a distinct theme or issue that the entire story focuses around. The first book was an introduction to the series but the second focused on family issues, the third on college admissions and parent’s reactions to children’s grades, and now the fourth book is set around the organization and social interactions within a church. While the author and Goldy discuss this from an Episcopalian view point, most of what they talk about can be found in any local church as well as most higher level organizations of various denominations. As a PK (pastor’s kid), this book was like old home week as I saw people and churches I’ve known in my life as well as the bureaucracy of the upper echelons in Goldy’s experiences. Indeed, it was a bit hard for me to read about the priest’s death, as was the politics that despite what people might think is rampant in all churches in some form or fashion. What I really liked was that the author was careful to give all sides a voice and while the reader might side with one side or the other, both had their reasons and both (in some people from both sides) acted for and said what they said because they genuinely felt this was the right thing to do. The major problem is that both sides were sabotaging any attempt of the priest for compromise.

This mystery completely sideswiped me. Looking back, I don’t think it should have. The problem is that this book is so emotional for any reader who has been with our characters on the complete journey to this point. Goldy is a mess and since we see the world through her perceptions, our world is skewed. This really worked to obscure the clues and the motives that all but danced in front of us with sequins. I should have got this but I didn’t, it was a complete shock. Great writing and great use of the larger story, Davidson; I salute you.

*The Rant*

Having glanced at some of the other reviews on this book, I can perhaps understand why some people didn’t get into the story, perhaps because the experiences were so foreign to them. However, I’ve read beyond this book and know that there are a couple upcoming books that deal with themes that absolutely have zero interest for me and I read and enjoyed them despite that. Each of the books comes with its own pluses and minuses and those change from book to book. The reader has to take each one as they come, but I have yet to read on that completely turned me off, even the one that concerned high priced cosmetics which I absolutely couldn’t care less about and find many of their marketing practices nearly offensive, though I’m also not a Spare the Hare type person either (look forward to that).

*Conclusion*

I really enjoyed this book, not just because it dealt with such personal growth for some of my favorite characters, but also because of the setting for this book. Having grown up in the church, much of what went on in the book was familiar to me and was almost like seeing people or places I have been. The mystery was fairly good, though it seemed to almost come out of left field mostly because the emotions infused throughout the book clouded most of the clues. I don’t necessarily see that as cheating but I do feel that the author made very good use of her readers’ love for her characters.