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The Last Housewife  By  cover art

The Last Housewife

By: Ashley Winstead
Narrated by: Alexis Van Aiken
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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the acclaimed In My Dreams I Hold a Knife comes a pitch-black thriller about a woman determined to destroy a powerful cult and avenge the deaths of the women taken in by it, no matter the cost.

While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay’s built a new life in a tony Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel’s death―delivered, of all ways, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader―she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive, and the predators more dangerous than ever.

Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend’s life, she’s pulled into a dark, seductive world, where wealth and privilege shield brutal philosophies that feel all too familiar. When Shay’s obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so consuming she can no longer separate her desire for justice from darker desires newly reawakened, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule it—both inside the cult and outside of it—is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?

©2022 Ashley Winstead (P)2022 Blackstone Publishing

Critic Reviews

2022, LibraryReads

What listeners say about The Last Housewife

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Whoa

There is a lot to unpack in this layered and deep novel. First, let me state, there is a disturbing amount of ugliness and trauma in the book, but it is not glamorized or dramatized. The author takes on a difficult subject by objectivity staring it in the face. None of it was gratuitous. This is a difficult topic that is examined by many many angles. While I do agree that there should be some sort of trigger warning in the description,
I do not agree that survivors of sexual trauma would want to steer clear of The Last Housewife.

This book examines the perceived and real power and control mechanisms between men and women. From the physical, mental, emotional, and probably most disturbing, deep social norms and expectations.

While attempting to uncover what happened to two of her college friends, our often very unlikable, but somehow also relatable, heroine slowly reveals her past via interviews with a childhood friend who runs a very successful podcast. Readers are left wondering not only what happened to the girls, but often sitting on the edge of their seat trying to decide who and what kind of person our protagonist is.

Windstead’s storytelling mechanism provides an almost kaleidoscope of shifting views from chapter to chapter allowing readers to constantly challenge their own views about men, women, sexuality, and their roles and expected behaviors.

I won’t reveal any more, other than to say I highly highly recommend this book. It will leave you reeling and with many thoughts, from disgust and disbelief at the character’s ability to fall prey to a cult, to a concerning realization that maybe it isn’t that unbelievable.

1 person found this helpful

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Beware if you are an abuse and/or rape survivor

I cannot recommend this book because it describes manipulation, abuse and rape in such graphic and violent details. The lead character gets herself into dangerous situations and each time manages to save herself or be saved. And the cult is something straight out of so many of our ridiculous modern day conspiracy theories. I realize the author was likely trying to break down how people can get caught up in such cults and conspiracies, but it does not work well, in my opinion, as a work of fiction.

1 person found this helpful

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Good Book

Great plot. Good character development. It could have been just a little shorter. The narration was well done.

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loved

I didn't want to stop listening.
My first book I have read from this author.
Not Disappointed.

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Chilling and UN-put-downable.

I found this book to be chilling in a Handmaid’s Tale kind of way. I could not stop listening.
Truly worth reading, sisters.

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Wowza!

Thoroughly enjoyed this story. The narration was also great. I feel like this could be a movie, I just wish there was more to the ending. I suppose it's meant to be up to us and our own imagination to end it. Definitely worth the listen for sure!

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Five Stars all Around

Great narration for a suspenseful drama with twists at every turn. Found myself relistening to chapters so I wouldn’t miss a clue. It’s all so masterfully and thoughtful laid out. Well done.

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Great read

I really like this book. I would love to thank the author of this book. I don’t know if she knows how right on she is in her description of what it’s like to be raised in that kind of life style. She also did and amazing job at describing how hard it is to leave that kind of life and how easy it is to fall back into it if your not careful. I also really got the ending that would have been my reaction as well. This is a well written book. Again I just want to thank the author.

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Loved it !!

So good ,very dark .It definitely kept me wanting more. I found myself obsessed.

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wow

amazing. pulled me out of a bad reading slump. if you're thinking about it do it u won't be disappointed with this one!

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  • S. Thanapal
  • 09-19-22

Amazing!

Just read it! One of the best books I’ve read this year! It’s a meditation on patriarchy and misogyny disguised as a crime thriller, and that’s it’s strength. It’s deeply engaging and well written, but it’s also incredibly personal and socio political at the same time. I love Winstead because she does not shy away from the violence that women undergo, but she does not turn it into violence porn the way male writers do, where they use women for their male centred plots. I think she a is a true feminist thriller writer because despite it all, her women have agency.

1 person found this helpful