The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave A Novel
Now a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Selection!
A gripping mystery about a woman who thinks she’s found the love of her life—until he disappears.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.
As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.
Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future—one neither of them could have anticipated.
With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn.
About the Author:
Laura Dave is the bestselling author of several critically acclaimed novels including Eight Hundred Grapes and The First Husband. Her work has been published in eighteen countries, and five of her novels, including The Last Thing he Told Me, have been optioned for film and television. She resides in Santa Monica, California.
Reviews of the customers about the Novel:
- Frank Phillips:
I had a strong feeling that this was going to be that book. You know the one. Right from the start, the narrator has a rhythm that pulls you in, the words flow so smoothly that you almost forget you’re reading. It’s like someone is reading to you. While you’re not sure if the storyteller is reliable or where the story is going, that’s all part of the intrigue. On the surface, things seem sweet. But there is an air of mystery. Now you’re hooked.
Hannah is in love. With Owen. She picked up her life and moved across the country from Manhattan to Sausalito to be with him, where he is settled in with his now teenage daughter, Bailey, who is not looking to replace her deceased mother. Cue the snarky comments and eye rolls that only a 16-year-old can deliver with aplomb to the awaiting stepmother. But Hannah is not rattled. She is patient, having lost her own mother, albeit in a different way.
Dependable Owen doesn’t come home from his job as an engineer at a software startup. Instead, he sends a young girl to his house to hand-deliver a cryptic two-word message to his wife. Baffled, frightened, and unsure of what to do, Hannah is determined to find out where her husband is afterword is out that the company is being charged with securities fraud, which leads her to take matters into her own hands on the streets of Austin.
I especially liked this thriller for its well-paced plot, well-developed not too far-fetched with just the right amount of intrigue characters, each of whom is faced with a decision about which treacherous path to take.
THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME is an engrossing tale of suspense and family drama with female characters who are doing it for themselves.
When I first saw “The Last Thing He Told Me,” I was intrigued, to say the least. I hadn’t read a mystery book in a while, so I was excited when I got approved for an arc for this book!
After doing some research, I saw that the author of this book mainly writes contemporary books; and I became worried. I haven’t had much luck with contemporary writers who choose to write a mystery book. An example would be Stephanie Perkins with her book “There’s Someone Inside Your House,” which wasn’t that good of a book. But Laura Dave wrote a great mystery book despite being a contemporary author. “The Last Thing He Told Me” is a great mystery book that I’ll probably reread in the future.
After receiving a note from her husband stating nothing but the words Protect her, Hannah realizes her husband Owen has disappeared and that she needs to take care of his daughter Bailey. Hannah soon realized that her husband isn’t the same person she thought he was. While taking care of her stepdaughter Bailey, both Hannah and Bailey try to figure out why Owen left, and if they can get him back.
The plot was very enjoyable, and fun to read. I (almost) always enjoy reading mysteries, and this book was no exception. There were a few things about the plot that confused me though, and some questions weren’t entirely answered.
While the pacing did drag at times, it still moved in a way that keeps you intrigued throughout the book. Everything in the book was pieced together so well and flowed quite nicely.
The characters were probably the best part of the book. They felt so real and had faults of their own. I loved how Bailey slowly warmed up to Hannah and soon realized that she can trust Hannah.
The writing was enjoyable but had a few flaws. There were a few typos and overuse of dashes at the beginning of some chapters. Other than that, the writing was very enjoyable.
The ending wasn’t the best; I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. Although it did offer a bit of closure, I felt like it could have been done differently.
Overall, “The Last Thing He Told Me” was a great mystery book. It had great characters, a great plot, and decent pacing. Although there were a few questions left unanswered, this was a great book, to say the least, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I were to reread this again.
Lots of people will take this opportunity to describe what happens in this book, so I won’t. What I will say is that I read it in a single sitting and enjoyed it immensely. The story that starts out is not the story that the author ends up telling. What I will say is that this is such a new twist on stepmothers and second wives, that alone makes it worth reading.
- Susan Z:
That was the last communication Hannah received from her husband, Owen before he disappeared. The note was delivered by a 12-year-old stranger. Hannah knew that Bailey, Owen’s 16-year-old daughter, was the person she was supposed to protect. But how? From what?
Told in the present day, with periodic flashbacks, we follow Hannah and Bailey on their quest to find the truth. As secrets are uncovered, Hannah questions if she really knew Owen at all.
This is a gripping story from the beginning and it never lets up. The pages fly by until the very end. I didn’t want to put it down.
I found this to be a thrilling mystery as well as an emotional story. I enjoyed the relationship between Hannah and her stepdaughter. I can’t wait to read more by Laura Dave!
This book draws you right in and there is never a letdown. The story is genuinely moving and the mystery keeps you turning the pages. It is the kind of book you stay up all night to finish. And then are sorry that there is no more left. We already wish there was a sequel! Don’t miss this one.
The last thing Owen Michaels told his wife Hannah Hall before disappearing is ‘Protect Her. He must be referring to his sixteen-year-old daughter Bailey with whom step-mum Hannah has a tricky relationship. After receiving the note Hannah and Bailey’s lives change in ways they could never have foreseen. The story is told by Hannah in the present and with flashbacks from her first meeting Owen which works really well.
I couldn’t put this down!! This is how you write a domestic thriller novel! There’s nothing unnecessary, it’s not overlong, the chapters are short, crisp, and to the point but the author skillfully creates a real feeling of authenticity. The writing isn’t flashy or over the top, it’s just darned good storytelling I engage with immediately. I love the chapter headings which have a good dose of wit about them. The settings are really good as is the characterization. Hannah is clever, resourceful, an independent thinker, and brave as she’s prepared to do whatever it takes. The portrait of teenager Bailey is very strong, you feel her confused and torn emotions. I like how their relationship changes, develops, and morphs as they unite in their attempts to seek out the truth. There are some really good twists and turns in the well-paced plot as Hannah pieces together what small snippets of information she has and maximizes them. Their anger, confusion, and uncertainty of what to believe about Owen come across well and you admire Hannah’s ingenuity in piecing it together. There’s nail-biting suspense as the very unpretty tale emerges which keeps me gripped throughout. The ending is maybe a bit too neatly tied in a bow but that’s not to say I don’t like it – I do!!
Overall, I love this book, finding it a well-written and very entertaining, enjoyable thriller demonstrating just how far people will go for love.
I haven’t read a book in a very long time that I literally could not put down. It was a very rainy Mother’s Day in Ohio and the best gift I got was being able to read this amazing book. Highly recommend!!!!! This is the first time I’ve read Laura Dave and although her older books do not appeal to me, I think this one is setting a new bar for her. Cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. Anything Reece Witherspoon recommends is worth reading.
A suspenseful, addictive, and surprisingly emotional mystery about family and love
Hannah Hall receives a note from her husband Owen, saying only ‘protect her’ before he disappears, leaving Hannah to take care of his 16-year-old daughter Bailey. What is going on? Where is Owen? Who can Hannah trust? And does she really know her husband?
I really enjoyed The Last Thing He Told Me, and flew through the pages, needing to know what would happen to Hannah, Bailey, and Owen! I always know I’m enjoying a book when I tell my husband about it, and when I think about it when I’m not reading, which was definitely the case here!
I hadn’t heard of Laura Dave before I saw a glowing review by my friend Ceecee but decided to request it, and now I want to read more of this author’s work because this hooked me in from the start, and kept me entertained until the end! I loved the writing style, it was really engaging, pulling me in fast, and keeping me on my toes, as I discovered all was not what it seemed.
The story was told from Hannah’s first-person POV in the present tense. Present tense doesn’t always work for me, but this one did, perhaps because it also had flashbacks into Hannah’s past. It was a character-driven story and really focus on their relationships. I loved Hannah, she was strong, independent, resourceful, and real. I felt for her as she tried to muddle through such a stressful and worrying time, whilst still trying to win over her stepdaughter. Bailey was very well written as a teenager! Their relationship was so well written, and I enjoyed seeing the bond between them blossom. Motherhood comes in many forms, and you could feel Hannah’s love for Bailey throughout the story.
Owen had disappeared right from the start of the book, but I still felt like I knew him, due to the flashbacks, and from Hannah and Bailey’s love for him.
I also liked hearing about Hannah’s grandfather, and his effect on her life.
I’ve seen that some reviewers didn’t like the bittersweet ending, but I cannot see how it could’ve ended any other way. I was satisfied with it, even though I couldn’t see the writing at points because my tears blurred the words!
I saw earlier that this is being adapted, which I am pleased about because this would transfer so well to the screen I think!
This would be a great book to read to get you out of a slump, or if you want a quick, gripping, character-driven story!
- AJ Holmes:
Now, this was a great book that I couldn’t help but devour! From start to finish I didn’t want to put it down and with every newfound clue into Owen’s disappearance, I was pulled deeper and deeper into the plot. This is truly one of those “just one more page” books only, you’ll say that right up to the very end and even then, you’ll want more.
Without repeating the synopsis already given, Hannah and Bailey are in for quite the reveal as they work together to try and track down their husband and father, Owen. Only, things start to get a little confusing when knowing who to trust or not comes into question more times than not. Just how far down these rabbit holes are Hannah and Bailey willing to go to find and bring Owen home? Is Owen really who they know him to be?
If you choose to read this book, I suggest you block out some time for it because should you not, one of two things will happen… you won’t get to whatever else you were supposed to OR you’ll get to what you were supposed to but your mind won’t be on the task, it’ll be on the book. Happy reading!
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘏𝘦 𝘛𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘔𝘦 is a domestic suspense/mystery that takes a unique look at family, loyalty, and trust.
The chapters were short and to the point, no filler, yet I was very impressed by how vividly the characters were brought to life in such a short amount of time.
I see that normally people refer to themselves as an outlier when they enjoy a book less than most and I think it’s possible that I’ll be a reverse outlier with this one but I was hooked from the beginning, loved the low-key drama, and flew through the pages, needing to know how it would end.
An original domestic thriller set in California. The characters are a stepmother and her stepdaughter navigating their way through the disappearance of their husband/father. It’s compelling in its emotive simplicity and because I’ve not read anything similar. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from Dave.
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
Hannah Hall has married Owen, a man that walked into her ‘woodturning” shop and swept her off her feet despite her resistance, due to having just broken up with her fiancée. Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey, despises everything about Hannah but Hannah is determined to win her over someday. Life is good for Hannah, she loves her work, she loves both Owen and Bailey, she finally has a family after suffering for decades over feelings of abandonment because her parents left her when she was young.
Then one morning, she kisses Owen as he heads to work and that’s the last she sees of him. She gets a note, delivered by a little girl, that says “protect her”. The FBI arrests his boss and shows up on her doorstep. Bailey’s dad has left a HUGE puzzling gift for her in her locker at school. Things are falling apart and what Hannah knows about Owen is no longer adding up.
Rather than waiting to see how things unfold, Hannah takes action. Based on a picture and very unreliable memories from when Bailey was less than 4 years old, they are off to a distant city to try to find out Owen’s true identity. Is Owen who he says he is and if he’s not, what does that mean for Hannah and even more so, for Bailey, his daughter? It’s hard to imagine that I would make the choices that Hannah and Bailey make throughout the book but the good thing that comes out of all of this is that they both realize that they have each other through whatever is going on in their lives.
What I was drawn to in this story is less the mystery and more the growing relationship between Hannah and Bailey. I think their reliance on each other and Bailey’s change as she opens up to Hannah, while she convinces Hannah to be open with her, too, is what makes the story work for me. Their world has become a different, scary place and I enjoyed watching them work through the realization that their lives would never be the same again.
- K burgess:
A really well-thought-out story, full of unpredictable twists and tales and interesting relationships. Great to have a strong female lead too.
Wow, I loved this book! THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME is an unputdownable twisty suspense novel and family drama that hooked me right away.
Owen and Hannah have only been married a short time when he suddenly disappears. Owen’s last message to Hannah was a note saying, “Protect her,” and she immediately knows he’s referring to his 16-year old daughter, Bailey, whose own mother died when she was very young.
Hannah and her stepdaughter have a chilly relationship, with Bailey wanting nothing to do with her. However, their quest to figure out what happened to Owen and what he’s been hiding begins to change their dynamic.
This is one of the best domestic suspense novels I’ve read, with realistic characters and a believable story. I enjoyed the author’s wonderful, absorbing writing. The last line of the book got me choked up a bit! Highly recommended. ♥