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Last Words

A Diary of Survival
Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Number one best-selling novel Last Words is where reality meets fiction and the lines in between are blurred by forbidden love.

Amelia - 1942: The inside of my closet held the last bit of my freedom before I was torn from my home and shoved onto a dark train. Our destination was even darker. "Women and children to the right. Men to the left," they shouted at us. Everything was taken from me, leaving only the smoke-filled air, piercing screams, and soul-burning cries. I was slowly starved and weakened to the bone, but there was a man - a Nazi - who brought me extra food. He called himself a prisoner too, but he scared me, and I wondered if he was the enemy I should fear the most.

Emma - current day: My grandmother hid her past in an old diary under her bed. The tattered, brown leather book sat there for years until she asked me to find it and read her unspoken words. Now, her stories and secrets are consuming every moment of my life.

She's dying...and asking for a man no one in our family has ever heard of. I never imagined a handwritten book could change my entire life, but it has. It opened my eyes to a new beginning, and I learned that love is not the unsaid word my grandmother has refused to speak. It's an action - it's longevity, taboo, and sometimes forbidden. Do we fight for what's wrong, or do we spend our lives searching for what's right? Last words were never spoken because love doesn't stop until a heart is no longer beating.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Shari J. Ryan (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • Mel
  • 24-03-20

awesome book

loved this read, really makes a person think about the choices they make and the outcomes

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  • Hillary Susan
  • 04-03-20

A Wonderful Story

This is a wonderful story told both in the present and the past, much like the style of Fried Green Tomatoes. While not a wealth of historic information, this focuses more on the emotions and feelings of the holocaust era while exposing atrocities but not dwelling on them. The dialog is well written and performed quite well. The writing allows the reader to visualize the story. I would highly recommend this as a commuting listen as it does hold one's attention.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 16-02-20

a book of incredible courage

couldnt put it down !
the courage and strength they had going through the holocaust.

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  • DeRoseBreathe
  • 30-10-19

So touching

I experienced laughter, tears, fears, angst, and no sleep. (Did have to fast forward through descriptive intimate parts a couple times towards the later half)
Really well written though and exceptionally read. She did a great job.
(A bit too much intimidate personal descriptions for me, I do have an imagination, sharing emotions and feelings would have been just fine. And hoping in bed after just meeting someone is so today’s liberal ways , it would be so much classier if He waited for her. A man can still hunger for a woman they love without being so intimate. Courtship is so much nicer and leaves no confusion or questions.
I loved the ending! I did expect it.

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  • phyllis hartsfield
  • 19-10-19

great book!!

Great book and I didn't want it to end!! would make an aweso.e movie!! must read!!

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  • PATRICIA
  • 18-09-19

Emotional and will touch your heart!

There are times when I listen, that I find a book and it sticks with me, not for the characters, but the story is so moving it stays in my heart. This is one of those books. Shari J Ryan has captured a love story that will change the way you think and show you how true love is never ending. Written as a dual couple story, Amelia and Charlie are the first that we meet. We live in the diary of Amelia, as the story of her time as a Jewish prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp unfolds, and an SS soldier, Charlie comes into her life. Their story is what captivated me. It's written with such compassion for both sides, and it does not gloss over the tragic circumstances of either one of them. Amelia today is in the hospital, which brings us to the second couple, her granddaughter, Emma and her new love interest, Amelia's cardiologist, Jackson. These two with a little nudging from the spunky grandmother is sweet and loving and pulls you right in. Their stories, as they intermingle kept me on the edge of my seat. Not in an action packed, suspenseful way, but I had to know what happens next, and if their story has a happy ending. It's heart wrenching, painfully tragic, full of hope and love and entranced me the entire way through. I don't cry when I listen, but this one had me grabbing the tissues and loving every minute of it!

The way this story is written, three narrators gave us the their portrayal of the story, and it could not have been performed better. Each voice gave us every emotion, every inflection made us feel their perspective and feelings, and it was absolutely stunning. Kudos to Stephanie Willis, Susan Larkin and Chris Kayser for bringing this gem to life!

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  • Kim R.
  • 12-09-19

A TOUR DE FORCE AUDIO LISTEN

“You are everything worth fighting for....”

There are some audios you listen to for pleasure, for the ultimate escape, and there are others you live and breathe, that change you profoundly, that you know will reside in your heart for ALL ETERNITY!!! LAST WORDS by Shari J. Ryan fits the latter category.

When I first read the blurb about a young woman named Emma who was given the sacred honor of reading her dying grandmother, Amelia's, secret diary depicting her journey of love and survival as a Jewish prisoner of war during the Holocaust, and in the midst of that harrowing ordeal, forging a forbidden love connection to a Nazi soldier who helped her against all odds, I knew HAD to read this book!.

That's all the plot you are getting from me because this is a spoil-free review and you truly must go in blind to EXPERIENCE and ABSORB every amazing nuance for yourself. I relished so much about this powerful, heartbreaking, BEAUTIFULLY TRIUMPHANT book, most especially that it contains two love stories intertwined throughout the novel (Amelia and Charlie & Emma and Jackson). I felt so many WRENCHING sensations throughout, beheld so many quietly profound moments, big and small, and through the course of this book, I learned so much about these characters and myself too. It made me truly appreciate the freedoms I have been afforded, about religious persecution, about pure evil and innate goodness, and the tragic sacrifices that have been made by so many.

“We’re survivors from opposite sides, brought together through the enemy who only believed in hate.”

You will feel the whole GAMUT of emotions--love, anger, terror, anguish, tenderness, devastation, heartache, acceptance, hope and joy. I laughed, I cried, I shivered, I cringed, I suffered, I ached from the depth of my soul , I rejoiced and I smiled through my tears.

There were a plethora of remarkable messages that were imparted throughout…about love and loss, bravery, true valor, unforeseen acts of kindness and compassion, and finding the inner strength to survive the toughest adversity—the UNFATHOMABLE—even when all hope has dwindled.

THE NARRATION:
This is my first time listening to narrators Stephanie Willis, Susan Larkin and Chris Kayser and they all did a remarkable job of bringing the characters of Emma, Amelia and Charlie to flesh and blood life. Due to some of the harrowing subject matter, this was not an easy story to narrate but they transported me in ways I cannot describe…I truly felt their joy, sorrow, sacrifices and heartache as if it were my own. And through their deeply nuanced performances brought such humanity and complexity to each of these beloved protagonists. While Chris only narrated one chapter in Charlie’s POV, wow did he make an impression and I truly hope that he is used for the upcoming sequel, UNSPOKEN WORDS!

Final thoughts: If you choose to add one more audio book to your TBR, please let it be this one. LAST WORDS, a tour de force novel by the resplendent Shari J. Ryan, is by far one of the most POWERFUL and INSPIRING audios I have EVER listened to, and one which I will treasure forever!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-08-19

Heartbreaking and touching!

I was so moved by this story! It was heartbreaking and sad and happy! So many emotions!

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  • Leslie JoSmith
  • 23-08-19

Exceptional

I love reading victory stories. This one is one of the best. I know it is fictional but I believe there is someone out there that lived a very similar life of sacrifice and love.
The actors voices added reality to the story. Thank you, it will stay in my memory for a long time.

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  • Linda
  • 17-08-19

A splendid story of deep love and survival

You will immediately be absorbed into this beautiful story. Love between man and woman, love between grandmother and granddaughter and new love for a young couple. I enjoyed thoroughly this beautiful retelling of an amazingly strong woman