The Only One Left by Riley Sager Short summary and review

The Only One Left” sounds like an incredibly gripping thriller! The premise of Kit, a home health nurse, being assigned to care for Lenora, a woman accused of murdering her family, creates a tense and intriguing setup. The fact that Lenora can no longer speak and can only communicate through a typewriter adds a unique element to the story.

The Only One Left Book Description:

the only one left book

At seventeen, Lenora Hope

Hung her sister with a rope

Now reduced to a schoolyard chant, the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast one bloody night in 1929. While most people assume seventeen-year-old Lenora was responsible, the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial after the killings, she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she set foot outside Hope’s End, the cliffside mansion where the massacre occurred.

Stabbed her father with a knife

Took her mother’s happy life

It’s now 1983, and home-health aide Kit McDeere arrives at a decaying Hope’s End to care for Lenora after her previous nurse fled in the middle of the night. In her seventies and confined to a wheelchair, Lenora was rendered mute by a series of strokes and can only communicate with Kit by tapping out sentences on an old typewriter. One night, Lenora uses it to make a tantalizing offer—I want to tell you everything.

It wasn’t me,” Lenora said

But she’s the only one not dead

As Kit helps Lenora write about the events leading to the Hope family massacre, it becomes clear there’s more to the tale than people know. But when new details about her predecessor’s departure come to light, Kit starts to suspect Lenora might not be telling the complete truth—and that the seemingly harmless woman in her care could be far more dangerous than she first thought.

Short Summary Of the Book:

Set in the year 1983, “The Only One Left” revolves around the life of Kit McDeere, a 30-year-old home health nurse. Kit’s new assignment involves caring for Lenora Hope, one of the most infamous residents in their town. Lenora, at the age of 17, was accused of murdering her entire family, drawing parallels to the infamous case of Lizzie Borden. However, due to insufficient evidence, Lenora was never convicted. Despite her unwavering claims of innocence, the town harbors a unanimous belief in her guilt. Consequently, Lenora has remained confined to her dilapidated childhood abode, a mansion known as Hope’s End.

Following a series of debilitating strokes, Lenora finds herself unable to care for herself or speak. Kit initially hesitates to accept the job and reside at Hope’s End, primarily due to its terrifying history and her apprehension regarding Lenora. However, Kit eventually realizes that Lenora poses no threat and agrees to care for her. Lenora’s only means of communication is a typewriter and one fateful night, she expresses her desire to divulge her complete story to Kit—the truth surrounding her family’s tragic fate.

The Only One Left Book Review:

It’s great to hear that the book kept you hooked and surpassed your expectations compared to the author’s previous works. The atmospheric setting of Hope’s End, with its crumbling mansion and dark history, seems to have left a lasting impression on you. The combination of the Gothic atmosphere and the nail-biting mystery sounds like a winning formula for a thrilling read.

Having a likable main character in Kit, along with the opportunity to unravel the mystery alongside her, adds an immersive element to the storytelling. And with three earth-shattering twists, it sounds like the book kept you on the edge of your seat, eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next.

Overall, “The Only One Left” appears to be a standout thriller that combines an engaging plot, a chilling setting, and surprising twists to deliver an unforgettable reading experience.

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