Last Will
by Bryn Greenwood
Stairway Press

"[T]here are more ways to destroy a child's soul than shutting him up in a dark closet."

Bernie Raleigh's quiet life is destroyed when his grandfather dies, leaving him millions. While some might long for this type of windfall, Bernie is utterly unequipped for the challenges of this new, more public life. Kidnapped as a child and held for ransom, Bernie still suffers from psychological scars, convinced that everyone around him has abandoned him as the imperfect son. His dead brother, Robby, continues to cast a shadow over his own failures, wherever he turns. But everything changes when he meets Meda Amos, his beautiful housekeeper with an equally conflicted past. Despite family objections and shameful secrets, Meda and Bernie fall in love and learn to accept each other, scars and all.

While money may not buy happiness, it certainly appears to come close in this novel, closing awkward gaps between the two lovers wherever possible, despite Meda's own objections to being given everything she wants and needs. Though an alien abduction thread featuring Meda's mother at times feels seems forced, the parallels to Bernie's own kidnapping ultimately offer readers interesting insights and new questions concerning a topic that might otherwise be skeptically dismissed. If a childhood bogeyman can still hurt an adult survivor of abuse, Last Will offers the hope that even damaged souls can one day achieve happiness.

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