JUST LAST NIGHT by Mhairi McFarlane – double review!

International bestseller Mhairi McFarlane explores lifelong friendships, long-buried secrets, and unexpected love in a heartfelt, emotional new novel, perfect for fans of Evvie Drake Starts Over, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, or In Five Years.

Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.

But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.

In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction…

They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?


Title : Just Last Night/Last Night
Author : Mhairi McFarlane
Format : eARC
Page Count : 416
Genre : women’s fiction
Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks/Harper Collins
Release Date : May 4, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis/Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★/ ★ ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 5 star review

‘I’ll just pick this up to kill an hour or two before dinner’, she thought. ‘That’s all. Just dip my toe in and then read the rest later or tomorrow.. ‘

.. fast forward to four hours later when I have not even moved from the couch. I swear. No pee breaks, no food, nada. I love that feeling. Also I should’ve known better because not only is it me but it’s also a McFarlane book.

Is my face covered in tears? Yes. Was this exactly what I (even limited #NoBlurber that I am) thought it would be? Nope. Did I love it anyway? Obviously.

This feels like the most McFarlane book to McFarlane since I read Don’t You Forget About Me in 2019. I’ve experimented with some of the author’s backlist, read her most recent release, and now this one. But this is the closest I’ve got to that all-consuming feeling I first had a few years ago upon discovering this author. If you’ve read her before, you know exactly what I mean.

I’m honestly without any kind of words. I’m just feelings. I laughed, I cried, I did both some more, and mostly I just marveled at how good she is at creating complicated messes that don’t feel like someone who is contriving to write about complicated messes. It feels like eavesdropping on real lives, people you sort’ve know, and are therefore invested in. No perfect specimens, no uncomplicated situations. Just real.

I still have a few McFarlane’s to dip into but in looking back through my memories of what I have read I think where I waffle is sometimes I’m just not into the romance element. I’m here for the wit, the biting truthbombs, and the friendships, but sometimes I’m not sold on the romance. I do still think Don’t You Forget About Me tops the chart, even in that respect, but this was the closest I’ve had since. And just, overall, I loved every single thing about it, too.

If you’ve yet to try this author you absolutely must.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Deep and thoughtful plot
Riding the waves of grief
Behind the face of friendship

I thoroughly enjoyed this latest Mhairi McFarlane book, it was definitely my favourite of hers so far. This is a story all about friendships, unpeeling the layers, finding why you love your friends so much but also finding the real, the skeletons, the unsavoury. Friendships are messy and Last Night really explored that.

Eve was the protagonist but she was alongside the cast of Susie, Ed, Justin and later Finlay. The overarching plot theme was grief. I felt like this was represented so well, seeing friends and family members grieve differently, dealing with the practicalities of death and then the overwhelming emotions. I was gripped and invested by this journey.

Grief often is a catalyst for change, it can facilitate a re-examining of your life and events and this happened to Eve and others. I loved seeing the grudging friendship develop between her and Finlay and what a story that ended up being. Even though this was a story about grief, there were many funny and sarcastic lines that tickled me.

“Is it too soon for me to say “You’re a fucking menace in a polka dots, sister”was an absolutely incredible line?!” Justin whispers.

Thank you to Harper Collins for the review copy.

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