Final Belongings

Fiction - Mystery - Historical
374 Pages
Reviewed on 12/12/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Sarah Beauchemin writes literary mystery and suspense fiction. She holds an MA in English and is a founding member of The Inkwells, a weekly read-and-critique group for novelists since 2017. Sarah lives in San Diego with her husband, the best cat ever, and piles of books.

When not writing, Sarah can be found immersed in some type of Gen X nostalgia.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Final Belongings is a work of fiction in the mystery and historical fiction subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience owing to some moderate scenes of violence and the use of strong language and was penned by author Sarah Beauchemin. We initially follow protagonist Juliet in contemporary times, who is still reeling from the sudden loss of her mother as she tries to sort through the family possessions. When she uncovers a collection of memorabilia and a mysterious note from her Uncle Henry, who passed away in Italy in 1971, a quest begins to understand the life of this incredible man, which could lead to unexpected dangers from delving into someone else’s history.

Author Sarah Beauchemin handles the twists and turns of this plot incredibly well to tell a tale across two timelines that still sparks with similarity, family, and relevance, no matter whose part you’re following. I really enjoyed the trip through time that we take in Henry’s life; his personality shone with an effervescence that juxtaposes Juliet’s grief-stricken mood and sets us up for a drama that certainly runs the full gamut of emotions. I was also very impressed by the cinematic style of the descriptive language, which brought Italy into living color and amped up the tension with its extrasensory approach. This was so effective that when the plot thickened and the pace ramped up suddenly, I found myself in an immersive and action-packed thriller novel right to the end. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Final Belongings to fans of well-plotted mystery and interpersonal, emotional family dramas.

Cloie Belle Daffon

In Final Belongings by Sarah Beauchemin, Juliet was trying her best to find a good job when she received a phone call that pulled her deeper into despair. After her divorce and with her work life a mess, Juliet was barely hanging on when she got the devastating call that her mother had died. How could anyone live with persistent loss? Life kept pulling her down deeper into a well of despair and she didn’t think she could take any more. As she and a friend of her mother were sorting through her mother’s things, they found a photograph of Henry, her mother's brother, and a box of his things. Juliet felt a connection to him that she couldn’t seem to explain. This connection will lead her on an adventure of a lifetime but little does she know that uncovering her uncle’s hidden past could also bring danger into her life.

I found Juliet to be relatable. She was tired and devastated by the constant challenges life threw her way and I could feel her anguish through the pages. Final Belongings by Sarah Beauchemin tells the story from Juliet’s and Henry’s point-of-view. The similarities between the two are uncanny and I don’t blame Juliet for her curiosity about her Uncle Henry. Doing something different might help her process the grief and devastation from her mother’s death and her messy divorce. I admired Juliet’s strength in the face of hardship. She had been brought down by the trials in her life but remained curious and clever. The way the story was told from both the past and present points of view was engrossing. The plot left me incapable of putting the book down because I was afraid I might miss out on something! The twists and turns that Beauchemin weaved throughout the tale left me craving more. Outstanding work!

Alma Boucher

Final Belongings by Sarah Beauchemin is a mystery that will keep you in suspense. Juliet Barton is looking for photos for her mother’s celebration of life collage for her wake. She finds an envelope with her Uncle Henry’s final belongings. In the envelope is a photo of a tomb and an urgent message at the back. All Juliet knows about her Uncle Henry is that he died in a horrific car accident in Italy. The more Juliet wonders about the photo the more she gets the feeling she needs to find out more about Henry’s death. Juliet decides to start looking for clues in Rosanera. She feels she has to find what Henry had hidden in the tomb. Julia is exposing secrets that people are willing to kill for to be kept buried. A crime was committed fifty years ago.

I had chills running up and down my spine while reading Final Belongings. Sarah Beauchemin wrote a mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It was complicated and exciting. The twists and turns kept me in suspense, never knowing what to expect next. The chapters alternated between Juliet in the present and Henry fifty years ago. One chapter was a continuation of the previous chapter and was interwoven beautifully to form this story. I got to know Juliet and Henry through this and where they came from. They both were very strong people who had compassion for their fellow man. The story was excellently written. The events and circumstances were described in detail, and nothing was left to the imagination. The ending was shocking; I did not see that coming.