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Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite
The Last Cigar by Thomas Mello is about the hope that future generations will lead prosperous and rewarding lives. Francisco Azevedo was punished as an eleven-year-old boy for stealing his father’s cigarettes and for being caught smoking. His father tied him to the rafters of the wine cellar and whipped him until he bled. An old tradition of the Azevedo family is to smoke cigars while they speak from their heart. It is smoked during a conversation of importance. Francisco told Angelo about his whipping as a child. Francisco asks Angelo to promise he will never strike his wife or whip his child. Francisco also tells Angelo that he is signing everything over to him in his will. The only thing Francisco wants from Angelo is for him to go to America when he turns twenty-one. Francisco believes there will be a better life for Angelo and his generation.
All the drama and suspense in The Last Cigar kept me captivated. Thomas Mello combined historical and factual information in this story. He brought to life the struggles and tribulations of the Azevedo family. The fighting and accidental killing scenes were very descriptive and authentic. Sometimes I wanted to help them with the action. The characters were real-life people and could be any of my friends. They were relatable and unique. Each had his or her character traits that made them stand out. There were a few whose qualities were of such a nature that I did not like them at all. The endnotes were very informative and helpful in understanding some of the aspects of the story better. The traditions in the story provided more depth and made the story more powerful. The Last Cigar was excellently written.