Thursday, September 27, 2012

One Last Love by Derek Haines

Ebook: Equivalent of 150 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2012 
Source: Amazon Kindle Store purchase
First Sentence: 'So, this is it then?'
My opinion: Well written but personally unsatisfying.

I have to say this disappointed me firstly as it turned out to be a novella which for some reason always leaves me feeling a little cheated, not sure why but probably for the same reason I do not often read short stories. I prefer my choice of reading material to be something that can transport me to another world for more than one session. Secondly I have been reading blog posts by this author for sometime now and have always found him to be a highly entertaining writer, this just did not meet my expectations of his writing. Maybe I just picked the wrong book he certainly has plenty to choose from but it seemed to make sense to pick a recent one, although this is also unusual for me I normally like to work my way through an authors back catalogue first. Is Derek Haines an author I will read again?  At the moment I am not sure, although looking at the comments on his Goodreads Profile I probably should do so. Checking my files it appears I registered as a reviewer with Derek Haines last year and he sent me a  PDF copy of his novel Louis. I was never able to read and review this as I had problems with my Sony eReader which has since been ditched in favour of my much loved Kindle. I had already been in contact with the author about problems with the file, so somehow when I lost it completely I did not have the nerve to contact him again. Instead I went to the Amazon Kindle Store back in March and downloaded for the princely sum of  £1.97 'One Last Love'.

While this is a well written novella I just found it unsatisfying for the reasons given above, I am sure others will love it for its succinctness, the very thing that put me off.  I am also a bit of a stickler when it comes to editing/proof reading of books and I have found that ebooks can tend to be rather annoying in this matter, often containing many more errors than one should find in a properly edited publication. A couple are acceptable but more leads me to think the publication has not been sufficiently proof read. Another disappointment then as I found more than a couple in 'One Last Love'.

Putting aside my personal prejudices this was a beautiful love story that is also extremely sad and cannot fail to move you as it is set in of all places a hospice, a disturbing setting indeed. The protagonist is Bonnie who is moved to the hospice to live out his final days in as much comfort as possible. As his life fades away he has so many memories which come floating back of his wife and son who both predeceased him. Facing his own mortality he tries to hide his fear with bravado but is forced to realise the depressing reality he faces. The other residents he meets at the hospice make him see that he has led a very prejudiced life and one person in particular turns his opinions on life and love upside down.

Derek Haines has written an extremely heart wrenching tale that will appeal to those that like a succinct but emotional read.

Author Profile

I have taken the liberty of copying Derek's profile from Goodreads as it says it all perfectly in his witty 

Writer, storyteller, Aussie and Swiss.
Derek Haines is an author of genre fiction, essays and poetry. His works range from historical fiction with Louis, to The Glothic Tales, a trilogy of science fiction farce, to dark contemporary romance, including One Last Love, Dead Men and For The Love Of Sam. His satirical essays and novellas such as My Take Away Vampire and And Uneducated View of Sex, Food and Politics then clearly fall into the tongue in cheek genre.
His passion for writing started with poetry before moving into essays and then later, genre fiction. Although his works cover a wide range of settings and genres, his writing style and voice communicate with, and engage readers through his characters, who are always less than perfect, yet have an endearing appeal. 
Most of all, the stories told by Derek Haines are about people and their feelings, regrets, hopes and struggles with life, love and sometimes calamity. His characters never take the classic hero and heroine form Just ordinary people, but with extraordinary qualities that makes their story worth telling. With splashes of black humour and satire, his stories can develop from the simplistic to the complex and back again, leaving the reader to decide if it is time to laugh or cry. Or both.
Born in Australia, but now living in Switzerland with his wife and a black cocker spaniel, his stories cross a wide geographical range but often draw from elements of his life and experiences in the two countries he calls home. From the rugged, dry and hot desert country of Australia and its crowded cities, to the cafés of Europe and the peaks of the Swiss Alps. The hustle and bustle of Sydney to the quiet life in the Swiss countryside.
When not writing, he is usually doing what he equally enjoys. Teaching English.

The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and his writing.

Goodreads Author Profile    Author's Official Website

I have chosen to read this title as the letter O for The A - Z Book Challenge which I have decided to attempt to achieve in alphabetical order. I have a good selection of titles to choose from our bookshelves, it will be interesting to see how far I can get before I get stuck. You can follow my progress here.   


  1. Again, another very well thought out review Linda. Like you, I really like to 'get well into' a book, so although you have stated that this is a beautiful love story, I think I will give this one a miss as well.

  2. thisisme@ It is indeed a well written and lovely story, but not long enough for my personal preferences.


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