From the award-winning author of Shadows of Pecan Hollow comes The Last Verse, a gripping novel set in the country music world of 1970s Nashville about a struggling musician who writes a hit song that both promises her long-sought-after fame and implicates her in a heinous crime.
"I loved all the twists and turns in Caroline Frost's gripping exploration of what it means to be an artist, and a woman, and the intersection between the two. And the thought and care that went into the rich backdrop of the 1970s Nashville music scene was no small feat. The Last Verse is a hugely satisfying, cleverly layered, addictive read." — Jami Attenberg, author of All This Could Be Yours
"Frost follows her award-winning debut with a sophomore slam dunk. The Last Verse is a blood-chilling crime novel set amidst 1970's Nashville, Tennessee. Don't let the rhinestones fool you, though. This novel is sexy, suspenseful, and boot-spur sharp. I feel lucky to have read it." — Eli Cranor, Edgar-Award-winning author of Don't Know Tough and Ozark Dogs
“Told with the perfect amount of twang, The Last Verse pulls readers deep into the timeless allure of Music City and the raw female ambition that lights up the intimate stages of Nashville. An irresistible southern gothic dripping with atmosphere, Frost deftly weaves together class tensions, the struggle for country music stardom, and the vulnerability demanded of every artist trying to hit it big. A perfect read for fans of Taylor Swift or Kacey Musgraves.” — Katy Hays, New York Times bestselling author of The Cloisters
“The Last Verse weaves a tale as plucky and fierce as the songs its heroine writes to heal her broken heart and discover her voice after an act of violence upends her world. This page-turner of a novel reminds us to trust our dreams while Frost’s voice crackles like a freshly pressed vinyl record.” — Laura Warrell, author of Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm
“The Last Verse unfolds like a perfect country ballad, winding its way through a tale of heartbreak, perseverance, and redemption. And like the best songs, you’ll want to revisit it again and again, finding new depths and beauty each time. Immersive and suspenseful, this novel is not to be missed.” — Amy Meyerson, bestselling author of The Imperfects
“Caroline Frost reveals the sharp edge of a country star’s rhinestones in this compulsively readable story about a singular talent caught between dreams for her future and the secrets of her past. Haunting and lyrical, The Last Verse will have you turning pages and turning phrases over in your mind long after Twyla has sung her last note.” — Emma Brodie, author of Songs in Ursa Major
“After a stunning debut, Caroline Frost is in enviable form for her sophomore novel, deftly blending sardonic humor with coming-of-age enlightenments and a breathtaking plot. The Last Verse is a big-hearted ballad that takes readers on a grand ole odyssey through bygone Nashville, replete with murder, mystery, and plenty of music. Frost is a wholly original writer and The Last Verse hits all the right notes. — James Wade, Spur Award-winning author of Beasts of the Earth
Set in 1970-90s Texas, a mesmerizing story about a fierce woman and the partner-in-crime she can’t escape, perfect for readers of Where the Crawdads Sing and Valentine.
It was 1970 when thirteen-year-old runaway Kit Walker was abducted by Manny Romero, a smooth-talking, low-level criminal, who first coddled her and then groomed her into his partner-in-crime. Before long, Kit and Manny were infamous for their string of gas station robberies throughout Texas, making a name for themselves as the Texaco Twosome.
Twenty years after they meet, Kit has scraped together a life for herself and her daughter amongst the pecan trees and muddy creeks of the town of Pecan Hollow, far from Manny. But when he shows up at her doorstep a new man, fresh out of prison, Kit is forced to reckon with the shadows of her past.
A gritty, penetrating, and unexpectedly tender novel, Shadows of Pecan Hollow is a hauntingly intimate and distinctly original debut about the complexity of love—both romantic and familial—and the bonds that define us.
“How do we let go of a dark, menacing past, especially when a dangerous love still binds us to it? Frost’s extraordinary debut is about Kit, a young mother struggling to raise her daughter, and to erase her abduction at 13 by a thief, who coerced her into crime and into his heart. Dazzling, unexpected and profound, this is a shattering page-turner about how love can twist our lives into something we no longer recognize, and how we might find our way back to our best selves and to the communities that just might save us. In a word: brilliant.” — Caroline Leavitt, bestselling author of With or Without You
“’Paper Moon’ meets ‘Badlands’ in this mesmerizing Texas backroads thriller, a twisty story of a runaway girl who finds a home and a desperate love on the road with an opportunistic criminal, and the long comet’s tail of their story. A notable debut, drenched in regional detail and told in a gritty, sensual prose.” — Janet Fitch, #1 New York Times bestselling author of White Oleander
“What immense talent flows through this spellbinding story! Everything is here: magnetic characters, fierce momentum, and great authenticity of voice, place and thought. I was stunned in the best possible way throughout. How does Caroline Frost do it, I marveled; how does she know this? What an amazing, rewarding feat of craftsmanship and love!” — Elinor Lipman, author of Rachel to the Rescue
“Shadows of Pecan Hollow is a hugely satisfying slow burn of a novel that builds to a wrenching, unforgettable blaze. Frost explores the lives of her complex, arresting characters with nuance, compassion, and an unwavering gaze. Highly recommended.” — Lou Berney, Edgar-award winning author of November Road
“With a strong sense of time and place, Caroline Frost's debut novel weaves an authentic southern tale of need, necessity, survival, and forgiveness, with love as the enduring force that guides.” — Deb Spera, author of Call Your Daughter Home
“Caroline Frost's beautiful and clear-eyed debut captures the huge comfort of even deeply flawed love and how our urge for survival can distort our lives as easily as it can straighten them into something true. But it also shows us that with enough patience, for ourselves as well as for others, we all have the capacity to heal even the most stubborn of wounds. These are characters you'll carry with you long after you've read the last page.”--Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas