Publisher: Kensington Books
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Southern Lit
From the moment I watched The Green Mile many years ago, I became fascinated with stories about death row and prison inmates. Surprisingly, I haven’t read as many books about the topic as I would’ve wanted, so I was obviously excited to read Mandy Mikulencak’s novel as soon as I came across its intriguing blurb.
The Last Suppers tells the story of Ginny Polk, a young woman working as the head cook in Louisiana’s Greenmount State Penitentiary in the 1950s. Ginny’s father was a prison guard at that same prison but was killed many years ago and the murderer was put to death when she was eight years old. Ginny is now dating her father’s best friend, Roscoe, who happens to be the prison warden, but they have a very complicated relationship. And Ginny’s life is about to become even more complicated when she starts looking into her father’s mysterious death…
I absolutely loved the concept in this novel. Ginny was both kind and strong-willed and I really loved her as a character. She provides the prisoners’ last suppers and always tries to cook their favorite meals, no matter what she has to do in order to achieve that. Ginny feels they should be shown a little humanity during their last hours, and I deeply admired her determination.
The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak was unexpected in many ways, especially because I didn’t know how the story would evolve. The “mystery” plot didn’t pick up until the last section of the book, but I found it quite compelling. The book dealt with several themes like racism, human rights and family relationships and I must say this is a little gem that I feel should be way more appreciated.
Many thanks to the publishers and Edelweiss for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review