Welcome back to the bookclub! In December, we read The Last House On Needless Street by Catriona Ward for The You’ll Read Too Bookclub! If you wish to access all of the latest updates/information, click here. Spoilers ahead!
Quick Reminder: This month we are reading ‘The Book Of Accidents’ by Chuck Wendig.
Today I’m going to discuss the book in the same way I normally do the IGTV videos. You can find the IGTV video for this talk on my bookclub Instagram page. I’ll give a quick plot summary plus my overall star/scare-factor ratings. Then I will share the discussion topics and trivia questions. Please include all of your answers and opinions down below. I want to know exactly what you thought. I’ll also leave the answers to the trivia questions at the very bottom of the post, so if you wish to guess without being spoiled, do not scroll to the end until you’re ready. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
THE LAST HOUSE ON NEEDLESS STREET by CATRIONA WARD – DECEMBER 2021
This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.
All these things are true. And yet they are all lies…
You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong.
In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think…
OVERALL STAR RATING
I gave this book a 4/5 star rating. It took me a while to realise what was happening but when I did, it blew me away. It was one of the most interesting reading experiences of my life. I was kept guessing until the very end and my emotions went through it! I highly recommend checking it out but please be aware of the following trigger warnings: child abuse, death of a child, emotional abuse, animal abuse and kidnapping. I’ll elaborate more in the discussion topics.
OVERALL SCARE-FACTOR RATING
I gave this a scare factor rating of 1/5. It wasn’t so much chilling, as it was disturbing. It’s really important going into this novel that you don’t expect a haunted house story. The true horror lies in the reality. As you go along, you will feel more sadness than fear.
1.) By the end of this story, how did you feel about Ted?
By the end of The Last House On Needless Street, my opinion of Ted was completely different. I started out hating him. I wanted him jailed and brought to justice. As the last page turned, I wanted to give him a hug. This poor individual struggled not only with mental illness, but a horribly abusive mother. It was evident that Olivia and Lauren were coping mechanisms to work through his childhood trauma. I have never had such a change of heart like this before.
2.) Did you think you knew where this book was going? Explain your experience reading it.
As I mentioned above, I had no idea where this book was going. It was a roller-coaster ride of an experience. Every single time I thought I had this novel pegged, I was turned upside down. I knew early on that Lauren was not real, but I thought Ted was behind her kidnapping and murder. It never occurred to me that his mother was the real villain.
3.) Did you feel the author was respectful of DID or did she vilify it?
If you read this story, please don’t skip on the author’s note at the back. Catriona was determined to be respectful of DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), so she researched it extensively and even interviewed those with the same condition. It is not for me to comment on how well she achieved her goal, but I hope readers can see her intentions were pure. I certainly learned a lot.
Easy: How does Ted refer to Lulu?
Medium: What item of Lulu’s did Ted find among his mother’s belongings?
Hard: What would Olivia’s podcast be called?
I hope you enjoyed the book club discussion in this post and on Instagram. As mentioned above, share all of your thoughts in the comments below! If you have any feedback/suggestions to improve the bookclub, please let me know. I look forward to talking to you all next month! Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
TRIVIA ANSWERS: Easy: Little Girl With Popsicle. Medium: One single white flip flop. Hard: CAT-chin up with Night Olivia.