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Summary

Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland

April 1912

Twelve-year-old Harp Delaney is an unusual child, quiet and intelligent far beyond her years. She would rather spend her days in the library of the grand Georgian house that she sees as her home than playing on the streets with other children.

Her mother, Rose, is the reserved and ladylike housekeeper at the Cliff House. The local women envy her grace and poise while the men admire her beauty. She behaves not as a servant should, but as someone who belongs at the ancestral home of eccentric loner Henry Devereaux.

Nobody ever visits the Cliff House, but Harp, Rose, and Henry have a happy life together, each accepting the idiosyncrasies of the others.

The day Titanic sails from Queenstown, taking with it the hopes and dreams of so many, Harp’s life too is devastated. The small port town is shaken to its foundations at the loss of the unsinkable ship, but the revelation of a long-held secret means that Harp and Rose have a much more pressing issue to solve, one that could destroy them if they cannot find a solution.

Unexpectedly, fate takes a hand, and mother and daughter find themselves thrown a lifeline, one that inextricably links them to the stories of men, women, and children for whom Queenstown was the last-ever sight of Ireland as they sailed away to new lands and new lives.

Last Port of Call is the first book in the Queenstown series.

©2021 Jean Grainger (P)2021 Spoken Realms

What listeners say about Last Port of Call

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I didn't want this book to end

This is the first book I have listened too by Jean Grainger and it will not be my last. I really felt part of the story and couldn't wait to hear another chapter. it was beautifully read by Siobhan Waring .

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  • JD
  • 25-07-21

Engaging story for a series, once you read a third of the book

The characters and situation introduced 1/3 of the way through were fascinating and the story moved at a fast pace with some unexpected twists. But the first part of the book described Harp, her school, her poverty, her mother and her relationship with her uncle over and over. It was all sorrowful happenings that seemed to be unending. Once the pace picked up, it was enjoyable, but ended all too suddenly to be worth the steep price of the book. Of course, the ending made me want to get the next book, but this author, a great story teller, doesn’t let her books, even used, sell at a discount of less than $1.00 off. The price of the whole series will be too steep, especially if the good part of the books are so short.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Margie
  • 04-08-21

Good New Series ahead

I have enjoyed getting to know these new characters in a new series. I look forward to following stories involving Rose and Harp. I thought the ending was rather abrupt and unsatisfying since we were kept in suspense as to what the actions of Ralph Deveraux would be. I hope his actions will be resolved in the next book and not strung out like one character in another famous author’s book. I was hoping Ralph would just trip over Henry’s gravestone and break his neck. I guess he is needed in the next part.

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  • Jane I. Johnston
  • 25-07-21

Historical Perspective

The story line was captivating and kept me wanting more. It is the historical perspective that drew me to listen to a story that took place in the early 1900's so I was a little disappointed to hear a reference to "the whole 9 yards" which is a reference to the gunners from WW II. In a revision remove that reference.

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  • reader
  • 04-11-21

Wonderful!!!

This is a great story with wonderful characters that I have really come to care about. The narrator’s Irish accent is so warm and comfortable to listen to. I am eager to start the next book on the series.

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  • kanga2012
  • 08-08-22

Another great start to a series.

I love these stories by Jean Grainger. Wonderful characters. I look forward to hearing the rest of the series with a wonderful narrator.

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  • Kathy
  • 30-07-22

A truly lovely read!

This book brings one of the most delightful young characters Grainger has given us yet. Harp Delaney is a 12 year old girl who lives with her mother, who is housekepper to the wealthy family of their Queenstown city. It takes place at the time of the Titanic voyage. Harp does not fit in with her schoolmates as she is far advanced in her reading. She has read philosophy, literature and much more. Her mentor is the unmarried owner of the home cared for by Harp's mother. When her mentor dies, the will leaves the house to Harp. Her mum decides to turn it into a guesthouse for people leaving for America.
The last part of the book tells the plights of the first group of boarders and their worries and conflicts. In some ways this reminds me of Grainger's book The Tour, where each character makes decisions which will change their lives.

Ms. Grainger has a real understanding of people and what makes them tick. She writes with warmth and gentleness and I can't wait to purchase the next book in the series! This book came to me at a time when I really needed a feel good book and it lived up to my expectations and more!

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  • Julie Anne Jones
  • 02-06-22

Okay but not as good as I'd hoped

I loved Jean Grainger's Ravenswood and Star & Shamrock series so much, I couldn't stop listening. I loved the fact that they were multi-book series, allowing me to follow the characters through several books, and I couldn't wait to start the next book in the series. So I was excited to be starting a brand new series by her.

Last Port of Call was just ok and very predictable. Worst of all, the characters she's introduced in this first book, with the exception of a few, won't continue in the next, and their fates remain unknown. That was very disappointing. I won't be continuing with this series.

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  • Lea Ludington
  • 02-03-22

Enjoyed very much.

Always enjoy a book about lives in Ireland. The accents were good, the story wonderful.

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  • GG
  • 06-02-22

Absolutely LOVED it!!

Everything about it I simply loved! I’d be friends with Rose and Harp! Can’t wait for the next one!

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  • CEC12
  • 03-02-22

Wonderful Story

I wish I had Harps words to say how much I enjoyed this story. Seldom do you hear or read about a mother-daughter relationship that becomes stronger through their turmoil. I'm so looking forward to the next in series.