“A powerful and atmospheric tale that is equal parts emotion and suspense as a woman takes over as caretaker of a remote nature reserve, only to discover the barn is part of a dangerous underground network for victims of domestic violence. In The Last Caretaker, Strawser perfectly captures the perils of living in an isolated part of the world and the desperate measures some women must take in order to survive. A richly emotional page-turner with an important message.” ―Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of Dear Wife and The Personal Assistant
We are so pleased to yet again be welcoming back Jessica Strawser to the Penguin for an evening to celebrate the launch of her latest book, The Last Caretaker! Jessica will engage in a conversation with us about her writing process, answer questions from the audience, and sign copies of the book for guests. We hope you'll join us!
JESSICA STRAWSER is the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You, a Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick; Not That I Could Tell, a Book of the Month bestseller; Forget You Know Me, awarded a starred review by Publishers Weekly, A Million Reasons Why, called “a standout” in a starred Booklist review and named to Most Anticipated lists from Goodreads, SheReads, Frolic, E! News & others, and The Next Thing You Know, a People Magazine Pick for Best New Novel (now new in paperback).
She is Editor-at-Large for Writer’s Digest magazine, where she served as editorial director for nearly a decade, and a contributing editor at Career Authors. Her diverse career in the publishing industry spans nearly 20 years and includes stints in book editing, marketing and public relations, and freelance writing and editing. A Pittsburgh native and “Outstanding Senior” graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, she counts her New York Times Modern Love essay and her Writer’s Digest cover interviews with such luminaries as Alice Walker, Anne Tyler and David Sedaris among her career highlights. She lives with her husband and two children in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she was named 2019 Writer-in-Residence for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
A popular speaker at writing conferences, book clubs, women’s groups, and book festivals, she is a proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers, Fiction Writers Co-op, and Women's Fiction Writers Association. Connect with her on Twitter @jessicastrawser and Facebook/Instagram @jessicastrawserauthor. Visit jessicastrawser.com to learn more.
With THE LAST CARETAKER (Lake Union Publishing; on sale December 1, 2023), Jessica Strawser has written another empowering, provocative page-turner perfect for fans of her Book of the Month bestseller Not That I Could Tell and the captivating works of the likes of Liane Moriarty and Lisa Jewell. Strawser’s latest will have you wishing you could literally hold the hands of her relatable, inspiring, and oh so brave characters.
Katie’s divorce was, in a word, humiliating. So when her friend Bess offers a fresh start—a resident caretaking job at a nature preserve—Katie accepts. No matter that she’s not exactly a “nature person.” How hard can it be?
But from day one, something feels off. Katie’s new farmhouse looks as if the last caretaker barely moved out at all. When a frantic, terrified woman arrives late at night, expecting a safe place to hide, it’s clear caretaking involves way more than Katie bargained for. Obviously, there’s been some mistake. But if she doesn’t step up, who will?
Suddenly, Katie is no longer sure who she can trust: the brooding groundskeeper, the daily regulars—hikers, dog walkers, birdwatchers, photographers—even Bess. As Katie digs deeper for clues in what the last caretaker left behind, growing to both admire and fear the secret network she’s unwittingly stepped into, she must discover courage she never knew she had—and decide how much she’ll risk to do the right thing.