Plot: Last summer Ginny received 13 letters from her deceased aunt that led her through Europe. The experience changed her life but the 13th letter was stolen and she was never able to finish her adventure. Until now. A young man named Oliver has found her last letter and he’s willing to give it back, for a price. Ginny puts her college applications on hold and flies back to England for another scavenger hunt.
Ginny is back for another crazy adventure through Europe! It is possible to read this without reading the first book, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, but why would you? They’re both wonderful books, full of Johnson’s trademark humour. I read this one in a single sitting.
Seriously, this duology makes you want to buy a plane ticket and visit all the places Ginny does, to share in her adventures. This second book has less of the joyful excitement of the first. It starts with indecision, blackmail and broken hearts and those things hang over the trip like a dark cloud (as if England needs more clouds…). But it’s still fun and full of wonder and it ends with hope.
Keith and Richard are back from the first book. I like Keith a bit less this time around. He’s still full of energy and endlessly supportive of Ginny’s apparent madness but his charm is diminished by his bullying of Oliver. Meanwhile Richard remains the perfect uncle. There are also a lot of new characters and strange chance encounters (my favorite being the owner of the cat shelter/B&B). Ellis is sweet and impossible to dislike (though Ginny has legitimate reasons to dislike her). But Oliver is the true mystery of this book. He starts out as something of a villain, holding the last letter hostage, but his behaviour and his words hint at a hard life and a sensitive person. I couldn’t help but be curious about him and the circumstances that brought him to Ginny.
The Last Little Blue Envelope is a great story in its own right but it also brings a nice sense of closure to Ginny’s adventure. We should all have a crazy, artistic aunt to make us slow down and see the beauty around us.