Oh, Izzy. I just want to give her a big hug, despite the fact that I know she'd feel awkward and stiff and try to pull away.
In The Last Word
we find Isabel Spellman at her most vulnerable, confused, and messy. I always remember and recommend the Spellman books as being funny, which obviously they are, so I am surprised every time when they also make me cry. Isabel, who never tells us how she feels, tells us early on that news from Henry feels like "that time I stole my brother's LSAT prep book and he sat on my chest until I gave it back. Actually, it felt worse than that." I always feel for Izzy and her Avoidance Method, which is, of course, why I love these books so much. And I really relate to her constant efforts to grow up, even though she doesn't exactly know what that means.
I think in The Last Word
, she does actually get there, as much as any Spellman can. Which is why, as far as I can tell, this book really is the last word (I've thought other Spellman books were the last ones though, so maybe I'm not the best judge of this).
Lisa Lutz ends her acknowledgments, which I read even though she recommended I didn't, with this, which I love:
"Finally, I'd like to thank my reader for staying with me all these years. I especially want to thank the ones who understand that the world isn't made up of happy endings, but messy, complicated, and untidy ones."