Ashley Winstead | THE LAST HOUSEWIFE Spoilers

last housewife spoilers ashley winstead

The Book: 

The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead
Published August 16, 2022 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Date read: September 1, 2022

The Last Housewife spoilers can be found below, but they’re hidden under a spoiler tag so you’re safe to keep scrolling if you’d just like to read my review.

The Characters: 

Shay, Laurel, Clem, and Rachel

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay’s built a new life in a tiny Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel’s death—delivered, of all ways, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader—she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive, and the predators more dangerous than ever.

Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend’s life, she’s pulled into a dark, seductive world, where wealth and privilege shield brutal philosophies that feel all too familiar. When Shay’s obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so consuming she can no longer separate her desire for justice from darker desires newly reawakened, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule it—both inside the cult and outside of it—is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?

The Last Housewife Spoilers

Click here for THE LAST HOUSEWIFE spoilers
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Last Housewife, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Shay, Laurel, and Clem were inseparable best friends in college. At the end of freshman year, they needed a fourth for their dorm room and were joined by Rachel. Rachel introduced them to her father, Dom. He groomed and later imprisoned all four girls, and Rachel was in charge of keeping them in line. Both Dom and Rachel severely abused the other girls. Eventually Dom allowed his friends to take turns with the girls as well. He referred to them as his “little housewives”, hence the title.

Clem eventually killed herself to escape Dom, and Shay and Laurel were able to escape.

Jamie and Shay began to investigate Laurel’s “suicide”, and found an underground sex club. From there, Shay heard about The Paters from a girl and got an invitation. This was the group that had branded Laurel. Shay started going to it in order to gain information on the Paters.

The police chief was a member of The Paters. Shay and Jamie begin to assume that Don runs The Paters. Shay hears girls talk about Rachel, who punishes any girls who try to escape.

Shay eventually is taken to Rachel for punishment, but “Rachel” is Laurel. She went back to Dom right after she and Shay escaped. She was his “wife” and was helping him run the Pater society. She let Shay go instead of turning her into Dom. Laurel had killed Rachel and posed her so that people would think it was her (this was unclear) when Rachel started killing the escapees. We also find out that Rachel had killed Clem in college.

The Ending:

Shay goes back to Jamie, who has found out that even the governor is a Pater and there’s no one to go to. They make a plan to use Jamie’s followers to whistleblow. Dom finds Shay. Laurel kills herself because Dom tells her to. The FBI raid the party, but Shay kills Dom anyways.

I hope these The Last Housewife spoilers were helpful.

The Review: 

I think this was my favorite read of 2022 when I first read it. So twisted, I was instantly hooked! It comes with a LOT of trigger warnings (they’re listed in the beginning of the book), so read with caution, but I absolutely recommend it despite the content.

I’m a big fan of cults as the focal point of thrillers, but this one was especially compelling. It also has some podcast elements, another favorite of mine.

Did you know this book was based on a true story?

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