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  • Published: 5 March 2024
  • ISBN: 9781761347580
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99

The Last Love Note

Hailed by Culture Buzz as 'one of the best new debut adult novels of its time', this is a sparkling Australian romantic comedy with a heart-breaking twist.

'As heartwarming as it is heartbreaking.' Books + Publishing
'Put this on your absolutely-must-read list.' Chicklit Club
'You will laugh out loud and you will cry.' Sunday Telegraph

In the aftermath of crushing grief, sole parent Kate Whittaker must learn to live and love again. When she and her boss, Hugh, become stranded in a sleepy hamlet north of Byron Bay, she finally has a chance to process all that she’s been through and all that the future might hold. Caught in an impossible tangle of loss, love and unexpected longing, Kate wonders if she can risk her heart again.

All she has to guide her is the trail of scribbled notes she once used to hold her life together. The first note captured her heart. Will the last note set it free?

The Australian tear-jerker that has won hearts the world over.

'Funny, heart-breaking and life-affirming.' Woman's Day

‘Several people told me I was going to love #thelastlovenote but I have to admit – I did not expect to become obsessed with it in the way I have! It’s somehow simultaneously unputdownable, heartbreaking AND funny. That’s a difficult combination to master but Emma’s writing is just incredible.’ Kelly Rimmer

  • Published: 5 March 2024
  • ISBN: 9781761347580
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Emma Grey

Emma is a novelist, feature writer, photographer, professional speaker and accountability coach. She wrote her first adult novel, The Last Love Note, in the wake of her husband’s death. It’s a fictional tribute to their love, an attempt to articulate the magnitude of her loss and a life-affirming commitment to hope, which has gone on to win hearts around the world. In the US it was selected as a featured title for the Book of the Month and Target Book Clubs, a Washington Post noteworthy book and listed in the top 25 new releases by the American Bookseller’s Association.

Emma lives just outside Canberra, where her world centres on her two adult daughters, young son, loved step-children and step-grandchildren, writing, photography and endlessly chasing the Aurora Australis.

Also by Emma Grey

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Praise for The Last Love Note

Leeanna Walsman immerses listeners in an emotional story that is sure to bring both laughter and tears. Two years after becoming a widow, 40-year-old Kate struggles to raise her son while juggling friendships and her career. Hugh, her boss, who was a close friend of her late husband, has been patiently supportive as she adjusts to her new life, always there when she needs him. While stranded during a business trip, Kate begins re-evaluating their relationship. Walsman's expressive, nuanced performance captures Kate's story, told in present-day action and flashbacks. These scenes ensure that listeners experience her despair as her husband's illness progresses, as well as her new tentative hope for the future. Secondary characters' voices are as distinctive as their personalities. An exquisite production fit for all shelves.

AudioFile Magazine, AudioFile Magazine

Prepare to ride an emotional rollercoaster of laughter and tears in Grey's debut novel, in which a devastated widow and mother finds that the end of love isn't the end of her story. After losing the love of her life, Kate's not sure if there is anything left of her to salvage. When an unexpected storm strands her with her boss, Hugh, she is forced to look more deeply at her life and those around her. Australian actress Walsman's performance skilfully encompasses a gamut of emotions. From gut-wrenching tears to laugh-out-loud hilarity, her narration expertly navigates the highs and lows of this story of love lost and found. Her pacing and timing for the absurd moments, and her steady narration of the profound emotional revelations, will keep the reader engaged in this story about discovering there is still love after loss. Recommend this heart-warming novel with authentic characters to contemporary romance readers who enjoy the "second chance at romance" theme.

Melissa Wheelock, Booklist

An exquisitely heartbreaking emotional love story, packed with light, tender touches. I will be recommending this to everyone.

Paige Toon

Funny, heart-breaking and life-affirming

Woman's Day

At its core, The Last Love Note is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. With vulnerability and honesty, Grey takes us through the entire spectrum of love. The novel is passionate and soulful, terrifying and devastating. The Last Love Note serves as a reminder that it really is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.'

Bodhi Byles, Books + Publishing

'Compares well with bestselling author Emily Henry - a stunning debut.'


A moving portrait of love, loss and the messy emotions that live in between. And while Emma captures heart-wrenching scenes, the intimate prose is relatable, revealing and simply human. Yes, you will need tissues on hand—as well as a cuppa!

Elaine Obran, Her Canberra

It is a romcom, even though there's darkness and sadness. It's a lovely, wonderful read, with an incredible resolve. I was unable to put it down.

Lish Fejer, ABC radio Canberra

This is one I'm going to rave about...It destroyed me and completed me at the same time...It's a romcom but it has a really deep layer that I just found beautiful. It is just gorgeous. I was looking for excuses to go driving so I could listen to it in audio.

Sandie Docker

I am absolutely loving this book. Emma’s voice is fabulous. Laughing-out-loud and misty-eyed at the same time.

Fiona McArthur

I’m gripped by The Last Love Note – such a powerful story. … heart-wrenching, hopeful and deeply romantic.. In other words – it’s everything that I love. …Grey delivers and extraordinary depth of authentic emotion.

Barbara Hannay

Words fail me as I sit here in tears. I have not been so emotionally touched by a book since I read Prince of Tides 25 years ago.

Annie Seaton

‘Several people told me I was going to love #thelastlovenote but I have to admit – I did not expect to become obsessed with it in the way I have! It’s somehow simultaneously unputdownable, heartbreaking AND funny. That’s a difficult combination to master but Emma’s writing is just incredible.’

Kelly Rimmer

The Last Love Note is both a heart-warming romantic comedy and a heart-breaking tale of love lost in tragic circumstances. Thought-provoking and tender, this is one of those books that make you want to tear through to the end while never wanting the story to end. Simply put, it is an absolute joy of a read.

Meredith Jaffe

The Last Love Note is a heart-warming (and at times heartbreaking) journey of a single mother learning to love again. As characters battle the challenges of life, Emma’s masterful prose makes for a deeply-felt tale of holding onto your sense of self even in the most adverse of circumstances. Intelligent and emotional reading all in one.

Her Canberra

If you are ready to open up your heart to a fragile tale of love lost and found, The Last Love Note will undoubtedly hit the spot.

Mrs B's Book Reviews

'From the opening scene I knew this book would be amazing ...Put this on your absolutely-must-read list.'

Chicklit Club

The Last Love Note – OMGGGGG!!! I freaking LOVED it! Honestly, I think I messaged like 15 friends separately while I was reading it screaming at them to buy it. Emma is doing something that nobody else is doing in Australia right now – she has the vibe that I usually have to look to my fave UK or Irish writers for – that high stakes super emotional romance with SO MUCH HUMOUR. God I loved, loved, loved it!

Tess Woods

a beautiful, tragic, moving and at times funny story written by someone who not only understands grief but can write bloody well. If you don’t find yourself at least close to tears at some point in this book, then Emma’s acknowledgments will tip you over. This is not just a romance, nor is it a book with just one love story. It depicts love on different levels, at different times and in different ways, and how every act of kindness can be something so much more.

Kerryn Mayne

For readers who love their romance with some serious heartache! The Last Love Note is simultaneously a heartbreaker and a heartwarmer. This is not your standard romcom (and it’s Aussie too!), through there are laughs to be had throughout. This tale about sole parent Kate emerging from devastating loss and grief and wrestling with the possibility of a second chance at love had me giggling, hoping, hurting, CRYING and just loving this book. …The Last Love Note feels like one of those perfect nights you have with a bunch of girlfriends where you alternate between shedding tears and laughing yourself silly all night long. This book left my heart feeling just as full.


Molly is worried about the tears that are streaming down my face after finishing The Last Love Note by Emma Grey. I'm not sure how to explain to her that they're tears of joy and relief at the absolutely perfect ending to this heart-achingly brilliant book. Having lost my sister just over a year ago, reading this book was like going on my own redemptive journey. Emma Grey understands grief at a visceral level in a way no woman her age should have to – but so many of us do. She's given us a story that will help us understand the intensity and insanity of loss along with hints and tips to support friends and loved ones through grief. But most important of all, she's given us a RomCom rollercoaster ride that had me laughing as hard as I was crying – and look at Molly's face. I was DEFINITELY crying. If you've lost someone, or know someone who has, grab a copy and walk with an emotional healer, as she picks her way through the minefield of grief back to a meaningful, love-filled life. 10 stars out of 5! Or maybe 100 out of 5. Or maybe just every star in the night sky out of 5!

Nina D Campbell, Nina D Campbell

I was not prepared for this book. I shouldn’t have been fooled by the brightly coloured cover with cartoon drawings, or the association with Emily Henry. Yes, this is a romcom, but it’s so much more. It made me cry several times before the halfway mark and I almost had to put it down at one stage, it was so raw and confronting. If I was younger and cooler, I would have filmed my reaction on TikTok. To put it simply, this book was heartbreakingly beautiful and unexpectedly funny all at once and such a fantastic surprise. The book looks and sounds like a typical romcom, and for the first 100 pages or so, it is. But then it takes an unexpected left turn that elevates it to another level. Grey does a fantastic job of telling a heartbreaking story with a blend of warmth and humour that is difficult to nail. Just be warned, you will laugh out loud and you will cry.

Mercedes Maguire, Merc's Book Nook

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