‘Scarlet Redemption’, penned by Lani Wendt Young, is the third instalment and the long-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet Series.
The wedding of the year may be over, but the family reunion is not. Scarlet feels that she no longer can hide her past. If she wants to finally be herself, if she wants to move on in life, if she wants to let love in, she needs to get all the dark secrets off her chest. Only some memories are better off dead and buried. And Scarlet is painfully aware of that. She has learnt it the hard way. But every woman has her breaking point. On one beautiful Samoan day, Scarlet tells and discovers the truth.
Lani Wendt Young certainly knows how to end a story with a proverbial bang. This last book in the Scarlet Trilogy is shocking, heart-wrenching, and full of hope at the same time.
How do you recognize a great writer? Obviously, a great writer has a gorgeous way with words. A great writer can create a compelling tale. A great writer can easily make you laugh and cry. But a great writer has also courage to talk about things other people only whisper about. Lani Wendt Young ticks all the boxes. Not only is she highly skilled but also brave. She isn’t afraid to broach even the most sensitive of topics. In this volume she seems to point out all the troubling issues Samoans need to deal with – whether they like it or not. Scarlet’s secret is finally fully revealed – and it will make you angry. It will make you furiously mad that such things still happen in our world. But then you will see that even though life can be cruel, you can cope with whatever it throws at you. If you have people to support you, and – most importantly – if you have inner strength to fight, you can always find your happy ending.
This is the lesson that Scarlet is teaching us – to have courage; to not be afraid; to live our lives to the fullest; to never lose hope; to laugh; to love; and to forgive. Such words of wisdom may sound cliché, but we all need them from time to time. We all need a woman like Scarlet who can show us that perfection is a state of mind, and that you don’t have to agree to everything just because it is expected from you. Just as we all need a man like Jackson to understand what true love for another person really is.
Lani Wendt Young has always had an unbelievable gift for creating wonderful characters. Scarlet and Jackson are no exceptions. They are well-crafted and plausible, and they develop in each book of the series. We get to know them better with every page we read. And I must say that it’s a real pleasure to be able to do that. As it always is when you think you know someone but then they surprise you in the most unexpected way possible.
Now, there is one minor drawback to this otherwise excellent novel – some scenes are quite reminiscent of “50 Shades of …”. I am not sure if that was intentional, but Lani Wendt Young is too much of a talented writer to have to ‘emulate’ this particular trilogy, which – with all the respect – is not the most impressive literature.
‘Scarlet Redemption’ is a very fine book. It’s a spectacular conclusion to the series – thought-provoking, revealing, and extremely engaging. But then again, it’s not really a surprise taking into account who wrote it.