Full of small-town charm: My review of "Welcome to Last Chance" by Cathleen Armstrong

Cover Art

about the book....

She's learned you can't count on anyone--but she didn't count on landing in Last Chance.

The red warning light on her car dashboard may have driven Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico, but as she meets the people who make this one-horse town their home, it's her heart that is flashing bright red warning lights. These people are entirely too nice, too accommodating, and too interested in her personal life--especially since she's on the run and hoping to slip away unnoticed.

Yet in spite of herself, Lainie is increasingly drawn into the small-town dramas and to a handsome local guy with a secret of his own. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?

my review....

"Welcome to Last Chance" is a poignant read, one that celebrates the beauty of faith, and the power of community to covercome all odds. The novel is filled with unique and likeable characters, and readers will find much to identify with as different characters struggle with forgiveness, face challenges parenting, or question what the future holds for them. After reading this book, I can see why so many people long for the close-knit feelings and support that can be found in small towns. I can't even imagine living in a place where everyone knows the moment a stranger shows up in town! The author does a good job of developing Lanie's character from start to finish, though at the beginning there were a few moments where Lanie's characterization didn't always seem consistent. There were also some parts of the novel that moved at a slower pace for me. However, I enjoyed seeing how the author resolves things by the end, leaving readers with a taste of hope and a glimpse of the power of reconciliation. The scene between the owner of the diner and a man who struggles with alcoholism was a powerful one and left tears in my eyes!

Readers who enjoy contemporary novels that ooze with small-town charm should plan on picking up a copy of "Welcome to Last Chance". I give this book a solid recommendation and award it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 about the author....

Cathleen ArmstrongCathleen Armstrong lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi. Though she has been in California for many years now, her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives. After she and Ed raised three children, she returned to college and earned a BA in English. Welcome to Last Chance won the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for Women's Fiction.