Left to Chance

Teddi Lerner fled Chance, Ohio, after the funeral of her best friend, Celia, six years ago. Although she has created a very successful career as a wedding photographer in San Francisco, Teddi is still lonely. She burned a lot of bridges the night she left Chance, and hasn't kept in touch with any of her family or friends, except for Celia's daughter, Shayna. But her father, Miles, is getting remarried, and Shayna, now 12, is begging Teddi to come back to Chance to photograph her dad's wedding.

Teddi absolutely does not want to; she hates to think of Miles married to anyone but Celia. But she can't tell Shay no, so she reluctantly heads back to Chance. And there, to her surprise, she will discover new truths about herself, Miles, Shay and many more residents of Chance.

Exploring friendship and how grief twists some people apart and brings others closer together, Left to Chance is a thoughtful, gently paced look at how dramatically loss can change people. Amy Sue Nathan (The Glass Wives) has created a pleasant cast of small-town characters, a believably moody and nuanced preteen in Shay and a confused yet likable heroine in Teddi. A little romantic, and a bit sad, Left to Chance is a perfectly heartwarming tale about finding oneself and returning home again. Fans of Lauren Willig and Kristin Harmel are sure to enjoy this quietly gratifying story and its quirky little town.--Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans, Tucson

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