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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Left to Chance

ISBN: 9781250091116

Publisher: St Martin's Press

Publication Date: 11/21/2017

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC) No one knows why Teddi Lerner left her hometown, but everyone knows why she’s back. Twelve-year-old Shayna— talented, persistent, and adorable—persuaded "Aunt Tee" to return to Chance, Ohio, to photograph her father’s wedding. Even though it's been six years since Shay's mother, Celia, died, Teddi can hardly bear the thought of her best friend's husband marrying someone else. But Teddi’s bond with Shay is stronger than the hurt.

Teddi knows it’s time to face the consequences of her hasty retreat from family, friends, and, her old flame, but when she looks through her viewfinder, nothing in her small town looks the same. That’s when she truly sees the hurt she's caused and—maybe—how to fix it.

After the man she once loved accuses Teddi of forgetting Celia, Teddi finally admits why she ran away, and the guilt she’s carried with her. As Teddi relinquishes the distance that kept her safe, she’ll discover surprising truths about the people she left behind, and herself. And she'll finally see what she overlooked all along.


My Review

Amy Sue Nathan returns following The Good Neighbor and The Glass Wives with her latest, LEFT TO CHANCE – can you return home, unchanged? “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." – George A. Moore Teddi Lerner left Chance, Ohio years ago. It was not a place for wimps; however, she was on her way, regardless. The place that had haunted her for the past six years. The town she grew up in, and ran from, on the day of Celia’s funeral. Teddi is a successful wedding photographer for Hester Hotels and is called home to photograph the wedding of her best friend’s (Celia) husband, Miles. They had a daughter, Shayna who is now twelve years old. This is the only reason she is back. This is what mattered most. Everything has changed in the small town. There is also Celia’s brother, Beck. Beck, of course, looked better at thirty-five than at twenty-nine. Beck held a grudge. She did not blame him. But Teddi had allowed herself to believe he would forgive her. She had always photographed things that grew. Babies, kids, flowers, relationships. Those things also died. She also had forgotten what it was like to be with people who knew things about her besides what she had chosen to tell them. Does she know what true friendships and deep relationships meant? Letting someone in, letting her down, and possibly letting her go. From an unexpected friendship, secrets of the past, guilt, and emotional courage— a warmhearted charming story of love and loss and what it truly means to return home. Redemption. Facing the past and overcoming obstacles. A Hallmark story for those who enjoy happy endings and discovering the truly important things in life. For fans of Sonja Yoerg, Barbara Claypole White, Patti Callahan Henry, Joanne Demaio, and women's contemporary fiction. A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. JDCMustReadBooks

Review Links:



Left to Chance: Q & A with Amy Sue Nathan

Praise for Left to Chance

“​In LEFT TO CHANCE, Teddi Lerner returns to Chance, Ohio after bolting during her best friend’s funeral six years ago. She faces her old friends, a former flame, an​d an​ adorably spunky “niece​​” only to discover that the definition of family is both acutely intimate and ever evolving. Amy ​Sue ​Nathan, with her signature humor, deep insight, and elegant prose, shows us that the price of admission for a ​life full of love and friendship is a beautiful kind of chaos.”–Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year

“An emotionally authentic story of love, loss, and nostalgia. Amy Sue Nathan’s sharply drawn plot and characters will have you turning pages well past bedtime.”–Emily Liebert, author of Some Women

“Chance, Ohio, was no place for wimps.” And there we start on our journey through Amy Sue Nathan’s wonderful book, Left To Chance. Sometimes you have to leave home, come back, and leave again, to find yourself.” –Cathy Lamb, author of The Language of Sisters

“In Left to Chance, Amy Sue Nathan shows us through her lovably flawed protagonist, Teddi Lerner, that you can go home again—but not without scaling a mountain of grief and unanswered questions, being schooled by the feisty adolescent daughter of your late best friend, and navigating a bona fide love triangle. In short, you can go home again, but what you’ll find there is anyone’s guess. Watching how Nathan navigates Teddi, and the reader, through it all is like pulling up a chair at a table of old friends at your favorite small town coffee shop—it’s delicious, engaging, and unexpectedly comforting even in the midst of life’s uncertainties.” –Susan Gloss, USA Today bestselling author of the novel VINTAGE

“As beautiful as Teddi Lerner’s photography, Amy Nathan’s writing will draw you into the secrets, charm, and hope of Chance, Ohio. The past is revealed, a future is found, and nothing is LEFT TO CHANCE!” – Amy E. Reichert, author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE and THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER

About the Author

I’m Amy Sue Nathan, and my third novel, LEFT TO CHANCE, will be published by St. Martin’s Griffin on November 21, 2017. My debut novel, THE GLASS WIVES, was published by St. Martin’s Griffin on May 14, 2013 and THE GOOD NEIGHBOR was published on October 15, 2015. I’m lucky to be represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

I’ve been blogging since 2006, and launched the Women’s Fiction Writers blog in March 2011. I teach workshops for Writers Digest University and freelance as a fiction editor and writing coach. I’m also a book coach with Author Accelerator and trained in the Story Genius method. My stories and essays have appeared in print and online in over two dozen publications such as The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Parent, Writer’s Digest, Huffington Post, and online in New York Times and Washington Post blogs.

I was born and raised in Philadelphia and am a graduate of Temple University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism (a degree I actually use). I am back in my homeland of Philadelphia after twenty-six years, and am the proud mom of two grown children (my favorite oxymoron). In addition to being a writer, editor, and blogger, I’m a dog-lover, vegetarian, not-so-secret crafter, and lover of all things wine and chocolate.

I’m livin’ the life. Just don’t ask which one. Read More

Amy xo






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