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The Last Chance Matinee
The Hudson Sisters #1
Mariah Stewart

Gallery Books
March 21, 2017/ ISBN 978-1501144905
Women’s Fiction

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


After Fritz Hudson dies, his childhood friend and attorney Peter Wheeler informs Fritz’s three daughters of their father’s will. There, Allie and Des Hudson discover they have a half-sister, Cara. Cara learns that her father was not divorced when he married her mother. An awkward situation, especially when they learn they stand to inherit significant funds, but only if they work together to restore an historical Art Deco theater in the Poconos, Pennsylvania. They can all use the money, but have only one year. Even so, Cara leaves her yoga studio in capable hands, Des hopes to open an animal shelter, and Allie wants resolve her debt problems with the funds.

They all arrive at Fritz’s family home in Hidden Falls, Pennsylvania, and Cara meets her father’s sister, Barney, who is open and friendly. While Cara and Des get along from day one, Allie is distant. She also has a drinking problem and obviously misses her daughter, Nikki.

The Last Chance Matinee is a wonderful novel with interesting characters and intense inter-personal relationships from the onset. I could sympathize with Cara and Des, but Allie’s distance was hard to connect with, until optimistic Nikki arrives and Allie’s personality starts to show. As they search through old records and photos, intent on repairing the theater, they seek to better understand their father. More importantly, they slowly learn to trust each other, which provides an emotionally satisfying read. I especially love the revelation of Barney’s past and why the townsfolk admire the older woman.

This first release, however, focuses on Cara, who has no desire to get romantically involved, but as she spends time with Joe Domanski, the hot project manager for the restoration, she slowly opens her heart. That journey is worth turning every page. I didn’t want the story to end.

Reviews of other titles in this series

SugarHouse Blues


Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award-winning author of Fiery Surrender, Shadow of a Doubt, and Lani's Challenge.
Reviewed 2017