Title: The Last Chance Matinee The Hudson Sisters Series, Book 1
Author: Mariah Stewart
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Published by: Gallery Books
Published Date: March 21, 2017
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
From New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart comes the first novel in her all-new series, The Hudson Sisters, following a trio of reluctant sisters as they set out to fulfill their father’s dying wish. In the process, they find not only themselves, but the father they only thought they knew.
When celebrated and respected agent Fritz Hudson passes away, he leaves a trail of Hollywood glory in his wake—and two separate families who never knew the other existed. Allie and Des Hudson are products of Fritz’s first marriage to Honora, a beautiful but troubled starlet whose life ended in a tragic overdose. Meanwhile, Fritz was falling in love on the Delaware Bay with New Age hippie Susa Pratt—they had a daughter together, Cara, and while Fritz loved Susa with everything he had, he never quite managed to tell her or Cara about his West Coast family.
Now Fritz is gone, and the three sisters are brought together under strange circumstances: there’s a large inheritance to be had that could save Allie from her ever-deepening debt following a disastrous divorce, allow Des to open a rescue shelter for abused and wounded animals, and give Cara a fresh start after her husband left her for her best friend—but only if the sisters upend their lives and work together to restore an old, decrepit theater that was Fritz’s obsession growing up in his small hometown in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Guided by Fritz’s closest friend and longtime attorney, Pete Wheeler, the sisters come together—whether they like it or not—to turn their father’s dream into a reality, and might just come away with far more than they bargained for.
My Thoughts: This small-town setting of three estranged sisters put to task to receive their sizable inheritance from their dad, feels so real with the emotions each sister brings to the project. Normally, I read a happy ever after and romance being at the forefront. This story with all its woven parts, complex emotions and feeling we all could have in our own settings, is a most worthy read. It’s well written and entertaining. I’m certainly eager to read how the sisters change, how they are challenged to be someone who they thought they couldn’t be, and find they can have real sisterly love.
I like the contemporary setting, yet provides history of the early 1900’s. It is a shock for sisters to learn their father lived two lives, two women who bore him children he loved equally, one on the west coast, one of the east. How would you deal with that? Each sister handles it differently.
Barney, an older woman, aunt to these sisters lives in the house they are supposed to live in for as long as it takes to renovate an old theater their grandfather built. Although each of the sisters want to get in and get out, no emotion tied to any of it, soon find out life isn’t that way. They just can’t pick up their lives as they were before.
The heart attaches itself tentatively for all three. Cara, the daughter of the second wife seems more grounded. Cara needs to start over. Her husband divorced her, then marries her best friend. Allie, has recently been divorced, her ex is remarrying and she’s insecure since her daughter needs to live with her dad, leaving Allie, the odd man out. Jealousy, as happens with many sisters, wedges itself between Allie and Des. Nikki, Allie’s daughter, is your typical teenager who loves constantly being busy. She is a wonderful part of the story, a beacon of hope. Des wants to return to her work with the animal shelter, taking care of animals who need her. I don’t think Des feels needed by people, which makes her gravitate to animals.
Cara snags the interest of one Joe Domanski. Joe is a man who’s very level headed, a man who lives in this small town to be close to family. I enjoy the relationship which grows between these two. But can Cara trust a man again? So there is some romance to the story, but it doesn’t overtake it.
I’m ready for book two!
I received this book for review from the publisher. All opinions and comments are totally my own.