Contemporary Fiction

The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

Cara, Allie and Des Hudson adored their father Fritz but when he died, all of them questioned whether they really ever knew him. Allie and Des were his children from his marriage to late film star Honora Hudson but Cara was from his secret relationship with Susa Pratt who he married without divorcing his wife. Now their inheritance hinges on the restoration of Fritz’s hometown movie theater. The sisters have a year to pull it off and all of them must participate.

Two things attracted me to this story: Fritz’s secret family and the notion of three sisters in these circumstances forced to work together. I’ve experienced revelations of this type in my own family history and the dynamics of the sisters confronting each other for the first time had to be interesting. This story doesn’t disappoint as each of them couldn’t be more different.

Most of the focus, but certainly not all, was on Cara whose story cracked your heart. How awful to have your husband cheat on you with your best friend, leave you and then plan a big wedding in your small town? I loved her spirit and resolve, especially her attitude towards her new sisters. When she meets building contractor Joe Damanski, it marks the beginning of a warming of her broken heart.

Each of the sisters has an interesting backstory that I’ll leave to you to discover. I’ll just say their issues are relevant and realistic. The beginnings of the renovation of the theater is fascinating and I’m excited about the coming development. Hidden Falls is a very small town and you get the best and worst of those aspects. The sisters’ education about a family they didn’t even know existed was also interesting, mostly the pursuit of those discoveries.

This is the beginning of what feels like a very promising series. Each of the sisters are intriguing on their own and together they make for rich and layered stories. I’m looking forward to their continued journeys, which are set up wonderfully in this first book. While I’ve collected all of the books in the Chesapeake Diaries series, I’ve not read them and this is my only experience with the author. I’m glad I started here and now I can go back and read the other books while I wait for the next in this charming series.

Book Info

  • Release Date: March 21, 2017
  • Series: The Hudson Sisters #1
  • Page Numbers: 432


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(I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)

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