Left to Chance

Griffin: St. Martin's. Nov. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781250091116. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250091123. F
COPY ISBN blogger Nathan's third effort (The Good Neighbor; The Glass Wives) looks at small-town life through the eyes of someone who makes everything look picture-perfect. Wedding photographer Teddi Lerner returns to her hometown six years after her best friend's funeral to photograph the second wedding of that friend's widower. Not only does she become embroiled in the tween daughter's complicated relationship with her new stepmom-to-be, she also lands in the middle of a love square, in which four eligible men compete for her affection. The pacing is a bit choppy, but there are some lovely metaphors, such as the stones Teddi has collected during her travels over the years, thinking of her friend. After one of her men offers stone-skipping lessons (she puts him to shame by expertly skipping one five times), Teddi is finally able to place the stones she has gathered on her friend's grave, thus alleviating her sorrow and "skipping" on with her life.
VERDICT The layered premise, full of grief, memories, and legacy, drives this story, along with the charming suspense of the love square. Interior design and wedding details will please those interested in these subjects.
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