I really liked the way this book started out, with Lainie dragging into Last Chance in a car that dies in the first parking lot in town. For the first few days, she doesn't know whether she is having good luck or bad luck with the things that are happening. Before she can blink, though, she has a place to stay and a job - just no car.
She has been on her own for so long that she doesn't recognize it when someone cares about her and is not just ordering her around. She has had her fill of being ordered around, but because of situations in her past, can't quite feel comfortable anywhere. She is afraid that her ex is going to come looking for her, and she can't let him find her.
I loved Lainie. When she discovered that she was in a situation that she didn't like - rather than staying to try to change her boyfriend - she packed up and left. Something I think not a lot of young girls would do. Especially ones that didn't have anywhere else they could call home. When she arrived in Last Chance, she was cautious, but she was not afraid of work. She was a good person who had just not had a perfect life.
Like the people of Last Chance, this book was warm and welcoming and presented the gospel in a very laid back way. For them it was just a fact of life - something they lived every day. They did not need to rub your face in it. Now don't get me wrong - Last Chance had some characters that weren't living the life they should, and even had some Christians whose heart was in the right place even if what came out of their mouths sometimes wasn't.
I thought it was a very strong debut novel and will happily read whatever Cathleen Armstrong comes out with next.