Format: Paperback, 256 pages
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Publisher: Simon Schuster
For fans of The Flight Attendant, a compelling and thrilling road-trip novel about a talented grifter named Lucky whose past comes back to haunt her.
What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in?
Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity—when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.
When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means the police will arrest her for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.
As Lucky tries to avoid arrest and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved—whose complicated past is catching up to her, too.
This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, complicated character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest…before her luck runs out.
Lucky, by author Marissa Stapley, follows the life of one Luciana (Lucky) Armstrong from her abandonment as a baby on a church step in 1982 NYC, through a series of adventures through October of 2008 when her life comes full circle. Told in alternating timelines between a child version and a present day adult version, this is a novel about truth, the complexity of doing what's right, and of redemption. After being abandoned, Luciana is taken by a grifter by the name of John Armstrong.
John creates a story that the baby's mother abandoned her and that he's the baby's father. Lucky is taught by the man she calls father, who changes their names and appearances between scams, everything she knows about grifting. Along the way, we learn that Lucky really didn't have a life that she deserved. She got the life that was guided by a man who lied, stole, and conned as many people as he could. When she tried to make friends, her father was trying to find ways to make money off rich people. When John finds bad luck, he ends up working for a woman who has no morals.
While Lucky is trying to find a way to get an education, and maybe a new career path, she meets Cary Matheson and falls in love with him. After setting up in Idaho where Lucky hopes for yet another new beginning, she allows herself to get caught up in yet another scheme of Cary's. This time a ponzi scheme which will steal money from senior citizens who trusted her with their investments. The couple decides to flee to another country since they are now wanted for fraud, embezzlement, and racketeering.
But after a stop in Las Vegas when Cary disappears, the events send Lucky into finding the alleged woman who gave birth to her, and the man who raised her but is now paying a steep price for his past. Part of the story revolves around the fact that while leaving Idaho, Lucky plays the lottery not believing that she had any chance at all at winning. Luck is the lady as they say and she ends up winning the drawing worth $390 million. But because of her past misdeeds, she can't actually appear to collect the money or she will be arrested and sent to prison for a very long time.
Lucky carries this lottery ticket around with her everywhere she goes. Will the money save her and provide her with redemption or lead her down darker paths? Stapley expertly navigates multiple timelines and storylines, carefully intertwining them and making you care about every character—good or evil. Even though John did a very bad thing by taking Lucky, I genuinely think that he tried to show her affection and gave her opportunities to actually learn something that could change her life.
didn't expect to be sympathetic to a grifter, but ten-year-old Lucky
had a vulnerability and a complicated sense of morality about her that
endeared her to me. I also liked the idea of redemption or making right what you've done wrong. Lucky has a whole lot to redeem and with the hopeful ending, perhaps she can actually do something worthwhile with her life.
**This just in, TV rights for Marissa Stapley's upcoming novel Lucky have been sold to ABC Disney Studios and Carlton Cuse. Stapley is said to be writing the script for the story. I wish her luck. As long as the author is allowed to stick to her original story, the TV movie will be enjoyable. If they demand rewrites to change certain characters, it will be idiotic.