Beginner's Luck by Laura Pedersen
A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

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Synopsis

“There could be no doubt left in anyone’s mind that my life had all the makings of a country-and-western song.”

The second of seven children (with another on the way), Hallie Palmer has one dream: to make it to Vegas. Normally blessed with an uncanny gift for winning at games of chance, she’s just hit a losing streak. She’s been kicked out of the casino she frequents during school hours, lost all her money for a car on a bad bet at the track, and has been grounded by her parents. Hallie decides the time as come to cut her losses.

Answering an ad in the local paper, she lands a job as yard person at the elegant home of the sixty-ish Mrs. Olivia Stockton, a wonderfully eccentric rebel who scribes acclaimed poetry along with the occasional soft-core porn story. Under the same wild roof is Olivia’s son, Bernard, an antiques dealer and gourmet cook who turns out mouthwatering cuisine and scathing witticisms, and Gil, Bernard’s lover, whose down-to-earth sensibilities provide a perfect foil to the Stocktons’ outrageous joie de vivre. Here, in this anything-goes household, Hallie has found a new family. And she’s about to receive the education of her life.

From a wonderful new voice in fiction comes the freshest and funniest novel to barrel down the pike since Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café. In Beginner’s Luck, Laura Pedersen introduces us to the endearing oddballs and eccentrics of Cosgrove County, Ohio, who burst to life and steal our hearts–and none more so than Hallie Palmer, sixteen, savvy, and wise beyond her years, a young woman who knows life is a gamble . . . and sometimes you have to bet the house.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Laura Pedersen

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Laura Pedersen writes for The New York Times and is the author of Play Money, Going Away Party, Beginner's Luck (chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection), Last Call, Heart's Desire, The Sweetest Hours, and The Big Shuffle.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Ballantine Books. 370 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Beginner's Luck

Publishers Weekly

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Pedersen has a knack for capturing tart teenage observations in witty asides, and Hallie's naïveté, combined with her gambling and numbers savvy, make her a winning protagonist.

| Read Full Review of Beginner's Luck: A Novel (Bal...

Reviewing the Evidence

Sixteen year old Hallie Palmer hates school, hates her large family of seven ­ soon to be eight ­ children, loves to gamble, and the only thing she wants out of life is to buy a car and take off for Las Vegas.

| Read Full Review of Beginner's Luck: A Novel (Bal...

Teen Reads

Wanting to fit in-like any teenager --- and yet struggling to maintain or assert her own identity --- Hallie decides to drop out of high school and take on a job as a "yard person" for an eccentric family in town.

Jan 01 2003 | Read Full Review of Beginner's Luck: A Novel (Bal...

Reader Rating for Beginner's Luck
92%

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