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Left to Chance

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  684 ratings  ·  217 reviews

No one knows why Teddi Lerner left her hometown, but everyone knows why she’s back.

Twelve-year-old Shayna— talented, persistent, and adorable—persuaded "Aunt Tee" to return to Chance, Ohio, to photograph her father’s wedding. Even though it's been six years since Shay's mother, Celia, died, Teddi can hardly bear the thought of her best friend's husband marrying someone els

Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 21st 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  684 ratings  ·  217 reviews

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Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 Stars.* (rounded up)

Teddi hightailed it out of Chance 6 years ago. She left in the middle of her best friend Celia’s funeral and gave no explanation. Since then she has never looked back. In her mind, she didn’t have a choice. Now, she is asked to return by twelve-year-old Shay who has always considered Teddi her “Aunt Tee.” Teddi is a famous wedding photographer and Shay wants her to photograph her dad, Mile’s wedding. Mile’s first wife, was Teddi’s best friend: the one and only Celia. The
Sonja Yoerg
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love stories about extraordinary characters as much as the next person; it's easy to get caught up in the lives of monied world-travelers, ingenious detectives, or even a good old-fashioned serial killer. But there is a special satisfaction in being pulled into a story about ordinary people, especially those from small towns. Maybe it's because I'm a small town girl myself. Maybe it's because most of us, when it comes down to it, are wonderfully ordinary.

It's not easy to write about small live
Theresa Alan
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
What I liked about this novel was the premise: photographer Teddi Lerner fled her small town of Chance, Ohio, six years earlier and landed a job photographing weddings around the world, sometimes for the rich and famous. However, she always kept in touch with her best friend’s daughter, who is twelve when Teddi returns home to photograph Shay’s father’s second wedding.

Shay is the only person Teddi kept in touch with, however. Teddi’s own parents move around the country in a camper, so her dead
After six years, Teddi Learner returns to her small hometown of Chance, Ohio to photograph the wedding of her best friend's husband, Miles. Miles is getting remarried after the death of his first wife, Celia. Celia and Miles and had one daughter together, Shayna, who is now twelve. Teddi and Shay had a somewhat superficial relationship after Celia's death--a yearly visit in Chicago, Skype calls, etc. But Shay's now nearly a teenager and she's personally asked Teddi to come to town--a place she's ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest & unbiased review. Thanks to GoodReads First Reads, St. Martin's Press & Amy Sue Nathan for the opportunity.*

Teddi Lerner has left her hometown, Chance, Ohio, for reasons unknown. Teddi now resides in California as a wedding photographer. She returns to Chance when her twelve-year-old "niece" Shay, contacts her with news of her father's remarriage & she is asked to take the photos. Shay is the daughter of Celia, Teddi's best friend, who passed away fr
Susan Peterson
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"It had been stupid to think that tying a knot in the past would stop it from fraying into the future." Teddi Lerner left her hometown of Chance, Ohio six years ago, without saying goodbye, on the day of her best friend's funeral. Her homecoming is less-than welcoming, her hometown has changed, and the people she left behind are hurt and confused by her disappearance. I loved Teddi Lerner, and watching her struggle and evolve throughout this story had me smiling at times, but also put tears in m ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was my first book by Nathan but I enjoyed it so much that I’ll be adding her earlier work to my TBR. There was something so natural and authentic about her writing, I was almost immediately invested in Teddi’s life and that of the residents of Chance, Ohio. This was full of poignant moments and plenty of life lessons that stick with you long after you turn the final page.

Teddi doesn’t want to go back home but there’s no way she can say no to Shay. When I say she left six years ago I actuall
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

I sashayed down Lark wearing my light blue sundress, as if I were the star of an elaborate tampon commercial. All that was missing was the voiceover.

To me, Cousin Maggie had been like a fairy godmother in sensible shoes. She seemed to know what I needed, and when I needed it. It was Cousin Maggie who handed me Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret two months before I got my period when I was eleven. Cousin Maggie also gave me my first real camera for Hanukkah when I was fourteen.
Ellen Wiseman
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up WAY too late reading this because I couldn't wait to find out what happened! A touching, beautifully written novel about grief, friendship and love in its many forms. I loved it! ...more
Laura Rash
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nothing like getting back to your roots & regrounding yourself. This is the theme of this book with a cadence that makes it seem an effortless read.
I won this early copy in a Goodreads giveaway
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent - I loved this book and I didn't want to put it down! Highly recommended. ...more
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, 2017
**I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.**

I was hoping this book would be a nice light and enjoyable read, something to quickly pass the time and pull my head out of reality for a moment. It was extremely light but not the level of enjoyable I was after. More Hallmark movie that you get up and leave the room on to start a load of laundry and then forget you were even watching a movie to begin with. Maybe you eventually wander back in to finish it or maybe you decide to take
Judy Collins
Amy Sue Nathan returns following The Good Neighbor and The Glass Wives with LEFT TO CHANCE – can you return home, unchanged?

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." – George A. Moore

Teddi Lerner left Chance, Ohio years ago. It was not a place for wimps; however, she was on her way, regardless. The place that had haunted her for the past six years. The town she grew up in, and ran from, on the day of Celia’s funeral.

Teddi is a successful wedding
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have loved all of Amy Sue Nathan's books but this one is my favorite. Even though you can't really go home again and find life like you left it, you can learn to accept what's there and embrace it for what it was when you were there.

Teddi ran away from Chance, Ohio, right after Celia's, her best friend, funeral. She didn't tell anyone that she was leaving or where she was going. After she left she became a famous wedding photographer and tried to keep her memories out of her life - except for
Pam Jenoff
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Have you read any of Amy Nathan's wonderful books? Start with Left to Chance, which is the story of Teddi, a woman who left her hometown years earlier under mysterious circumstances. Teddi returns at the behest of her twelve year old niece, Shay, to photograph the wedding of Shay's father (her mother, and Teddi's sister, died years earlier.) You will root for Teddi as she confronts family and friends, her old love, the truth about the past and herself in this tale of homecoming and second chance ...more
Nov 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this sweet heartwarming novel about coming back home. Teddi left Chance, OH when her best friend Celia died. She did not look back and maybe avoided grieving her best friend's death. After many years, Celia's daughter asks Teddi to come back and photograph her Dad's wedding. Teddi comes back to find she was missed. This novel is a nice comfortable read. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Linda Zagon
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
My Review of "Left to Chance" by  Amy Sue Nathan

"Left to Chance" by Amy Sue Nathan is an emotional and heartwarming  read. The genre for this novel is Women's Fiction. The story take place mostly in the present, and only refers to the past when it pertains to a character or event.

The author describes the characters as complex, complicated and confused. Photographer Teddi  has returned to Chance Ohio, after leaving without saying goodbye six years ago. Teddi's best friend Celia had passed away, a
Carol Boyer
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was pulled into this beautiful book immediately, feeling all the emotions that Teddi had dealing with the grief she carried losing her best friend Celia, and returning to the town of Chance that she ran away from 6 years ago without any goodbyes. This story is filled with poignant events, an unrelenting feeling of being unwelcome, the mystery of why she left and how it affected all the folk she left behind. Teddi deals with unmet expectations that confuse her, secrets that are being kept, and ...more
Kimberly Brock
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A tender story about love and loss and friendship. I cared about the characters and found so much connection with what they were going through that I felt I knew them when the novel was over and I think I will miss them now. Don't miss this author at her best! I'll be going back to read Amy Sue Nathan's first two books over again. ...more
Review to come closer to pub date.

Quick thoughts;

I read this in a day. I loved it that much. It was light, but with some life messages tucked into it. I thought a character or 2 was being a bit unfair to Teddi, but I was happy with how Amy handled the situations...

Perfect book to share with your best friend..
Thank you to NetGalley, Amy Sue Nathan, and St. Martin's Griffin for allowing me to read this book before the publication date in exchange for an honest review.

Teddi Learner returns to Chance, Ohio after six years to photograph her best friend's husband's wedding. Miles is the groom and he's getting remarried after his first wife, Celia, passed. Teddi is returning as a promise to Miles and Celia's twelve-year old daughter, Shayna. Now that Teddi has returned, she sees everything that has changed
Diane Perry
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is an incredible story and so relatable. Teddi left Chance, Ohio after her best friend died. Six years later she has returned, but it is not the warm welcome she was hoping for. Every character was interesting and I felt like I was reading about neighbors and friends. They seem so realistic. What broke my heart. She is struggling with the loss of her mother and being a girl growing up. I was completely engrossed in this story ...more
Vivian Payton
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Teddi Lerner loses Celia, her best friend since childhood. On the day of her funeral, she abruptly leaves Chance, Ohio without letting anyone know. Six years later, she’s a photographer and lives in San Francisco. Celia’s twelve-year old daughter, Shay, invites her “Aunt Tee” to photograph her father’s wedding. Shay and Teddi have a very close bond, and in her innocent mind, wants Aunt Tee to marry her father, Miles.

Teddi returns to Chance, and things have changed in the past six years – the phy
Lael Braday
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
*Teddi returns to her hometown of Chance, Ohio, as the wedding photographer for the husband of her late friend at the request of his daughter, who calls her "Aunt Tee." She keeps crashing into the emotions of those she left behind six years ago, because she cut off contact.

The first third of this book repeated the mantra of "You left us, so why do you think you can just step back into our lives." Once the conflicts of her friend's family popped up in the story, the action kicked in, and the read
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Left to Chance arrived in the mail on a Friday evening and I finished the last line Sunday night. This perfect weekend read follows Teddi's traveling home for a bittersweet wedding. The reader is swept from Teddi's jet-setting photography career back to her small town childhood. Her friends and neighbors give a glimpse into her happy youth spent with her best friend Celia.

The memories, struggles and fears of young adulthood are revisited through the lens of those left behind and a decade of lif
Tasha Seegmiller
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: womens-fiction
Amy Sue Nathan flat out knows how to write, and her third book is just another evidence of this. While the idea of someone returning to their hometown after a period of time isn't new, the way Nathan crafts this story, the depth she gives the characters, how she spins tropes into something new are just a few examples of the freshness and incredible connection LEFT TO CHANCE has in store for readers. I'm thrilled that I got to read this book before it comes out because that means I have two month ...more
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book from the author for an honest review. I really liked this book. Teddi, a renowned wedding photographer, returns to her hometown to photograph the wedding of her decreased best friend’s husband and his new wife. She fled the small town just after her best friends’s funeral six years ago. She hasn’t been back since and she left a lot of people angry and diasappointed in her abrupt departure and the fact she cut all communication with them. She has only maintained con ...more
Eileen Goudge
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! A story about friendship, loss, and forgiveness, this warm-hearted novel has it all. I read it on the plane coming back from England, and it eased my journey, keeping me entertained for most of the duration of the flight. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good read filled with characters you care about.
C.E. Hart
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the beginning and ending of Left to Chance—but the middle lagged a bit. I began to lose interest, and resisted the urge to skip paragraphs/pages. I’m glad I stuck with it, because the pacing picked up with the ‘meat’ of the emotions I yearned for, and the ending was satisfying.

Teddi Lerner is easy to sympathize with. She suffered a painful blow when her best friend died. Having a friend die in recent years, I could easily sink into this characters role. Shay, her “niece” on the
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I've read by Amy Sue Nathan and I really like the way she develops her characters and their relationships with each other. The way she created memories for Teddi and Celia reminded me of the memoir We Hope You Like This Song: An Overly Honest Story about Friendship, Death, and Mix Tapes. This goes to show how real the friendship felt. And it made me even more thankful for my own best friend. I even became misty-eyed a few times.

Amy's attention to detail made it really eas
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Writer of novels, lover of cats, morning coffee, dark chocolate, and bold lipstick. Former vegetarian, occasional crafter, adequate cook, loyal friend, proud mom to two awesome adults.

Twitter: @AmySueNathan
Facebook: Amy Sue Nathan
Instagram: @AmySueNathan

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