LAST CHANCE HERO
A Place to Call Home Book 4
By Cathleen Armstrong
The folks in Last Chance, New Mexico could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica MacLeod has opened an office right on Main Street, and Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has come home from the NFL to coach the high school football team. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot with this football-obsessed town when she admits that she’s never seen a football game, isn’t really interested in doing so, and in fact doesn’t know a first down from a goalpost. Despite having little in common, Jess and Andy find themselves drawn to each other. But when a disagreement over the future of injured player puts them both on the defensive, it begins to look like this game is over…
- Jess finds feeling as if she belongs in Last Chance so much harder than she thought it would be. Have you ever been in a similar situation? Why is easier for some to find their place than others?
- Despite being Last Chance’s own hero, Andy seems to feel he’s let everyone down and is primed to do it again. Is the town his biggest booster or his biggest critic?
- Last Chance is all about football, and Jess has never even wanted to watch a game. Her disinterest soon takes on a life of its own, and she becomes “the girl who hates football.” Is that fair? How far should a newcomer have to go to fit in?
- There’s no doubt that Jess is an overachiever, but she admits to herself that all too often she fails to take people into her plans. Do you know anyone like that? Is that ever you? How does it work out?
- When Jess takes Elizabeth to church, she is surprised to see Juanita in the choir, and it causes her to see Juanita in a different light. What do you think is different? Has seeing someone away from their usual location ever caused you to see them in a better (or worse) light?
- Elizabeth Cooley has always been the rock of her family and the community. Now age and infirmity are causing her to have to be more dependent on others, and she doesn’t like it at all! How do you think she’s handling it? Any thoughts on how you could do it?
- Andy’s dad was an abusive alcoholic who had no contact with the family for years until Andy comes home and finds him going through an old dresser. They didn’t have much time together, but what do you think it would have taken to restore that relationship? Do you think complete restoration in a situation like this is even possible?
- Andy and Jess have their first real falling out over Gabe Quintana. Jess thinks that if he is to achieve his dreams, he should drop the football team and start working toward a university scholarship. Andy has strong feelings about the sportsmanship of quitting a team in mid-season. Who is right?
- Jess always has to ask the next question, which a good trait for a physician. What about in social situations? Good or bad?
- Jess finally gets to a football game. She likes the crowd and the excitement and even takes notes on questions she’d like to have answered. But do you think she’ll ever be a fan? Why or why not?
- When it comes to her faith, Jess seems to be searching for answers. She wonders at Elizabeth’s firm belief that God, not luck determines outcome. She asks Kaitlyn if she thinks good news means God loves you more. What would you say to her?
- Some would say that all Jess and Andy have in common is the fact they are single and close to the same age. What, if anything, do you think they have going for them?