The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart Release Date: March 21, 2017 Publisher: Gallery Books Book #1 of the Hudson Sisters series Number of pages: 432 Kindle Edition Source: Warren Public Library Chick Lit/Contemporary Romance M/F Rating: PG Read 3/16/18 – 3/17/18
I’m thinking Art Deco movie theaters are making a comeback. While they’ve been spread out over the last year or so, I’ve read quite a few books with characters who are renovating an old art deco theater. It really makes me nostalgic for the days when my mom would take my older sister and me to an old movie house in a neighboring city for the “cheap show”. I always found it to be a treat because it was only one screen! They put REAL butter on the popcorn! Now, as an adult, I realize that was an old art deco theater trying to stay afloat. But how cool was that lady that got to sit in the little booth out front to sell tickets? I haven’t been inside that theater for years and years. I know it’s been “updated” inside so I don’t know that I’d be happy with the changes. I do know that it still has the big marquee above the entrance and I smile every time I happen to be in that area and drive by.
Wow, I went off on a tangent there. Anyway…about the book.
I had trouble classifying this book. It’s not quite contemporary romance, although there is the beginning of some romance in the story. It’s not exactly what I would call chick lit, yet I can’t quite put my finger on why that is. So anyway, I’ll say it’s both. The dynamics of the three sisters is extremely interesting and really has me wanting more. What I find especially interesting is I was very sympathetic to Allie in the very beginning, when she’s first introduced. I was not so sure how I felt about Des and even thought I’d end up disliking her character. Instead, after that initial intro, my thoughts on them flipped. Allie is really not a nice person and needs to get over herself. Des is extremely sympathetic and seems like someone I would love to be friends with. Cara, as the “outsider” sister, is wonderful from the very beginning. My feelings on her didn’t change. She seems to be the main focus of this particular book, although we get plenty of perspective from Des and Allie throughout.
Which brings me to something I think you should know before diving into this one. I, for some reason, assumed this series would be about the three sisters with each sister kind of getting a book. That’s not really the case. As I said, Cara is the big concentration of this particular story. Not so much that you could call this her book though. And the story is definitely not over at the end of this book. There is still so much to find out and learn from these sisters, as well as from their Aunt. (Who I adore!) While Cara gets a type of closure in this book, her story is far from over. While I wouldn’t classify this as a suspenseful ending, it also isn’t a complete package. So, if you’re one of those people who wants a neat ending tied up in a bow just know that doesn’t happen here. Yet it’s a great story and I highly recommend you read this book.
There are so many layers to this story, I just didn’t want to put it down. Mariah Stewart has been writing for a while and has quite the library under her belt, but I’ve only ever read her Chesapeake Diaries series…to mixed reviews. I feel this book far exceeds those books even though I really enjoyed many of them in that series. I cannot wait to get to the next book and learn more about the Hudson family and their neighbors. I have a feeling we’ve barely scratched the surface.