The Chance: A Novel

by Karen Kingsbury

Paperback, 2013



Call number



Howard Books (2013), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages


Vowing to meet eleven years after sealing letters they wrote to each other in an old metal box, best friends Ellie and Nolan both have reservations about seeing each other again as loneliness, personal tragedies, and a lack of faith haunt both of them.

User reviews

LibraryThing member brandileigh2003
Like many of her books that I have read, The Chance starts out pulling at my heartstrings. It starts when Ellie is a young teenager and her parents' marriage is falling apart. It is so emotional seeing her blame herself and the conclusion that her mom must not love her because she chose another man
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over her and her dad. Ms. Kingsbury knows how to write emotions so that you feel them right along with her characters.
I didn't expect to hear from the parents of Ellie at the beginning but it was neat to get their perspectives and see where things went wrong with them.
The set-up between Ellie and Nolan is sweet, and I am right there wishing for them to be able to reunite. It was emotional seeing her tearful goodbye, and I wonder at how they never got in touch but still cared for each other so much.
It is so hard watching everything fall apart, and everyone getting into these incredibly low points in their lives, but it is so awesome how Karen Kingsbury weaves everything together, bringing hope back into their lives just a little bit at a time, how religion ties in, showing God's work and providence in each character's life.
The ending was beautiful and moving, and I love how Ellie really renewed her faith in God after watching how God carefully lined up each event, touched it with his power, and moved everything to fix what was broken.

Bottom Line: Sweet and emotional novel about the power of prayer and how God can orchestrate miracles, but on his time not ours.
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LibraryThing member jbarr5
Ellie Tucker learns that her father wants her mother to leave because she's pregnant with the other man's child. She leaves the house in search of her best friend, Nolan Cook who's playing ball at the high school.

Her father tried to stop her by telling her to go to her room and pray to God and that
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some things just weren't meant for a teen to hear-that she couldn't comprehend it all.. We also learn of the mother's side...

Love the idea of when they said goodbye to one another, their memories will remain, their one last chance...

After she moved she was not able to contact Nolan and they both prayed that it would all work out. He continued concentrating on his basketball games.

Nolan's dad convinced him that with faith you could do anything, even play in the NBA.

He tried many times to find her and had never gotten a letter or another phone call from her since she moved. After he signed with a college basketball team he spent money hiring a PI to find her, who also came up with nothing.

He started dating and he had faith he would find her again. They had that one last chance also if all else failed.

Her life did not go as planned but she made the most of it...

She still planned to be at the park in her old hometown on June 1 so she could dig up the memories they had each left...

She figured Nolan would be too busy to do that.

Love the reference to The Bridge Bookstore in Franklin-awesome book to read about that.

Caroline Tucker's story is also followed as others hope to follow what happened once she left her daughter Ellie and husband Allan to have Peyton Anders baby, by herself. As a country singer Peyton has to do some promo and give back and he selected to help a kids wish to go to a Hawks game, and he can make that happen. Caroline had also written to her daughter every week sending them to her ex mother in law. She never heard back from anybody and she prayed Ellie would get them.

Alan Tucker's story is also followed as he is the guard at a brig on the west coast. He thinks of his daughter also as she's not living there with him any longer and the roads she took...He also thinks he should've stuck with his wife and prayed more to God.

Many scriptures are quoted to help explain the story to the one asking for God's help.

Added bonus of an excerpt from 'Fifteen Minutes'

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LibraryThing member SABC
A moving tale of heartwrenching loss, the power of faith, and the wounds that only a forever kind of love and heal. The theme throughout is...Hope lives for those willing to take a chance.
LibraryThing member love2readnovels
Ellie Tucker and Nolan Cook grew up to together and were best friends. When Ellie's dad announces they are moving the next morning from Savanna, Georgia to San Diego, California, Ellie races to Nolan's house for comfort. He takes her to the familiar park, under 'their' tree, where they wrote each
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other a letter. They put the letters in a metal box and buried it under the tree and agreed that whatever happened, they would meet back there in eleven years to read each others letters. As time passed Nolan was realizing his dream of becoming an NBA star and his faith strengthened. For Ellie, life was one heart break after another to the point that she even lost her faith. As the day grows close to when they should meet, they each know that this might be the only chance to make sense of all the pain and loss and perhaps it might also be t*he chance to find love once again.

This was definitely an emotional and heart-wrenching story. It was kinda tough to read because it was so very sad. Real life can be like that way though and only God's grace will get you through those times which this author beautifully illustrates. The story keeps the reader very involved with how it will all turn out, although sometimes I grew a bit weary because of all the trauma. I loved Nolan and what he represented. His steadfastness in his faith and his love for Ellie was a great example of real love. Ellie felt very real to me and I think she was a great example of what can happen when you let go of God. Although you could totally understand why she felt the way she did. But with God, all things are possible and The Chance certainly brings that verse to life through it pages. Kinzie is a sweet little girl who has such a sweet spirit and strong faith, you can't help but love her. At the end of all the sadness, there is hope through the Savior, that He will work out all things according to His purpose and glory. I really liked the ending but found myself wanting an epilogue. One thing I thoroughly enjoyed, was seeing Molly and Ryan again from The Bridge. I'm so glad the author made them apart of this story. The Chance is a journey I would recommend but remember to fasten your emotional seat-belts, you're in for a bumpy ride.

Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Howard Books (March 5, 2013)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
ASIN: B008J2B6V8

*This complimentary copy was provided by Howard Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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LibraryThing member SherylHendrix
Another satisfying read from Karen Kingsbury; this one highlights the lives of two teens torn apart by the reaction of the girl's parents to their own personal trauma, and how it affects their lives in both positive and negative ways. Their decision at 15 to give themselves "once last chance" to
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reunite later in life is the title's meaning, and how it ultimately works itself out is a story of God's redemptive power.
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LibraryThing member JEB5
I'm not one for inspirational literature so please keep that in mind when reading my review.

Kingsbury writes similar to Nicholas Sparks, only with a lot of praying to God and religious overtones. I would have personally enjoyed the book more if it wasn't so heavy handed with God and faith. I also
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found her plot to be highly predictable and her characters to be very one dimensional. If she put as much effort in plot and character development as she did with including Biblical quotes then it would have been a far better novel. That said, it was an easy quick read and I have no doubt that fans of this genre would enjoy this novel of faith and forgiveness.
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LibraryThing member RivkaBelle
Review originally published on my blog:

Ellie and Nolan have been best friends since, forever. But when Ellie's world falls apart, and she discovers she's being whisked away from Georgia all the way to California, they make a pact. Writing each letters, telling the whole
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searing truth, they bury them beneath one of Savannah's old live oak trees and promise to come back, in eleven years, and read their words. It's a promise of hope, something to hold on to during the painful days of separation to come. Over the years, it becomes both a mocking reminder of things that once were, and maybe, just maybe, a half-prayer of what could be. Ellie's world is so very different from Nolan's, he's an NBA star with a public faith and the nation's attention; she's a single mother with so many hurts and half-healed scars she doesn't know what she believes anymore. But fate's a funny thing, and one thing leads to another until Ellie finds herself back in Savannah. Face-to-face with Nolan.

It's a beautiful story. A story of second chances (or third, or sixth). A story of hope. A story that will make you believe anything can happen. And the Savannah setting? Oh, be still my beating Southern heart.
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LibraryThing member kathyslibrary
excellent Christian fiction! interesting kept me reading quickly to the very end, great follow up to her book, The Bridge.
LibraryThing member judyg54
I like the way Karen Kingsbury writes. She makes me want to hurry up and keep reading to see what will happen next, but at the same time I tell myself to slow down and enjoy because I want this story to last and not be over. To quote from Karen when asked about her writing style - "Real, relatable,
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relational fiction, where every book offers redemption and hope for the readers." "The Chance" was exactly that.

Ellie Tucker grew up thinking she had a pretty terrific life; a Mom and Dad who loved her and her best friend who lived down the street and understood her completely (Nolan Cook). But at 15 years of age her life took a drastic change when one night Ellie's Mom was kicked out of their home, and then her Dad picked up and moved them both to San Diego, without a chance to say good bye to her Mom. Before she left Nolan and Ellie go to their favorite place in the park and bury letters to each other that they vow to come back and read in 11 years if they lose touch with each other.

Fast forward to 11 years later and you will discover that one of them fulfilled their dreams and goals and another's life was most miserable. But through "chance" encounters with different people God will orchestrate a beautiful ending for many folks in this story. Their is redemption and hope for everyone and forgiveness really is a wonderful thing. A story I will long remember even after I have finished reading it.
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LibraryThing member jnut1
Great read.
LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
A little too pollyanna-ish to be believable. In the end, everyone is forgiven, everyone makes up with those who hurt them, and everyone gets exactly what he or she wants. Probably the only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars.

I liked that the author made the point that no matter what you've
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done, God still loves you and that sometimes what we tell ourselves is not the way others see it.
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Original language


Physical description

8.38 inches



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