Synopses & Reviews
Lucy Parker wins the lottery on the worst day of her life. But can all the money in the world make up for a cheating boyfriend, a derailed career, and ending up in the middle of a media circus? Everyone wants a piece of Lucy…and all she wants is to escape from it all.
After life as she knows it falls apart, Lucy heads off to Palm Beach to hide out at the home of an old college friend. There, living in a tropical paradise of millionaires, Lucy acquires a new hair color, a new social set, and enough anonymity to put her notoriety behind her. Soon shes courted by two men who dont know her history. But just as Lucy begins to envision a new life for herself, the past catches up with her. Lucy would give up every penny to have her old life back—as soon as shes ready to cash it all in, fate has one last surprise in store for her…one that will show her exactly what shes worth.
"Prep school English teacher Lucy Parker is having a rough day in Gaskell's disappointing latest: she's fired after a student lodges a bogus sexual harassment complaint against her, then goes home to find her live-in boyfriend in bed with another woman. Gaskell tweaks this tired setup with the day's third lightning bolt: Lucy wins $87 million in the lottery. Soon, the press is banging down her door to try to get an interview with the 'Lottery Seductress,' and her family and friends see her as a brand-new piggy bank. Overwhelmed, she runs off with an old friend to Palm Beach, where she becomes one of the indolent rich. Sadly, this frothy wish-fulfillment fantasy is undercut by Lucy's haplessness; she seems all but incapable of making good decisions, and certain characters' deviousness is so obvious it's tough to imagine Lucy not realizing she's being taken advantage of. The ending is, naturally, happy for Lucy, and those who wronged her feel sufficiently bad about it, but her vindication is just as much dumb luck as the lottery win was." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Whitney Gaskell grew up in Syracuse, New York. A graduate of Tulane Law School, she worked for several years as a reluctant lawyer before writing her first novel, Pushing 30, followed by True Love (and Other Lies); She, Myself & I; Testing Kate, and Mommy Tracked. She lives in Stuart, Florida, with her husband and son.
Reading Group Guide
How would eighty-seven million dollars change your life? For Lucy Parker, the answer wasnt so easy. She won the lottery just when her luck was running out, finding herself in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Hours before she knew she had the winning ticket, she lost her job, caught her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and watched helplessly as her car died a slow death in traffic. But when she deposits her winnings—with a check so big the teller thinks its a joke—reporters dredge up the scandal that got her fired. Then her ex goes on the talk-show circuit, convincing the public that Lucy wronged him.
Turning to her wealthy college roommate, Lucy reinvents herself, with a new name, a new look, and a closet full of designer clothes from the chicest boutiques in Palm Beach. But even with two great new men fighting over her in a tropical paradise, she wonders how much its costing her to hide the truth about who she really is. Little does she know, shes not the only one with a secret … and when the truth is revealed, the results will be priceless. Packed with delicious surprises and exhilarating turns of fate, Good Luck
celebrates the heart of every womans true net worth.
The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Whitney Gaskells Good Luck. We hope they will enrich your experience of this charming novel.
1. Despite the disasters she experienced at the beginning of the novel, what was good about Lucys life before she won the lottery? What were the best and worst changes that took place after she deposited the check?
2. How did Lucys parents influence her future? What explains the big difference in the way Lucy and Emma handle money?
3. Do you think Lucy would have stayed with Elliott if she hadnt caught him with Naomi? How did her breakup, and her newfound wealth, change the way she thought about men?
4. How did your opinion of Mal and Drew shift throughout the novel? How do they affect Lucy in different ways?
5. What sustains Maisie and Lucys friendship? How does it compare to Hayden and Lucys friendship? What gives Maisie the strength to turn down Lucys money?
6. How does Lucy handle the secrecy of her new identity? Did she make the right choice in going underground? When are secrets helpful, and when are they harmful?
7. In the end, both Hayden and Emma realize how deeply they have hurt Lucy. What did it take for them to have a change of heart?
8. Discuss the novels title. How much of the success portrayed in Good Luck comes from sheer luck? How much of it depends on good choices? Which one—luck or choice—plays the bigger part in having a happy life?
9. Several of the novels characters, including Lucys mother, want to spend their resources easing the suffering of others. What determines whether someone will do charitable things with wealth, versus those who use it to serve their appetites for power?
10. What makes Whitney Gaskells heroines unique? How does Good Luck, along with the authors other novels, capture the tragicomic truth about the demands of modern womanhood?
My Top Five Necessary-to-my-Work Items:
by Whitney Gaskell
1. My desk. I have a vintage Paul McCobb desk that I scored on eBay, after falling in love with one just like it in a décor magazine. My previous desk was a very modern steel-frame with a hideous green glass top. It was so cold and sharply edged, I couldn’t work at it.
2. Ice water. I am incapable of writing unless I have a very tall, very cold glass of water next to me. Actually, I say glass, but it really has to be in a tall plastic tumbler. Every writer needs to have at least one idiosyncrasy.
3. E-mail. It’s how I stay in touch with everyone, as I hate talking on the phone.
4. My pug, Zoë. She sleeps on a cushion under my desk, snoring loudly, while I work. Zoë is the most hedonistic creature I’ve ever met. She’s my role model.
5. A spiral-bound notebook. I buy a new one every time I start a book. It’s where I keep all of my notes — character sketches, background information, plot lines, bits of dialogue. I do all of my actual writing on my computer, but without my notebook, I’d be completely lost.
From the Trade Paperback edition.