The Land of Last Chances

The Land of Last Chances : A Novel

3.89 (167 ratings by Goodreads)
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Jeanne Bridgeton, an unmarried executive in her late forties, discovers life doesn't begin and end on a spreadsheet when her expected menopause instead becomes an unexpected pregnancy. Though accomplished at managing risk professionally, Jeanne realizes her skills don't extend to her personal life, where she has allowed the professional and the personal to become intertwined. She's not even sure which of two men in her life is the father. Worse yet, a previously undisclosed family secret reveals that she may carry a rare hereditary gene for early-onset Alzheimer's-and it's too late to get genetic tests. This leaves Jeanne to cope with her intense fear of risk without the aid of the mountain of data she's accustomed to relying upon. Wrestling with the question of whether her own needs, or those of her child, should prevail takes Jeanne on an intensely emotional journey-one that ultimately leads to growth and enlightenment.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 139 x 215 x 20.32mm | 362.87g
  • Berkeley, United States
  • English
  • 1631526006
  • 9781631526008

Review quote

2020 14th Annual National Indie Excellence Award Finalist in Women's Fiction
"Middle-aged corporate women have it rough in fiction. We're bitter, uncompromising, lonely, regretful--and always barren. Which is why it was so refreshing to read Land of Last Chances by Joan Cohen. By introducing a real-life woman facing real-world choices, Cohen subverts these familiar stereotypes and offers a brand new narrative. Finally! A thinking, feeling woman we can all root for."
-- Jillian Medoff, bestselling author of This Could Hurt "Joan Cohen's remarkable first novel is impossible to put down. Land of Last Chances is fiction, but the heroic actions of a business woman in her forties seem very real. While pregnant, she discovers a potential genetic predisposition to early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The book takes you through the difficult decisions she has to make and educates you on our latest understanding of early-onset and late-onset Alzheimer's disease. A must-read genetic thriller intertwined with high-level business decisions at her workplace, all happening in the Boston area, the world center of advanced medicine and biotechnology."
--Carmela R. Abraham, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Boston University School of Medicine "Cohen offers an adeptly written genetic detective story in this novel. In Jeanne, she creates a sympathetic and multidimensional character. . . An artfully crafted portrayal of a woman who learns about herself as she weighs an unexpected choice."
--Kirkus Reviews "In this deeply moving and astutely observed novel, one woman's harrowing confrontation with her family's genetic history offers a wise and bracingly modern contemplation of an ancient question: does our history determine our future? A vital new entry into the burgeoning literature of Alzheimer's fiction, Land of Last Chances is a wise, hopeful, and enormously gripping debut."
--Stefan Merrill Block, best-selling author of The Story of Forgetting, The Storm at the Door, and Oliver Loving "Cohen stuffs her novel with thought-provoking scenarios and dramatic events . . . this midlife melodrama will be appreciated by fans of issue-driven relationship fiction."
--Booklist "Cohen's satisfying, fast-paced debut . . . sustains its momentum and holds readers' attention with capable prose and emotional depth."
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About Joan Cohen

Originally from Mount Vernon, New York, Joan Cohen received her BA from Cornell University and her MBA from New York University. She pursued a career in sales and marketing at computer hardware and software companies until she retired to return to school for an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has been a Massachusetts resident for many years, first living in Newton, where she raised her family, and later in Wayland. She now resides in Stockbridge, in the Berkshires, with her husband and golden retriever.
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Rating details

167 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 37% (62)
4 28% (46)
3 24% (40)
2 10% (16)
1 2% (3)
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