Years ago, the day before Ellie moved from Georgia to California, she and her best friend Nolan sat beneath the Spanish moss of an ancient oak tree where they wrote letters to each other, and sealed them in a rusty old metal box. The plan was to return eleven years later and read them. But now, as that date arrives, much has changed. Ellie, bereft of the faith she grew up with, is a single mom living in a tired apartment trying to make ends meet. Sometimes she watches television to catch a glimpse of her old friend -Nolan, now an NBA star, whose terrible personal tragedies fueled his faith and athletic drive in equal measure. But Nolan also suffers from a transcendent loneliness that nothing has ever eased.
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Customer Reviews for The Chance - eBook
Review 1 for The Chance - eBook
Date:March 26, 2013
It was a very good read with a rather predictable ending. I enjoy all of Karen Kingsbury's books but lately they have been a little unbelieable with their "star" characters. This said, I will continue to read her books and enjoy them.
Wasn't sure when I read the synopsis whether this book would be something I'd like; but I bought it for a friend and read it before I sent it on. All I can say is, "Wow!! What redemption! What a fantastic story of God's relentless love!" Really, Karen, this is truly one of your VERY BEST!!
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Review 5 for The Chance - eBook
Karen has done it again
Date:March 5, 2013
You better have a tissue handy during this one. But it isn't any different from any other of Karen Kingsbury's book. She is a writer that has passion for what she does. And it is brought out in her books. This book isn't any different.
The Chance is ultimately about second chances. This story begins with Ella and Nolan being the best of friends. Circumstances soon break them apart, but will it be forever? Ella and her father move because of human error on her mother's part, but before they go Ella and Nolan bury letters that they have written each other, to be opened eleven years later. Life continues and has many bumps along the way. Ella watches from afar as Nolan acheives his dream of being a basketball star while her dream is put on hold.
You'll just have to read the book to see what happens. Help from a wonderful couple from a prior book has a hugh part in this story.
There is never a disappointment in a Karen Kingsbury book! A lasting impression of thoughts continue to remain in my mind and I often reflect over them. There are many valuable "God-working" lessons for one to ponder and then, to use those incidences learned to progressively grow in ones life attitudes.
A tender story of loss and love, of forgiveness and second chances, Karen Kingsbury has woven a moving tale in "The Chance ", one that brought tears to my eyes more than once. The characters are beautifully developed and their interwoven stories are soul-stirring, as they deal with heart-ache and shame and the messy reality of being human and making mistakes. But they also point towards the power of God to take what is broken and to breathe new life. While I enjoyed getting to know the main characters Ellie and Nolan, my favorite character was Ellie`s precious daughter Kinzie, a young girl who had an intuitive grasp on life, a belief that Jesus is good and his love is enough for us all. Like Karen`s other novels, I love how the characters hear God`s voice speaking clearly to them, such as prompting them to pray. It`s a beautiful portrayal of God`s loving heart and how he is still in the business of orchestrating the events around us. Probably more than any other book Karen has written, this novel portrays that truth that though the evil one sets out to destroy us and keep us mired in despair, God is bigger and stronger and loving, and shines light into the darkness. "The Chance" illustrates the tremendous power of forgiveness, not just for the one who needs forgiving, but for the one who was wronged. Ellie says it best when she teaches Kinzie that "As soon as you forgive, you're free!" There is power in those words, indeed. The ending is definitely inspiring, and though things may get wrapped up a bit too neatly for some readers, it's hard to argue with a happy ending!
Sure to appeal to her faithful fans as well as acquire a host of new ones, "The Chance" finds Karen Kingsbury still the master of "Life-Changing Fiction". I award this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Howard Books (Simon & Schuster Canada), for the purposes of this unbiased review
Karen Kingsbury is back with an inspiring novel about love and second chances! This book is about two best friends Ellie and Nolan who through unforeseen circumstances are separated for years. Kingsbury does an excellent job showing that when God has a plan for our lives no one can change or alter them. Through Ellie and Nolan relationship we can see how God uses our lives to draw us closer to himself and also to fulfill the amazing plans He has for our lives. I could not put this novel down! The characters of Ellie and Nolan felt so real and relatable that I was glued to my e-reader so I could find out if Ellie and Nolan would be reunited. Can't wait for her next book! Thanks to NetGalley for this complementary book.
In The Chance Karen Kingsbury brings us back to the writing style that we’ve all come to know and love. Yes, it is a storyline that has been done before and some of the characters are larger than life and way above reproach. Do they have flaws? Maybe, but they are few and far between.
The truth is that none of that matters. In The Chance we are taken on a journey through some seemingly impossible situations and in the end God provides a way. We are reminded that our good intentions often have not so good motives. Our righteous indignation is just that . . . ours. We use God to get others to act according to our thinking instead of seeking His wisdom in our own actions.
I enjoyed the premise of young love and the hope that it could become more than that someday. I thought that Nolan was a wonderful depiction of Christ’s love for us in the way he accepted and loved Ellie. Ellie’s parents’ story is proof that forgiveness is powerful for all involved.
A fun aspect of the book was getting to catch up with Molly and Ryan from The Bridge. I am enjoying this new non series that Karen has put together. I like the aspect of returning characters that pop up in future books. It is refreshing after a long drawn out series of series.
This is another great book by author Karen Kingsbury. She is known for her series about the Baxter family. If you have not read any of her other books though this one would be a great one to start with. It does have a couple characters from one of her books called The Bridge. You do not have to read that book to enjoy this one.
I gave this book 4/5 stars as I had positives as well as negatives about this book. On the positive side the two main characters, Ellie and Nolan, were well written and their relationship was believable. I also thought the story of how they part and reunite was interesting. On the negative side there was a bit of jumping around between what was happening now and what had happened over the past years. There was also a few other characters that played important parts and reading their thoughts made for a lot of introspection and not enough conversation. There is also the relationship of Ellie and her daughter. How Ellie talks to her and opens up about her life just was not believable. I thought the author should have given Ellie a friend to talk to about the issues not a very young girl. It just was not something I think you would see in real life. All that said I felt the ending was perfect for the situation and all will enjoy the story!
I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
Karen Kingsbury in her new book, "The Chance" published by Howard Books takes us into the lives of Ellie Tucker and Nolan Cook.
From the back cover: The day before a teenage Ellie moved from Georgia to California, she and her best friend Nolan sat beneath the Spanish moss of an ancient oak tree where they wrote letters to each other and buried them in a rusty old metal box. The plan was to return eleven years later, dig the box up, and read the letters. But now, as that date approaches, much has changed. Ellie has abandoned the faith she grew up with, her days consumed with loving her little girl and trying to make ends meet. Sometimes she watches TV to catch a glimpse of her old friend Nolan, now an NBA star, whose faith is known by the entire nation. But few know that Nolan's own personal tragedies have fueled both his faith and athletic drive. Despite his success, Nolan is isolated and lonely, plagued by a void in his heart that has remained since that night beneath the old oak tree with Ellie. For both Ellie and Nolan, the coming date is more than just a childhood promise. It's the chance to make sense of it all--the chance to find out if it's ever too late to find love again.
Karen Kingsbury weaves a moving tale of heart-wrenching loss, the power of faith, and the wounds that only a forever kind of love can heal. She delves deeply into a theme that resonates within us all: Hope lives for those willing to take a chance.
It is not that often that we get to have a do-over, a second chance when we blew the first chance completely. Karen Kingsbury has given us a story where Ellie and Nolan get just that; a second chance. But it is more than that. Ellie has changed, given up her very beliefs because of the trauma that life has given her. Nolan is a superstar but he is lonely. Now God gives them one more opportunity to replace that which they have given up and have this one do-over. "The Chance" is one inspiring, romantic book. Issues of faith, emotional healing, dealing with trauma and loss and love fill the pages. Ms. Kingsbury has given us a great ride in this book and she has provided us with wonderful characters that we rally around and root for.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Ah, the second chance. Why is it that novels that stress that theme just seem to resonate for so many of us? Maybe it’s because we all know that we need them, right- a second chance, or in my case, third and fourth chances as well. You know what I mean- a second chance on a relationship that you thought was long over, or a chance to have a do-over on a job you messed up pretty well the first time. We are human, we are fallible and we all need a second chance. So if you take the concept of the second chance, throw in a large measure of forgiveness, grace and faith in God, you have the story line for The Chance - Karen Kingsbury’s latest offering from Howard Books.
As the novel opens we meet the 2 main characters Nolan Cook and Ellie Tucker living in Savannah, Georgia-. Two 15 year old best friends, on the verge of being something more, are torn apart by the broken relationship of Ellies’ parents Alan and Caroline. Because of this broken relationship, Alan takes Ellie away to San Diego to a new job and what he is hoping for is a new life away from his wife. That doesn’t go so well as when we try to run away, our troubles usually follow us. On the night before Ellie is whisked away from Nolan and her mother, Nolan and Ellie meet in the park, their usual place to go and talk and decide to write each other a letter telling each other how they really feel about one another and bury it in an old tackle box. The plan was to return in 11 years, dig up the box and read what the other person wrote. Neither one thought that they would be separated from each other for that time period. Even with Ellie’s move, they could write each other, call each other, etc. Unfortunately through some unforeseen circumstances, they were separated for that long, but still in the back of their minds was returning to that tree as promised all those years ago.
Their lives each took very different directions- Nolan’s in the world of professional basketball living out the dream he had had for himself for many, many years. And Ellie, her journey was the complete opposite- she didn’t reach the dreams that she had for herself, which included writing the perfect novel and being a part of Nolan’s life. His faith had grown, hers had shrunk. How could this work out?
This story, as most of Karen Kingsbury’s stories do, resonated with me. I love the second chance- the beauty from ashes story lines. They just always make me want to stand up and cheer. This one did as well. The heart string pull was pretty strong for me and I appreciated the journey this novel takes you on. When God is allowed in the middle of relationships, there is forgiveness, grace and restoration. And this is portrayed beautifully in several of the story lines. So if you feel like reading a novel that makes you stand up and cheer both at the basketball portions as well as the relationship journeys, I recommend you pick up Karen Kingsbury’s novel The Chance.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
What a great novel. This is what Christian fiction is all about!
Ellie and Nolan have been best friends since grade school. When Ellie is fifteen, it comes out that her mother has been having an affair and is pregnant with another man's child. Ellie's father, a legalistic Christian, throws his wife out. He takes a military reassignment across the country and tells Ellie they are leaving in a day. Ellie and Nolan meet one last time, write letters to each other, bury them in a park and vow to meet again in eleven years. What follows are years of heartbreak and pain. Ellie never hears from her mother – not even a letter. And, even though Ellie has written to Nolan, he never responds. After several years, Ellie, desiring love, reaches out to a young military man. When she becomes pregnant, she can no longer take her father's harsh words and leaves. She is making her way as a single mom, now estranged from both her parents. And Nolan, what about Nolan? He is a successful NBA star. Does he ever think about her? She thinks about him every day. Angry at God, Ellie is resigned to her future. But God has other plans.
This is what Christian fiction is all about. It is about how God works in the lives of those who love Him. It is about forgiveness and restoration, even when it seems all is lost. It is about hope in the midst of a hopeless situation. It is about God loving us even when we have given up believing it is so. There are some serious issues Kingsbury addresses in this novel. One is legalism. Ellie's father is very legalistic and alienates his wife and daughter when they fail to live up to his godly standard. Other issues include infidelity, pregnancy outside of marriage, and more. Kingsbury has given us much to think about in this novel.
Be sure and have a tissue handy when you get close to the end of this touching novel.
By the way, those who read The Bridge will be happy to read a bit about Ryan and Molly in this novel.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Ellie Tucker would be considered rich beyond measure to some. She carried with her the love for both of her parents even despite the odds now challenging their marriage, but most of all she carried the love of her childhood friend Nolan Cook. Now it seemed like everything she had come to love and accept was slowly being ripped apart from her by the choices her parents had made.
When her father confronts her mother late one evening after coming home late from work again, the truth spills out from their bedroom door during an argument, that her mom, Caroline was having an affair and is now pregnant. Her father, Alan, has asked her to leave and move out. He can't raise another man's child under his roof and he no longer loves Caroline after this. Thinking only of her best interests, Alan arranges for him and Ellie to move from Savannah, Georgia to Camp Pendleton in California. He believes the further away from her mother she is, the more he can control what is happening in her life.
On the eve of her move, she spends her final night like most every night previously, hanging out in Gordonston Park, where they claimed their very own personal spot in the park. Their spot was the same every time. The patch of grass, alongside the biggest oak tree in the park - maybe the biggest in the city. The one dripping with Spanish moss, with gnarled old roots big enough to sit on. They had come here to talk about life since the summer before sixth grade. Back then they played hide-and-seek among the trees, with the enormous oak serving as home base. During the school year, when it was warm enough, they'd do their homework here. And on nights like this, they would do what came easiest for them.
They would simply crack open their hears and share whatever came out. Nolan had always confessed to Ellie that he loved her and would marry her someday and now it seemed that someday would never ever come. Not with Ellie living so far away. So they made a plan. Like always they ran past the smaller trees to the biggest one in the park, thirty yards from the gate. Their tree. Nolan set the down the box he had brought and the shovel beside the largest root., the one they used as a bench. "Here's the plan. We'll write each other a letter and put it in the box. Today's June first. We'll bury tour letters here by the tree, and eleven years from now, on June first, we'll meet here and read what we wrote." They agreed to write and call each other and hopefully find a way to see one another before the eleven years, but at least they had hope that one day things might be different then they are now.
In the latest novel by Karen Kingsbury, The Chance, is an inspiring look at what the power of faith, hope and love can offer to those dealing with such a profound sense of loss. The loss of her parents marriage, the loss of her friendship with Nolan, and the loss of ever seeing him again like she had been every single night since the sixth grade. This is the story of the eleven years since that day and seeing what Ellie and Nolan's lives have gone. Did Nolan make it to the NBA after all? Did Ellie ever write her best selling novel? Or did God have far different plans for all of them that they never saw coming? You'll have to pick this one up to find out!
I received The Chance by Karen Kingsbury compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I have never read a Karen Kingsbury novel that didn't impact my life in some way. This one really makes you appreciate what you have and to never take for granted one day. It's too easy to miss the bigger picture happening right in front of you, thinking you will always have a tomorrow. This is more than just a novel about hope but also one of forgiveness. The message is one you won't want to miss. I compare her novels to Nicholas Sparks in the Christian world of publishing and she really makes an impact in the way you see your own personal life. I love her dedications in her novel, each a personal letter to her children and husband to inspire and encourage them in their own lives. You can honestly feel she puts a part of herself in each of her books. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for her next book, Fifteen Minutes that you get an excerpt to read at the conclusion of this novel. If you've never read a novel by Karen Kingsbury, pick one up and see if it doesn't impact you on a deeper level than you ever thought possible!
True that Ellie and Nolan's story has touching moments. However, the fantastic aspects of the story's characters in a real-life setting make the plot unbelievable rather than inspiring. Credibility is what moves you to the next level. While well-penned I just couldn't take it seriously.
I recently reviewed The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury. The Chance is the second book in this series but it definitely could be read as a stand alone story.
Karen Kingbury is creating a truly wonderful series that is full of heart, love, faith and dreams come true. I love the positive, encouraging feel to these books. The Chance reminds the reader that true love is powerful and blessed by God.
Ellie and Nolan have an incredible story that tugs at the heart of anyone reading. They are torn by the circumstances of life, driven by things beyond their control. They have allowed life to fly by all while still holding tightly to the past.
A past that will test their hearts and their love for each other.
In the midst of their story, the stories of the other characters are unfolding and experiencing amazing healing.
Tears might come at many points throughout this inspirational story.
Karen Kingsbury has once again written a book that will be well-loved by readers everywhere.