Every week for 15 years, Lexi and Jake Greenwood and their best friends the Pearsons and the Heathcotes have bought a lottery ticket together. The three couples met when they were just starting out and have been there through the good times and the bad, sharing their hopes and dreams. Most Saturday nights they get together for dinner and usually have a great time but recently the friendships have become strained.
Then one troubled Saturday evening, after a difference of opinion the relationship is suddenly over and so is the lottery syndicate. Jake takes it in his stride, but Lexi is heartbroken – that’s not the only thing she’s upset about.
Astoundingly when Lexi and Jake go it alone the following week, they win big – £17.8 million dollars big. They used the same six numbers they always have. This is where things start to get really interesting. While Jake, Lexi and children Emily and Logan are getting used to their newfound wealth, word gets out that they’ve won big – thanks to a bright yellow Ferrari and a teenager’s loose tongue. Then the accusations start to fly.
The Pearsons and Heathcotes claim that the syndicate was still intact, and they are entitled to a third of the win. There are tears, revelations, threats physical violence and some unforgivable behaviour. It appears that the lottery win has been the catalyst for everyone to reveal their true colours. The big question while reading Just My Luck is would winning the lottery really change you?
The character of Lexi appealed to me right from the start. She’s a social worker who is extremely dedicated to her work and can’t help but be repulsed by the rampant consumerism, greed and underhanded tactics that begin to surface. While she doesn’t always follow the rules, she has many redeeming features.
There’s also a second strand to the story that is a stark comparison to the grubby plot that is bubbling above it. Toma a client of Lexi’s has asked for help to find details on a negligent landlord he holds responsible for the death of his wife and child.
The characters are brilliantly drawn, admittedly some are unlikeable, but Adele Parks absolutely reels you in – you need to know all the nasty details. It’s polished, tightly written and dark – a riveting look at the downside of extreme wealth.
We were lucky enough to have the fabulous Adele Parks in for a podcast earlier this year and she really is the consummate storyteller – absolutely captivating. I could listen to her talking for hours. While Just My Luck is the perfect escapist read you might also find yourself questioning who your real friends are and what you would do if you won the lottery…