Windfall – Jennifer E. Smith

What a sweet story! The prospect of winning the lottery is a crazy pipe-dream for all, and I loved seeing what Teddy was going to do with all that money. He’s young, and I think he managed to strike a good balance between improving his life and making the world a better place. Yes, he spends money on some completely frivolous things, but what else will you do with $50M? Personally, I would’ve been more inclined to save some of the fortune — think trust funds and investments so that the family is set for generations to come. But what he did? Absolutely understandable and sensible.

Synopsis

Let luck find you.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

Review

What a sweet story! The prospect of winning the lottery is a crazy pipe-dream for all, and I loved seeing what Teddy was going to do with all that money. He’s young, and I think he managed to strike a good balance between improving his life and making the world a better place. Yes, he spends money on some completely frivolous things, but what else will you do with $50M? Personally, I would’ve been more inclined to save some of the fortune — think trust funds and investments so that the family is set for generations to come. But what he did? Absolutely understandable and sensible.

This may be controversial, but I don’t know if I believe that Teddy and Alice are a good pair. And I don’t think Alice should’ve made such a rash decision about her education. She will always be close to her family. But she needs to think about her future, her network, and the value of her school’s brand. I understand that people make a lot of different choices, but it’s such a “female” thing to make career sacrifices for your family and I hate seeing that compounded and rewarded.

The second-to-last chapter was beautiful. I loved reading about all the people impacted by that lottery drawing, although Caleb’s conclusion almost broke my heart. And the last paragraph was even better. Jennifer E. Smith sure knows how to make a girl swoon. A smile like your ship is coming in? Yes ma’am!

Related Reading

  • This is What Happy Looks Like – Jennifer E. Smith
  • Paper Princess – Erin Watt
  • Kiss Cam – Kiara London

Rating: 4/5 

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