Last Last Chance, Fiona Maazel’s first novel, is one of the most distinctive debuts of recent years: a rollicking comic tale about (in no particular order) plague, narcotics recovery, and reincarnation.
A lethal strain of virus vanishes from a lab in Washington, D.C., unleashing an epidemic—and the world thinks Lucy Clark’s dead father is to blame. The plague may be the least of Lucy’s problems. There’s her mother, Isifrid, a peddler of high-end hatwear who’s also a crackhead and pagan theologist. There’s her twelve-year-old half sister, Hannah, obsessed with disease and Christian fundamentalism; and Lucy’s lover, Stanley, who’s hell-bent on finding a womb for his dead wife’s frozen eggs. Lastly, there’s her grandmother Agneth, who believes in reincarnation (and who turns out to be right). And then there is Lucy herself, whose wise, warped approach to life makes her an ideal guide to love among the ruins. Romping across the country, from Southern California to the Texas desert to rural Pennsylvania and New York City, Lucy tries to surmount her drug addiction and to keep her family intact—and tells us, uproariously, all about it.
Last Last Chance is a novel about survival and recovery, opportunity and despair, and, finally, love and faith in an age of anxiety. It introduces Maazel as a new writer of phenomenal gifts.