‘Louisiana Lucky’ by Julie Pennell is more than a sweet lottery winners’ tale

It’s a story that’s been told before — people win the lottery and their lives change, and not necessarily for the better. But Julie Pennell’s “Louisiana Lucky” takes that story and really brings it home. She tells the story of three sisters who play the lottery for entertainment and actually win big. How the winning will affect their heretofore modest lifestyle and their relationships is the center of the story. What they learn at the end is what it really means to be lucky. (Spoiler alert: it may not be winning the lottery.)

Each of the three sisters is in a different places in her life. Hanna, the eldest, is married with two children. Her husband works in construction, and she works at a nursing home. Her children attend the public school; it’s overcrowded and underfunded, and she worries about her son getting bullied. She wishes with all her heart that her kids could attend a better school.

Callie got a college degree in journalism and is passionate about uncovering wrongdoing and making the world a better place. She works long hours and loves her job. She also loves, in secret, her coworker Garrett. They are close friends, but he’s never hinted that he wants more in their relationship.

Lexi is a hairdresser and engaged to Seth, a veterinary student. They both love animals and want to make the world a better place for them, but living on Lexi’s income while Seth is in school is really tough. Lexi is a bit frustrated that Seth refuses to take any money from his extremely wealthy parents, and she wishes that they had more money to give her the wedding of her dreams.

When they win hundreds of millions of dollars, $204,000,000 to be exact, they are not prepared for the inevitable changes in their lives and the ways those changes will affect those around them. Once you start reading the story, you are hooked because the characters are really easy to like. Their goals and desires are laudable (except maybe for the extremely fancy wedding), and each is possessed of a good heart and filled with good intentions.

Get ready to visit Louisiana and meet three women whose good fortune might just also be their dangerous plight. And prepare for a delightful read.

Please note: This review is based on the advance proof provided by Atria (Emily Bestler Books), the publisher for review purposes.