Lezlie’s Lifeline
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Pages: 35
Goes Well With: Frozen yogurt and black coffee

We’ve all made mistakes in the past. Each of us has our share of things that we’d change if given the opportunity. While we can’t change the past, though, we can sometimes make up for past mistakes—and that’s what the title character struggles to do in author LoRee Peery’s novella, Lezlie’s Lifeline.

Sixteen years ago, Lezlie Diamond’s life changed forever. After her mother died, her father fell apart, packing up and moving them to a new house in a different part of town. At the same time, Lezlie discovered that she was pregnant, and she made the decision to keep the father’s identity a secret.

Now a hard-working nurse with a teenage son, Lezlie is reunited with Jordan Marshall, her childhood friend and the father of her son. Though Jordan is still hurt and confused by Lezlie’s sudden disappearance all those years ago, he still loves her. But Lezlie isn’t sure how he’ll react when he finds out that he’s a father—or if he’ll be able to forgive her for not telling him sooner.

Lezlie’s Lifeline tells a simple story about second chances—about finding both forgiveness and love. Since it’s such a short book, Peery doesn’t have a lot of time to flesh out her characters, but the story doesn’t really suffer for it. In fact, she does an impressive job of getting her point across without taking up a lot of space. Once a rather rebellious teen, Jordan has turned his life around to become a trustworthy police officer and a man of faith. Lezlie is a loving single mom who’s devoted the last half of her life to caring for her son. And though they’ve been separated for years, they both still care for each other.

Still, the short length of the story does come with its share of challenges. For that reason, the characters end up throwing caution to the wind and expressing their feelings of love (seasoned with just a hint of lust) a little too quickly. Even teenager Jaxson (who, in real life, would probably be moodier—or at least slightly standoffish) is surprisingly quick to embrace Jordan and call him “Dad.”

The writing, meanwhile, has some awkward moments, with dialogue that doesn’t always feel natural. And the story sometimes preaches a little more than necessary, pushing its faith-based message just a bit too hard.

For such a super-short story, though, Lezlie’s Lifeline is a sweet and heartwarming tale about making amends for the mistakes of youth—a lunch break-length reminder that second chances are possible.

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