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About The Book


A thrilling roller-coaster ride about a heist gone terribly wrong, with a plucky protagonist who will win readers’ hearts.

What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in?

Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity—when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.

When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means she’ll be arrested for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.

As Lucky tries to avoid capture and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved—whose dark past is catching up with her, too.

This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, multilayered character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest...before her luck runs out.

Reading Group Guide

1. Lucky endeavors to steal only from rich people and to give some of her profits to those in need. Why do you think the author chose to instill this practice in Lucky?

2. Early in the book, John says: “What matters in one moment, it doesn’t matter the next. Things that fall apart eventually come back together again. Everything passes. You can be sure of that” (p.27). What do you think of this advice? Why do you think John wanted Lucky to believe this?

3. The present-day timeline takes place in 2008. Why do you think the author chose this year for the story? How do you think the story would have differed if it were set today?

4. Were you surprised that Lucky didn’t reveal herself to Steph when they met at the open house? Why do you think she made this decision and what do you think might have happened if she came clean?

5. Why do you think Lucky chose to approach Priscilla before seeking out Gloria? Do you think she really believed Priscilla would help her or was she nervous to meet her mother? Who would you have gone to see first?

6. Lucky’s dog, Betty, is present in many parts of the book. What do you think is Betty’s significance in Lucky’s life?

7. Cary and Lucky both grew up with con artists for parents. Do you feel sympathy for Cary? Do you think he could have stopped stealing if he really wanted to?

8. In what ways does the author defy our ideas of criminals? Were any of your perceptions of criminals, particularly female criminals, challenged?

9. What do you make of Margaret Jean’s character? Does she bear any semblance to the book’s main characters?

10. Throughout the book, we see Lucky try to find normalcy in her life and then return to stealing. At the end, Lucky seems to have found some safety and stability; do you think she is done stealing for good or will the cycle start over again? Why?

11. Lucky views the lottery ticket as her escape from the way she has been living her life. Do you think receiving this large sum of money is the only way out or can you imagine other ways she could have changed her path?

12. At the end of the book, it appears that Valerie is going to help Lucky avoid a prison sentence by having her testify against Priscilla. Do you agree with this resolution or did you have a different vision for the consequences of Lucky’s actions?

About The Author

Photograph © Philippa Croft

Marissa Stapley is the New York Times bestselling author of Lucky, a Reese’s Book Club pick, and several other internationally bestselling novels, many of which have been optioned for television and translated into several languages. She has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, and creative writing teacher, and currently resides in Toronto with her family. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (December 7, 2021)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668002452

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Raves and Reviews

“A wild and deeply satisfying rollercoaster ride through the world of a con artist with a heart of gold. Propulsive and affecting, Lucky is the most fun I’ve had reading a book in quite a while.”
TAYLOR JENKINS REID, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & the Six

“A fun page turner.”
Toronto Star

“Stapley’s gorgeous writing cuts to the bone, and her grifter heroine, both vulnerable and fierce, is driven by a genius premise. With equally compelling alternate timelines, Stapley takes readers on a gripping, heart-wrenching journey of resilience, hope, and redemption. A stunning read!”
SAMANTHA M. BAILEY, #1 bestselling author of Woman on the Edge

“Meet Lucky Armstrong, an unconventional heroine who is on the run from her past with a winning lottery ticket that could change her future. A story of survival, redemption, and forgiveness, Lucky explores the power of second chances. A riveting caper full of heart, I loved this book!”
KARMA BROWN, bestselling author of Recipe for a Perfect Wife

“A grifter on the run who wins the lottery is only the opening gambit of this high-fueled twisty tale through the life of Lucky, daughter of a con artist who seemed doomed to make her father’s mistakes. Will the money save her and provide her with redemption or lead her down darker paths? You’ll want to put this on your to-read list immediately.”
CATHERINE McKENZIE, USA Today bestselling author of I’ll Never Tell

“With an original premise, a gutsy-yet-vulnerable heroine, dodgy villains, and bad choices galore, Marissa Stapley's highly entertaining Lucky is sure to wow readers. Fast-paced, skillfully crafted, and beautifully written, this book had me stay up late and get up early to find out what would happen to that winning lottery ticket. I loved it!”
HANNAH MARY McKINNON, bestselling author of Sister Dear

“As the narrative grows increasingly intricate, Lucky finds herself answering more to moral issues than to plain old con man concerns.”
Toronto Star

“A page-turning novel . . . Stapley brings up interesting questions about punishment, redemption, and forgiveness, as the story unfolds in a delicious manner. Lucky is a ride with a badass friend who just happens to be that much smarter and sneakier than anyone else around.”
Quill & Quire

“This fun romp, with deeper themes of identity, family ties, and the meaning of truth in a life built on lies, kept me greedily turning pages late into the night. Perfect for book clubs—or anyone looking for their next unputdownable read.”
COLLEEN OAKLEY, USA Today bestselling author of You Were There Too

“Stapley’s novels are always filled with strong, intriguing women and Lucky is no exception. Lucky Armstrong is the flawed, fascinating character at the heart of this gripping novel, and as we follow the twists and turns of her adventures, we’re not sure where she’s going to take us—but it’s a hell of a fun ride.”
ELIZABETH RENZETTI, bestselling author of Based on a True Story and Shrewed

“Stapley has created a complicated woman just as magnetic and compelling for her readers as she is for the people she fleeces—and luckily, readers will only get richer by being swept away with her story of curious fortunes.”
KERRY CLARE, author of Waiting for a Star to Fall

“A compelling and thrilling road-trip novel about a talented grifter whose past comes back to haunt her.”
49th Shelf

“[A] rollicking road-trip novel . . . With Lucky’s traumatic childhood with her conman father revealed in flashbacks, it’s no wonder the TV rights were sold to Disney with Stapley tapped to write the pilot. . . . This book club pick will no [doubt] lead to lively debates on duplicity, truth, luck, nature vs. nurture in child-rearing, and how to spot a con from a mile away.”

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