The List of Last Chances

By Christina Myers

Categories: Fiction
Imprint: Caitlin Press
Paperback : 9781773860596, 216 pages, April 2021

In this witty and heartwarming novel, Ruthie launches a last-ditch effort to pull herself up from rock bottom, only to discover that life and love don't always go as planned.


At thirty-eight years old, Ruthie finds herself newly unemployed, freshly single, sleeping on a friend's couch and downing a bottle of wine each night. Having overstayed her welcome and desperate for a job, Ruthie responds to David's ad: he's looking for someone to drive his aging mother, Kay, and her belongings from PEI to Vancouver. Ruthie thinks it's the perfect chance for a brief escape and a much-needed boost for her empty bank account.

But once they're on the road, Kay reveals that she's got a list of stops along the way that's equal parts sightseeing tour, sexual bucket-list, and trip down memory lane. As David prods for updates and a speedy arrival to his home in Vancouver, Kay begins to share details about a long-lost love and Ruthie takes a detour to play matchmaker, but finds herself caught up in a web of well-intentioned lies.

With the road ahead uncertain, and the past and present colliding, will Ruthie be able to forge a new path? Heartfelt and humorous, The List of Last Chances follows a pair of reluctant travel companions across the country, into an unexpected friendship, new adventures, and the rare gift of second chances.


“Taking control of one’s life involves making choices and taking chances. In this tender and marvellously comical novel, a ‘good enough’ existence is not enough. A coast-to-coast road trip (featuring breakdowns both mechanical and psychological, heartache, joy, and a large penis-shaped rock) takes us on an entertaining and enlightening journey. We all have the opportunity to follow our ‘desire lines.’ The List of Last Chances shows us the way.”

—Cassie Stocks, author of Dance, Gladys, Dance, winner of the 2013 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour

The List of Last Chances is a startling road trip through emotions and preconceived notions. I enjoyed learning about a different person—I think that’s one of the greatest joys of reading. I embraced my own chance to understand and sympathize with a woman whose life differs completely from my own. The List of Last Chances provided me with a new point of view while being entertained and enraptured throughout Ruthie’s journey.”

—Myshara Herbert-McMyn, The Ormsby Review

“Along the way, figuratively and literally as the story progresses along roadways across Canada, we’re able to vicariously enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a proper road trip: scenic landmarks, motels and truck stops, historic and sentimental milestones, and deepening relationships amongst our characters. This lovely novel is itself a journey, wherever you are in life, from new relationships to old, youth to old age, this tale is a good one. Irrespective of the season or travel restrictions, if you’re looking for a worthwhile journey, shared in an engaging manner, Christina Myers’ The List of Last Chances is a trip you can embrace, enjoy, maybe even learn from, and not soon forget.”

—Bill Arnott, The Miramichi Reader

"The List of Last Chances is a snappy, soaring read that navigates the messy bonds of love and friendship with heart, humour, and hijinks. Myers reminds us that second chances may be closer than they appear if we're brave enough to look in the mirror and simply change lanes. A postcard-perfect debut."

—Ali Bryan, award-winning author of The Figgs