Bill Warrington's Last Chance

Bill Warrington’s Last Chance

A Novel

Written by:

  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101190302
  • 304 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


Read James King’s blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

A magnificent debut about a man’s odyssey toward family redemption- with his granddaughter along for the ride

Bill Warrington realizes he has Alzheimer’s and his lucid days are numbered. Determined to repair a lifetime of damage to his estranged adult children, Bill takes off with his fifteen-year-old granddaughter April on a cross-country drive, bound for San Francisco, where she dreams of becoming a rock star. As the unlikely pair heads west, Bill leaves clues intended to force his three children-including April’s frantic mother-to overcome their mutual distrust and long-held grievances to work together to find them.

In this dazzling road trip novel, James King masterfully explores themes of aging, sibling rivalry, family dysfunction, and coming of age, against a backdrop of the American heartland. Unflinching, funny, and poignant, Bill Warrington’s Last Chance speaks to that universal longing for familial reconciliation, love, and forgiveness.


“Funny and warm and touching…If you think there are lots more than two sides to any story, you should enjoy the expansive view of family life presented in [this] new novel.”
-Joe Meyers, Connecticut Post


“A fascinating novel of family dynamics that will resonate with readers on many levels.”
-Holly Scudero, Sacramento Book Review

Bill Warrington’s Last Chance turns out to be quite a ride for all the characters involved-and it proves that taking a chance may not turn out exactly as you had planned, but it’s darn worth a try.”

“Part road odyssey, part coming-of-age tale, King’s novel achieves the exact right balance of humor, redemption, and reconciliation.”

Bill Warrington’s Last Chance is full of fascinating things to talk about-like the coming of age of a young girl juxtaposed with an old man’s search for redemption, not to mention the touching but unsentimental way they grow to care for each other . . . Perhaps one of the best things you can say about a novel is that the story lingers after you finish it. I have gone on thinking about this one without trying.”
-Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees

“This is what reading is about and what a good book is supposed to do.”
-Sue Grafton, author of the Kinsey Millhone mystery series