Originally reviewed for Chick Lit Central
Most of us have heard the expression, “When one door closes, another one opens.” We rely on that analogy when pursuing opportunities in life. But, what if it’s not real? What if, in reality, there’s only one chance, and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever?
That’s what Iliana Passing asks herself nearly every day of her life. She gave up an incredible journalism career to start a family and become the #1 support system for her husband, Marc. She planned on going back to work when her children and her husband wouldn’t need to rely on her as much, yet she finds out the hard way that there really aren’t any open doors available to her. It’s not for lack of trying. She’s sent out multiple queries, to editors at various magazines. She even sends one to a former colleague, a man who began his career under her tutelage. He’s got a lot of nerve, rejecting her ideas! Iliana can’t help but feel like a washed-up has been.
One night, while licking her wounds and surfing the boob tube, she discovers an old tv show she used to watch when she was a teen. Jeff Downs, known as the shy guy on the show, was the hottest guy on the planet, back in the day. Whatever happened to him? Once his show went south, where did he end up? Illiana soon devises a plan to find Jeff and get his backstory. Maybe with a celebrity in her pocket, someone will notice her and allow her to pursue her journalistic dreams once again.
What starts out as a simple interview turns into so much more than Iliana could have ever bargained for. She’s having a hard time separating the woman she is now from the girl who fell head over heels in love with a tv personality. It’s hard not to, when Jeff gives her that signature shy smile. Safe boundaries have been drawn, yet she crosses the line and never looks back. She’s a lot more involved in his life than she’d ever intended, but it’s for her career, isn’t it?
It’s hard not to identify with Iliana, and her story in The Last Dreamer. So many of us have dreams, passions in life we’ve wanted to pursue, yet never got around to it. Life tends to get in the way, sometimes. Can we ever go back and try again? Or, do we try to find happiness in where we’re at, regardless? That’s the central theme, here. It’s a constant struggle between doing what’s best for others, vs. doing what’s best for your soul, and trying really hard to find a happy medium between the two.