Book Review, Contemporary, Friendship, Second Chance

The Last Resort by Emily Gallo


An old sixties musician and his trim mama run a pot farm in the Emerald Triangle of northern California and welcome an exonerated ex-con, a Las Vegas prostitute, a union organizer from the Bronx, an escapee of a sex slave cult, a retired carney with Parkinson’s Disease, and an old Mississippi blues guitarist down on his luck. Together they create a last resort, a modern version of home and family.


I was contacted by the author to review this intriguing story set at a pot farm in the Emerald Triangle in California. Ironically, I had heard of this area because I had watched a documentary on Netflix about Murder Mountain which is touched on in the book and is a location in the Emerald Triangle filled with mystery and unexplained deaths.

Dutch Bogart, musician and pot grower, is making changes. He has been growing weed since the 70s and has been welcoming harvesters to his home ever since. This year is no exception, but with a twist. One couple brings unexpected trouble, and a frightening event threatens the farm.

Dutch’s home is not only a working farm but a sanctuary for people down on their luck looking for second chances. Along with his trim mama, Juniper, and his old and knowledgeable friend Homer, they create a welcoming space to learn and become whole again.

The supporting characters include Luther who has recently been exonerated from a 20-year sentence in San Quentin. Buster is a down-on-his-luck, blues musician. Scarlett is a woman who has escaped from a sex cult. And Leo, a union organizer, and Tasha, a Vegas dealer, and call girl, are running from a Las Vegas pimp and his thugs.

The growing friendship and camaraderie between this unique group of strangers is an interesting dynamic that culminates into a familial atmosphere where everyone works together to save their new home and assist Dutch in his new endeavors.

I learned a lot in this book from using pot to slow tremors in Parkinson’s Disease patients to the inconveniences of legalizing marijuana in an area that has grown pot for decades.

Overall, this expressive character-driven story is about people who are given a second chance in life, finding new friends and family, and finding acceptance and love when one needs it most. If you enjoy reading unique stories filled with new beginnings and a bit of suspense, give this book a try.


The Last Resort

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EmilyGalloEmily Kaufman was the girl growing up in Manhattan in the fifties and sixties. In the sixties and seventies, I attended Clark University and lived in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Seattle doing the hippie/peace/love/protest thing. In the eighties and nineties, Emily Saur lived in Northampton, MA, and Davis, CA, and was the more conventional wife, mother of two, and elementary school teacher.

In 2006, I retired from teaching and became Emily Gallo when I married David, a professor of economics, and moved to Chico, CA to continue our journey. I started writing screenplays and television and moved into novels. David, Gracie (our Schillerhound), Savali (our cat), and I now divide our time between two and a half acres of gardens, orchards in Chico and a 750 square foot condo on the beach in Carpinteria, CA.

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