July 10, 2016
The Season of Second Chances
The Season of Second Chances by Diane Meier
2010 Henry Holt and Company
Finished on February 22, 2016
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)
Every once in a while, when we least expect it, change comes into our lives and, if we let it, can set us free.
Sometimes, everything seems perfect on the surface. But her tenure at an Ivy League university, the publishing of her books, and an apartment with a view of the Hudson--if she hung out the window--never met the promise Joy Harkness had anticipated a life in New York might bring. When change knocked at her door, Joy jumped a the chance. Still, what was she thinking when she said yes to a teaching opportunity that required leaving New York City and moving to western Massachusetts? And really, what was she thinking when she bought a run-down Victorian house she could have fit five of her old apartment into? It's like some other Joy Harkness temporarily took over her life. This life, complete with women who want to be her friends, men who want to date her, children and animals who seem to need her, and a talented, emotionally stunted handyman who wants to turn her white elephant into a real home, this life doesn't seem to fit Joy at all. Or is it that Joy's been searching for this without knowing it--until it found her?
This book. I loved the descriptions of Joy's home and the details of the decor, as well as the meals prepared (and yet, I have no passages marked to share), but I wanted to take her by the arms and shake some sense into her. I couldn't understand her attraction to Teddy, a mama's boy with an over-domineering mother, nor her need to try to mold him into something he wasn't. At times, the scenes and the actions of the characters were so implausible, they came across like a parody of a sappy southern novel. And yet, I couldn't stop reading, hoping for a happily-ever-after.
Yes, the cover caught my eye, but had I first read the publisher's blurb, I doubt I would've have bothered reading the book. And with a four month lapse between finishing the book and writing this review, I had no recollection of the plot until I read the publisher's blurb. Recommend? Maybe for a weekend at the beach. Forgettable.