Friday, July 18, 2008
Review: Second Chance
Second Chance by Jane Green
Reasons for reading: I've enjoyed her other books; last title for the Numbers Challenge
Book description: The story of a group of people who haven't seen each other since they were best friends at school. When one of them dies in a terrible tragedy, the reunited friends work through their grief together and find that each of their lives is impacted in ways they could have never foreseen.Warm, witty, and as wise as ever, this is a story of friendship, of family, and of life coming full circle.
My thoughts: This book isn't my fave of Jane Green's (I think that would be Jemima J.) but it was a good story. When I discovered it was about someone dying in a terrorist attack, I braced for morbid, post-911 gloom, but Green avoided that, thankfully.
The second chances in the book are not just for romance, as I'd expected, but also second chances with old friends, which was something rather novel. Tom, the deceased, stayed in touch with all of his old group, but they didn't stay in touch with each other much. With his death, actress/AA member Saffron, mum/illustrator Holly, animal lover/recent dumpee Olivia, and scruffy journalist/husband of a Swedish fashionista Paul come together to mourn Tom but also to help each other with the type of problems you don't imagine when you're in high school. Along the way, new people join their circle - Paul's gorgeous wife Anna and Tom's younger brother Will.
Each character got their own story arc. I think Saffron was my favourite - despite her alcoholism and affair with a famous movie star, she was glamorous but also sassy yet caring. Plus I like her name! :-) Holly provided the dose of unhappy wifehood that I've come to expect as the chick lit authors have gotten a bit older (from not being able to find a man to not wanting the one you've got). While I did think her husband was a jerk, I got a bit tired of her "discovering herself" by becoming emotionally intimate with Will. Paul and Anna's futile quest to have a child was touching - I could relate to Anna, who had always gotten what she wanted by putting her mind to it and was floored when her general good luck and work ethic couldn't be applied to pregnancy. Unlucky in love Olivia seemed a bit on the sidelines, but did get thrust into the spotlight after a 4-night stand.
While not a knock-it-out-of-the-park book, if you're a fan of Brit chick lit, this is a solid effort.