- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Henry Holt; 1 edition (3 May 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805090819
- ISBN-13: 978-0805090819
- Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.9 x 24.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,921,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Season of Second Chances Hardcover – 3 May 2010
This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
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"The strong characters, believable situations, fine writing, and great storytelling make for a remarkably compelling book."--Booklist "Sure to be much-loved and often-shared, this graceful, funny novel nudges its characters and readers toward self renewal, change, and a chance for greater happiness. ... Diane Meier's liberating novel values both the arcane scholarship of college professors and the practical, artistic insights of handymen and real estate agents. Like "The Secret Life Of Bees," this brave, warm novel suggests that for a person who has the courage to seize a second chance, there's also the opportunity for a rewarding third chance, or fourth, of fifth..."--Sena Jeter Naslund, author of "Ahab's Wife "and" Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette""Diane Meier's novel has it all: a narrator with a voice as knowing, acerbic, and funny as the best of Ephron; a plot that keeps you avidly turning the pages, and a character about as tender, touching, and exasperating as any I can recall encountering outside of real life. I loved it."--John Colapinto, author of "About the Author""Sophisticated, original, erudite, and with observations that are simultaneously profound, precise, and surprisingly funny."--Sara Pritchard, author of "Crackpots" "As in an old house, you will encounter all manner of surprises on Joy's journey and I promise, they will keep you reading far too late in the evening to be sensible."--Katherine Lanpher, author of "Leap Days: Chronicles of a Midlife Move"
About the Author
Diane Meier is the author of "The New American Wedding" and president of Meier, a New York City-based marketing firm. Her career spans from writing and design to public speaking. This is her first novel. Meier lives in New York City and Litchfield, Connecticut.
Top Customer Reviews
I do that sometimes after experiencing a great movie, opera, musical or book. When something touches me profoundly, I want it all to myself. Talking or writing about it somehow takes the shine off my new found treasure. And then there is that Bridget Jones insecurity tapping me on the shoulder telling me that my review could never give it due justice, or I would gush about it so much that people will think I am nuts. Well, more nuts.
So, I have been holding it in savoring my selfish indulgence until this week when I read Ms. Meier's poignant commentary on publishing, media and buyers perceptions of literature vs. chick-lit in the Huffington Post. I was miffed. Not only had her charming book received positive reviews from all sectors, it also garnered some not so complementary criticisms from those who wanted to classify it as chick-lit because its forty-something female protagonist renovates her home, and the cover has flowers on it. Flowers? Flowers now disqualify books from being literature and earmark them as chick-lit? Conversely, one reader review on Amazon hated it because it wasn't chick-lit! Go Figure! Like her sharp, funny and insightful book Diane had the perfect come-back to this dilemma.
"Okay, I wanted to respond, I'm sorry that you're disappointed, but it's like trying to blame a hot dog for not being ice cream."
"What I didn't see was that the chick-lit argument had landed squarely on my doorstep.
Was "The Season of Second Chances" Chick Lit or not? That, in itself, became the general theme of most reviews, professional and consumer.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The Season of Second Chances is about a college English professor, Joy, who is really going through the motions of life, not really "living" life. Her entire life, she's been searching for happiness, leaving her hometown of St. Louis, and her husband, for a new life at Columbia University. New York didn't meet her expectations and she settled into a rather solitary life, until one day, a legendary professor for Amherst University in Massachusetts calls her and wants to add her to a groundbreaking new program. Eager to abandon her life once again for greener pastures, Joy sets off for Massachusetts, but this time, things are different.
Taking a leap of faith, she purchases an old, decrepit home, hires a contractor to remodel the home, and somewhere along the way, as she gives the old house a second chance, the people at Amherst give her a second chance, and teach her what life is really about. Joy isn't the only one who can impart knowledge, and while she may be a brilliant English professor, she find out she knows very little about human relationships. As she learns how to love and trust again, she hits a few bumps in the road, but it is well worth the reward in the end.
I highly recommend this book, it is a great summer read, and definitely not your average beach read!
The story contains both funny one-liners and some deep insights on self-esteem which make it an enjoyable and worthwhile read. The writing is clean and satisfying although there are a couple clunky scenes with less than seamless transitions. And the central character--Joy Harkness, although going through many changes, still remains rather self-absorbed. Sometimes it's as if we readers are meant to empathize with how introverted and unconnected to her heart and body she's been all her life--living in her head in academia, yet we are never given entrée into empathy for other characters because we see them through Joy's eyes and she doesn't do empathy. So, although the novel does move and open, it doesn't do so as completely as one might want.