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The Season of Second Chances Hardcover – 3 May 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)

Product Description

Review

"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.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I recently finished THE SEASON OF SECOND CHANCES, by Diane Meier and liked it so much that I didn't want to write about it!

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."

Exactly!

"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.
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Format: Hardcover
I very much enjoyed this book and it's intelligent voice. There are so many great quotes pertaining to life and being middle aged that I wanted to write them down. I liked the main character Joy and found her believable and likeable as well. The pages flew by and I finished it much too quickly !!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 61 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A "Joy" to Read 6 July 2011
By S. Collier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved The Season of Second Chances: A Novel! This is one of the best books that I have read this year. I picked it up, not sure what to expect. I was trying to work my way through The Three Weissmanns of Westport: A Novel and having a difficult time, so I decided to try this book, based on all the great recommendations. It was a really good book, easy to read and engaging from the first page.

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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart, Interesting 5 April 2010
By Heather A. Conrad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I picked up this book I was surprised by its hard, clever tone. As I read the highly-educated, bitter commentary on academia and culture, I found it so smart, honest and unsentimental I was surprised it got published. But then by chapter two all the plot elements of "chick lit" had emerged and the story became a lone woman's journey, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, seeking relationship fulfillment. Friends help along the way and there are heartwarming incidents. Yet Meier's novel is an original version of this genre. There is intellectual content, literary reference and sometimes academic snobbery, none of which are typical in even "intelligent chick lit". There are unique and unusual characters and also wonderful descriptions of food and period home decor.

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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive, reflective and thought provoking novel 17 Jun. 2010
By Kaggy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A rich array of characters and a good story of individual life awakening. While the novel might appear to appeal more to women, it will be insightful and compelling for men also, although I hate to stereotype. Anyone who has ever worked at a university will especially recognize many of the characters, the situations and the setting -- in some scenes, I chuckled out loud. Home renovators and decorators will relate too. Very well written with great descriptions, enjoyable literary references and sensitivity. Highly recommended for the summer beach or the winter fireplace.
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Insightful and poignant 21 Jan. 2014
By Marilynn C. Fuhrer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book because it was written in a humorous manner, even the poignant parts. It is a story of a mid life woman realizing that she has the ability to change her expectations, her style and her view oft the world.
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, Some Well Written Chick Lit 8 Nov. 2012
By Lauren - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I had just about thrown in the proverbial towel after the 50 Shades trilogy. Wow! That was some awful writing. Wasn't it? This is smart writing. There is even - dare I say it - character development. Why hasn't Meier written more books? Wish she would.
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