I really like the cover of this book as I thought it fit the story nicely: the flowers in bloom and bold vibrant colors represent growth, hope and, yes, second chances.
In the Season of Second Chances, Joy Harkness is presented with the opportunity to start a new life and she grabs it. She buys a dilapidated old house, befriends a handyman, develops relationships with co-workers and embarks on a new phase of her career. She’d lived in New York City for years and gave it up for small town life. Little did she know that small town life can have more drama than the big city.
This novel is filled with characters who are offered second chances and new lives. Some, like Joy, grab the opportunity with both hands and dive in, not realizing what may be around the corner. Others tread more warily. Still others are pulled along by the impetus of their friends and family, not so sure they’re ready for what the people around them are urging them to do.
This is a novel that made me think. Everyone at some point in their lives is confronted with change. How they deal with it is telling of their personality and character. Some people embrace it and others have trouble dealing with it. This book reflects both of those attitudes and somewhere in between too. Joy, for example, experienced a sense of disconnect in her old home that was not present in her new circumstances. From page 79:
'"You didn't invite those kids in," he accused. "They came all the way across town to return your book. Obviously," he said, rolling his eyes, "they could have given you the book in class." He turned to face me fully and said, with real gravity, "They like you. They want to know you better. They wanted you to come to the lecture with them, and you let them stand on your porch. You didn't even invite them in."
"They're students," I said. "I'm their teacher, not their friend."
"You're a person," he said. "You're a person, first.'
Thankfully, my work environment is more like the one Joy has in her new home: friendly. So much so that sometimes I feel like I’m around extended family members, never mind friends and colleagues.
I enjoyed this book and found that the characters were true-to-life and honest. Sometimes the choices they made were not the way I would’ve gone (and as a matter of fact I sometimes wanted to throttle them) but that’s the way life is sometimes. The story moved along quickly and kept me interested right up until the end – and I did like the ending.