Saturday, October 8, 2011

"The Season of Second Chances" Review

Goodreads Summary:
Coming-of-age can happen at any age. Joy Harkness had built a university career and a safe life in New York, protected and insulated from the intrusions and involvements of other people. When offered a position at Amherst College, she impulsively leaves the city, and along with generations of material belongings, she packs her equally heavy emotional baggage. A tumbledown Victorian house proves an unlikely choice for a woman whose family heirlooms have been boxed away for years. Nevertheless, this white elephant becomes the home that changes Joy forever. As the restoration begins to take shape, so does her outlook on life, and the choices she makes over paint chips, wallpaper samples, and floorboards are reflected in her connection to the co-workers who become friends and friendships that deepen. A brilliant, quirky, town fixture of a handyman guides the renovation of the house and sparks Joy’s interest to encourage his personal and professional growth. Amid the half-wanted attention of the campus’s single, middle-aged men, known as “the Coyotes,”and the legitimate dramas of her close-knit community, Joy learns that the key to the affection of family and friends is being worthy of it, and most important, that second chances are waiting to be discovered within us all.

This is the story of Joy Harkness, a university professor who led an empty life— even though she had a successful career—in New York City. She was offered a job in Connecticut at another university, with much more pay, so she accepted the job and moved. 

The opening chapters did not draw me into the book. The author’s writing style took some getting used to, as it kind of went over my head, and I could not relate to some of the things she was talking about.

I almost gave up on reading the book, but decided to stick to my rule of reading the first 50-75 pages. How surprised I was, as I continued reading, it suddenly got interesting and I finished it easily. I have mixed feelings about this book, because, I neither hated it nor loved it.  I especially liked reading about the transformation of the old run-down Victorian house she bought when she moved to her new job.

She fell into a relationship with her emotionally stunted mamma's boy Carpenter, Teddy Hennessy, who renovated the old Victorian house.  I had a hard time figuring out what their relationship was based on, other than being thrown together talking about the renovations being done on the house. 

 Something that was a bit distracting throughout the book for me was this... I just could not relate to some of the characters.  However, I did like the ending though, and thought it was a nice way of ending this story.

Since I can't decide if I liked the book or not, I am giving it 3*** I think it was an OK story. 

I won this book from Leah@Amused By Books.


  1. I think you did "like" this book, after you read enough to really "get into" it. It sounds interesting to me.

  2. Hi Ann,

    I thought that this sounded like a great book and was expecting a rave review from you about it.

    It is really depressing when you start out with high expectations of a book, which then fail to materialise. Leaves you with that feeling of, 'so what?' at the end.

    I like a book with good characterisation, so I guess this one won't be for me after all.

    Thanks for the honest review.


  3. I've seen this one mentioned on a couple of other blogs, and wondered about it. I'm thinking it's probably not one I'll attempt, but it's good that it wasn't a total wash out. Thanks for reviewing!

  4. I have that same 50-75 page rule! This one sounds kind of interesting, but right now I'm not sure I have the attention span that takes the time to draw me in. I'll keep it on my radar, though, and maybe try it this winter when I just want to curl up under a blanket and read. Thanks for stoppy by my blog.

  5. I'm sorry you didn't like this one as much as I did!