Book Review: The Season of Second Chances – Diane Meier

Title: The Season of Second Chances: A Novel
Author: Diane Meier
ISBN: 9780805090819
Pages: 304
Release Date: March 30, 2010
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Author
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Columbia University professor Joy Harkness is in her late forties and alone – but that’s the way she prefers it.  She holds everyone, including her closest friends, at arm’s length, never letting anyone in.  When Joy accepts a position at Amherst College, she leaves the safety and anonymity of New York City for Massachusetts.  Little does she know that the tight-knit community at Amherst will challenge her in more ways than one.

Review:

I love books about professors, so I jumped at the chance to review Diane Meier’s The Season of Second Chances.  Academia holds a certain charm and romance for me, and I find universities make wonderful settings for many different kinds of books.

The academic setting of Amherst College doesn’t disappoint in The Season of Second Chances.  Meier does a wonderful job bringing the English Department to life in this book.  The team was putting together an innovative and completely different curriculum for students centered on Shakespeare, and I found it fascinating to watch the developments unfold and see how these professors worked together.  The classes sounded very interesting, and I must admit, I would have been very tempted to take them in college!

Joy was a complete snob.  There’s no getting around that.  However, that’s not to say she’s difficult to like or read about.  She is very set in her ways, and a very private person.  Additionally, living among intellectuals in such an academic environment for so long has made her disdain deriving pleasure from anything considered too pedestrian.  It’s so interesting to watch her character develop and grow as she realizes how high and thick the walls she’s been built around her really are.  Her character development was one of the most rewarding parts of The Season of Second Chances.

This book is also a dream for anyone interested in architecture.  Joy works with Teddy, a local handyman with an amazing gift for restoring houses, on the rambling Victorian house she buys.  Meier’s descriptions are exceptional, her details exquisite.  I could see the house taking shape in my mind.

I really enjoyed The Season of Second Chances.  There is a lot going on at once, as the secondary characters are also well fleshed out, but Meier never overwhelms the reader or confuses them with too much information.  This is a solid women’s fiction novel that should appeal to fans of the genre.

Comments

  1. You’ve made me really anxious to read this!!

  2. You’ve made me really anxious to read this!!

  3. Ditto what Bermudaonion said! I must read this too. Great review!

  4. Ditto what Bermudaonion said! I must read this too. Great review!

  5. I have heard great things about this book, and since I love novels about academia as well, this one is definitely going on my list. Great review on this one! I am glad you liked it so much!!

  6. I have heard great things about this book, and since I love novels about academia as well, this one is definitely going on my list. Great review on this one! I am glad you liked it so much!!

  7. I’m glad you like this, since I just got a copy, although Nicole already had me sold on it.

  8. I’m glad you like this, since I just got a copy, although Nicole already had me sold on it.

  9. I really liked this book as well. I thought it was a solid debut novel and I look forward to great things from Ms. Meier.

  10. I really liked this book as well. I thought it was a solid debut novel and I look forward to great things from Ms. Meier.

  11. I really liked this one too for a first novel. I especially liked the house restoration part!

  12. I really liked this one too for a first novel. I especially liked the house restoration part!

  13. Really looking forward to reading this one! I think universities are great settings for novels, too, and usually have such interesting things going on. Sounds great!

  14. Really looking forward to reading this one! I think universities are great settings for novels, too, and usually have such interesting things going on. Sounds great!

  15. I wanted to read this before — now I *really* want to read it!

  16. I wanted to read this before — now I *really* want to read it!

  17. I just reviewed this too and really liked it. I agree there is a lot going on but it is well done so it never felt choppy or disjointed.

  18. I just reviewed this too and really liked it. I agree there is a lot going on but it is well done so it never felt choppy or disjointed.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Carried in the Pocket – She Is Too Fond of Books – Bibliophile By the Sea – S. Krishna’s Books – Books in the […]

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->