The Season of Second Chances by Diane Meier

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. [via GoodReads]

This was such a nice, feel-good book. Ms. Meier penned some very interesting characters that I found to be very honest, realistic, relateable and likeable.

When Joy is given the choice of landing her dream job, leaving NYC and her average life behind, she grabs that bull by the horns and runs with it. This is her chance to start anew (a second chance at life) - she buys herself a fixer-upper and settles in to small-town life. She wasn't expecting all the new experiences she would have. While living in New York she was somewhat of a recluse. She was dedicated to her job but had little time for friends or socializing. Here at Amherst, her coworkers/colleagues basically force her to make friends. And then there's Teddy, the contractor who helps make her dilapidated house into a home.

I loved reading the descriptions of Amherst, MA., and all the details on the home repairs, interior design, etc. My only complaint would be that I found that Joy behaved like a woman older than someone in her 40's. She could easily pass for a woman ten years older if you judged her on the way she acted.

All in all, this was a sweet little story. It is not a must-read, but it is definitely an enjoyable read nonetheless. Recommended to those looking for a light, summer read that will leave you feeling satisfied and hopeful.


Juju at Tales of said...

sounds lovely :)

I am SO glad you're back!

Booksnyc said...

I liked this one too! Interesting comment on her age - now that you mention it, she did seem older than her 40's . . .

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