British · contemporary · fiction · romance

Second Chance by Jane Green

First impression is one of boredom.  I’m not really sure what the actual story is other than a memoir of a fictional character through the eyes of his friends and family.  I’m not sure why I keep trying with Jane Green.  I suppose it’s because I really enjoyed Jemima J.  I did try her other works such as Bookends and Mr. Maybe which I could not finish.  For the sake of this blog I WILL finish every book I start reading. 

After trudging through chapters of boring character building I was quite worried that I would have to set it aside for a few weeks in favor of something more engaging.  Then I made it past the first hundred pages and there was a glimmer of a real story.  I did have to roll my eyes a bit at how “hard” life was for these female characters who had au pairs taking care of their children.  Interesting that the single people felt the married-with-kids people should go out and party constantly and just get a baby sitter for the kids. No wonder they’re (the kiddos) so happy about fixing a tree house ladder or having a stranger read them bed time stories.  Yeah I know….it’s fiction…but it’s nice when there are more grounded characters like Olivia.

I will say that the author certainly takes the “across the pond” to a whole other level.  She loves mixing Americans and Brits in her books.  She makes it seem like it’s no big deal to keep flying back and forth for the sake of meeting new people or going on dates.  I guess that’s what New Yorkers and Brits do?

The last quarter of the book moved fairly quickly through tipping points in each of the character’s lives.  It seemed that everyone came to their senses post alcohol consumption.  One moment everyone was at the brink and then the author fast forwards approximately eight months or so and updates the reader on where each of the characters ended up.  It seemed like a rush ending and one of the more important characters was left out and a brand new one was introduced in the last few pages, with a fleeting introduction.

Final thoughts on this book…it’s an okay beach read.  Would I recommend it to anyone; probably not.  Sorry Jane but another disappointment for me.  Maybe Jemima J set the benchmark too high from the beginning or maybe it’s because I can’t relate with any of the characters.  

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