Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Sunday Salon - Second Time Around by Beth Kendrick
If you had to do it all over again, would you still be working in the same field you originally went into after college? Beth Kendrick gives four English majors the chance to start over again ten years after graduation in Second Time Around. (Oh, and if you were an English major, as I was, this is a power trip.)
Five graduates of a small liberal arts college, Thurwell College in upstate New York, gather for a mini-reunion every year. It's been ten years since graduation. At thirty-two, Arden is a successful lawyer, while the four English majors bemoan their jobs, and say they all should have gone to law school. Jamie is a bartender in California. Brooke, their Southern belle, works in the alumni office at the college. Caitlin has her PhD in English, and is an assistant professor at another small college, while Anne is a copywriter. Now that they're all mature women, they have other dreams; to be an events planner, to own a bed-and-breakfast, to be a novelist, to have a baby. They're burned out, tired of their lives.
And, then they're given one million dollars, split four ways, to achieve their dreams. But, each woman will discover that dreams can be hard work. They each are empowered to change their lives, to discover what life could be like. And, sometimes it takes dreams, and hard work, to find the strength in ourselves.
If you've read this blog long enough, you'll know I'm a fan of women's fiction with groups of friends. I can also be quite critical of those books if the women aren't individuals. I want the characters to stand out so I can tell them apart. Kendrick succeeds in Second Time Around. The women all have unique personalities and life plans. But, they share a deep friendship, and love of life, that leads to laughter. It's fun to watch them continue to grow, to find their own strengths. When Brooke buys her dream bed-and-breakfast, she doesn't know what awaits her. There's humor and romance in the book, but men alone are not the answer for any of these women. Second Time Around is a satisfying story of women who discover their own possibilities.