Friday, 21 May 2010

'Second Chance' by Janet Green

I picked this book up at a 'Book Swap' party and it proved to be a very enjoyable and entertaining read. The book is 'Second Chance' by Janet Green, Penguin, 2008.
Also, there were a couple of coincidences. Firstly, the title ' Second Chance' bears the same name to a choir that I joined for a while, in Blackheath, Kent. Secondly, the book is set around school friends, of some 20 years ago, reuniting. I also had a reunion with some of my school friends a year or so ago!
The book explores these different school friends; what they had been doing with their lives; the experiences they had gone through; their jobs, careers, relationships etc.
It then looks at how they are coping with their current situations. Tom, for example, sadly dies, and they all had to cope with that/deal with that, as best they could. Holly does it by falling for his brother, Will (who reminded her of Tom). In the process of all this she leaves her husband Marcus, and then realises that actually Will isn't the one for her either! But it as a learning experience. She realises that her marriage was a big mistake, and now she has the time to think about what it would be best to do next.
Meanwhile, Paul and Anna are trying to have a baby but nothing is working. Whilst Olivia gets pregnant, but doesn't want the baby. Paul and Anna suggest that they adopt her baby; they said they would really like that. But in the end, Olivia has the baby and bonds with it. Saffron, the actress wants to make it big, but is finding it difficult to make the breakthrough. So, she turns to alcohol instead, and then has a bit of a fling with Marcus. That is the final straw for Holly, in regard to her marriage. Then, Saffron's relationship with the famous Pearce is cemented and the book ends with Pearce saying that he has been graced with a 'second chance'.
'Cosmopolitan' had this to say about the book (which I agree with):
"Will keep you entertained to the last page'
The author, Janet Green, is a former journalist of the Daily Express who gave up her job to write a real woman's story about being single in the city. This became her first novel, Straight Talking, and she has written several other novels since then. She has four children and lives in Connecticut. So the author has rather an interesting background as well, I thought. I am sure that many novelists turn real life situations into fiction. Douglas Kennedy remarked on the fact, for example, that he got much of the material for his novels from that messy thing called 'Life'!

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