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Second Spring: A Love Story, The Fifth Chronicle of the O'Malley Family in the Twentieth Century Mass Market Paperback – May 4, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Greeley’s irrepressible and fiercely liberal O’Malley family carries on lustily in this sixth chronicle of their adventures. Charles (usually Chuck, often Chucky, and even Chucky Ducky, none of which names he objects to) is a former foreign ambassador under Jack Kennedy, a Ph.D. in economics and a world-famous photographer. Rosemarie, his wife, is a recovered alcoholic, now a successful New Yorker writer, but more important to her, a mom and grandma. Trading chapters, they describe their busy life in Rome in the late 1970s, where Chuck’s role is to photograph the new pope. In 1978, there were three popes: Paul VI died; his successor, John Paul I, also expired, after only a brief period; and John Paul II, the first non-Italian pope in centuries, was elected. Greeley’s knowledge of the intrigues and suspense behind the elections produces a graphic firsthand account (he is the author of the nonfiction book The Making of the Popes 1978). After the election, Chuck’s career as a photographer (he refers to himself modestly as a "fast-talking punk from the West Side of Chicago who takes pictures") comes to the fore, as the Art Institute gives him a major show. The show is a success (despite—or because of—the scandal caused by an innocently revealing photo of Rosemarie), but Chuck is assailed by self-doubt, then nearly dies of pneumonia. In a sentimental but poignant scene, a serene, perhaps heavenly lady visits Chuck and reassures him that he is a good man. This is more comfort food for Catholics, though newcomers to the series may be taken aback by Chuck and Rosemarie’s mildly explicit lovemaking.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Greeley, a Roman Catholic priest, is also one of this country's most popular writers of light-romance novels. His books are usually sagas, each one detailing the lives of one or another of the fictional Irish American families that Greeley's fans have come to know and love. In his current series, he chronicles the O'Malleys of Chicago, an irrepressible Irish American clan. Previous novels in the O'Malley saga follow the family from World War II through the 1960; in this installation, Charles "Chucky" O'Malley and his spirited family face the 1970s. Here we find Chucky approaching 50 and stuck in a vicious midlife and spiritual crisis. While O'Malley can count his blessings--an adoring wife, an amazing sex life, a prestigious career, and a large, happy family--he still feels unfulfilled. In addition, he is no longer able to take comfort in his faith. As a photographer of some importance, O'Malley travels the world snapping historical photos and searching for his own happiness. However, it is in his loving family and his devoted wife that he ultimately finds what he has been looking for. In typical Greeley style, this novel is a bit on the corny side; however he has many fans who consume his novels like candy. Kathleen Hughes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (May 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765342383
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765342386
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A native of Chicago, Father Andrew M. Greeley, is a priest, distinguished sociologist and bestselling author. He is professor of social sciences at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona, as well as Research Associate at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. His current sociological research focuses on current issues facing the Catholic Church-including celibacy of priests, ordination of women, religious imagination, and sexual behavior of Catholics.Father Greeley received the S.T.L. in 1954 from St. Mary of Lake Seminary. His graduate work was done at the University of Chicago, where he received the M.A. Degree in 1961 and the Ph.D. in 1962.Father Greeley has written scores of books and hundreds of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of issues in sociology, education and religion. His column on political, church and social issues is carried by the Chicago Sun Times and many other newspapers. He stimulates discussion of neglected issues and often anticipates sociological trends. He is the author of more than thirty bestselling novels and an autobiography, Furthermore!: Confessions of a Parish Priest.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Happily married to his beloved Rosemarie and father to five adult children and three grandchildren that he adores and loves Charles "Chucky" Cronin still worries about the future. He remains a faithful Catholic, but wonders if perhaps the church abandoned its flock. He contemplates whether he is just suffering from a biological occurrence for someone turning fifty or a reaction to continual racial inequality, assassinations, priestly wrongdoing, Viet Nam and Watergate? Rosemary worries about much of the same agenda, but also is concerned with Chucky, who seems to have lost his step.
Chucky, a professional photographer and former ambassador, soon regains much of his sixties and early seventies fervor that put him at odds with presidents. He and Rosemary try to dislodge a church protected pediophile priest. That fails because Cardinal Archbishop Thomas John O'Neill is psychotic and paranoid especially when it comes to protecting one of his own. Chuck and Rosemary have a cause to remove both abominations even as a personal miracle that has not happened to this couple in two decades occurs.
The sixth O'Malley chronicle is an insightful look at the Carter Administration through the eyes of Chucky and Rosemary, alternating chapters. The story line provides a vivid scrutiny while insuring the lead couple feels complete. Chucky suffers from a mid life crisis as he begins to question all he once believed in while Rosemary encourages him to gracefully continue the fight for what both know is right. Andrew Greeley furnishes a delightful charmer that displays how the late 1970s, only twenty-five years ago, feel today like ancient history even to one who lived through it.
Harriet Klausner
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Huntress Reviews on April 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Revisiting the crazy O'Malley clan he recently created, Father Greeley tells us the story of Chuck and his beloved Rosemaire and the events that they were part of in the last years of the seventies.
Chuck has been sent to Vatican city to witness and photograph the election of the new pope. He watches as politics shape the church, then is called to the White House where he meets President Carter and is witness to national crises. However, the national and worldwide events pale compared to the desolation that is in Chuck's heart. A thriving career and beautiful wife just are not enough to satisfy him. Divine intervention alone will restore his joy.
**** Lovingly told, this story will enchant readers familiar with the series, but new readers will most likely be a bit lost. However, new or old, you can not miss or fail to be charmed by Father Greeley's warm writing style that plays out events casually, but still has a profound message. Particularly engaging is the way he has divine figures show up in such a friendly manner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By patricia on August 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It is a lovely book. I enjoy all the references to characters from other novels, it's like visiting friends. I also like it when Fr. Greeley uses his experiences as part of the story.
I enjoyed the historical aspects and insights, both secular and those about the Catholic Church.
But I especially enjoy Rosemary and Chucky's love story. It is fun and touching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Opa Wayne VINE VOICE on August 17, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Second Spring, the fifth in the O'Malley family series, is set in Chicago during 1978-80. During the story, both Rosemarie and Chucky suffer identity crises. Rosemarie suffers with feelings of low self-worth and guilt. Chucky suffers a mid life crises as he turns fifty. These psychological problems become a threat to their relationship. Both want to save the marriage but need to struggle long and hard to save the union.

The novel alternates between the narratives of Chucky and those of Rosemarie. This technique reveals both person's point of view, and adds greatly to the understanding of the emotional crises that often occur during the second decade of a marriage.
As the action unfolds we take international journeys. O'Malley's twice visit Rome, and have side trips to Germany, Washington D.C. and Tucson Arizona. During the adventures around the world, Chucky catches pneumonia, spends time in a hospital intensive care unit and encounters what he believes is an angel.

The O'Malley family dynamics dominate the story. This is a novel about a family, their growth, their marriage, their schooling, and their social life.
April Rosemary and Kevin Patrick both marry and start families. James Michael and Sean Seamus continue their band (jazz, of course). Moire is active in high school and Siobban Marie has become an independent two year old.

As in many Greeley novels, the author offers some interesting statements of wisdom. Rosemarie and Chuck talk about the "terrible binding power of love" - the grace God provides to couples to seal their marriage bond.
Rosemarie asks why women should take seriously rules about sex and marriage from celibate men who have never cared for children, wear funny dresses and don't like women.

The Second Spring is a fine story about the life of a family. It makes a great read for a rainy afternoon.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading any of Fr. Andrew Greeley's mini-sagas are always enjoyable if not downright addictive. I always buy at least one of the single ones and try to get the others so I can read them in order, but the wonderful part - each of the single books can stand on it's own, without having to have the entire series, but I recommend having the entire series for the 'feel' of how the saga plays out. Fr. Greeley's non-fiction books are excellent also. I've checked out mentioned 'true' statements and they are right on the money. The only one of Fr. Greeley's books I just couldn't seem to like was his autobiography - "Confessions of a Parish Priest". No reason I can think of, tho, perhaps getting so up close & personal with him isn't my cup 'o tea. Mountain Mama
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