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Second Time Around: A Novel Paperback – March 30, 2010


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"Sisters of Heart and Snow"
The award-winning author of How to Be an American Housewife returns with a poignant story of estranged sisters, forced together by family tragedy, who soon learn that sisterhood knows no limits. See more from Margaret Dilloway
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385342241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385342247
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kendrick (The Pre-Nup) revisits the notion of doing it all over again in her buoyant if uneven sixth novel. Best friends since college, Jamie, Arden, Brooke, Caitlin, and Anna get together for their 10th annual Fourth of July girls' weekend at Arden's vacation home to discuss what they should have done differently—except Arden, who is a successful lawyer. Two months later, Arden dies and leaves $1 million for her friends to divide amongst themselves, with the stipulation that they use the money to pursue their dreams. Brooke buys the ramshackle ex-dormitory they shared as college students, intent on turning it into a bed-and-breakfast, and the ladies move in to assist with the renovation and assess their own desires. As the women embark on their new enterprises, each discovers that Arden's gift has led them into situations they hadn't expected. Although some situations feel tacked-on or phoned-in, Kendrick is an undeniably practiced hand at depicting female bonds, and her insight eases this tale of wish-fulfillment to a gratifying and not entirely predictable conclusion. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

Five women formed lifelong friendships as lit majors at a small university in upstate New York. Now ten years after graduation, one of the quintet has died and left her friends an inheritance to pursue their true dreams. Brooke buys Henley House, the quaint off-campus dorm where they lived, to convert it to a bed and breakfast. Soon she’s joined by Jamie, who leaves L.A. to try her hand as a small-town event planner; Anna, who escapes marital and fertility issues to bake; and Cait, on hiatus from a dead-end professorship to write her novel. Even as each woman faces challenges from faulty wiring to encounters with ex-lovers to sabotaging townies, this homecoming helps put in perspective what matters most. Kendrick, author of The Pre-Nup (2008), detours from the chick-lit formula to present a touching and humorous look at love, loss, and literature. --Aleksandra Walker

Customer Reviews

A great story of friends giving life another go...
Aly2183
I thought the concept of the book sounded interesting but the story ended up being very full of fluff and was just not well written.
sanger
If you are looking for a nice vacation book to read this would be it.
Ocean Lover

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tina on April 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Many of you have heard me talk about Beth Kendrick being my favorite chick lit author. I will literally trip over myself trying to get to Kendrick's novels - so this tells you how much I have enjoyed her work.
In my mind, Kendrick has written, in the past, great chick lit - so I had huge culture shock when I started reading Second Time Around - because it is NOT chick lit, at least not in the true way! - this book is a contemporary women's fiction novel and this posed a huge challenge to me - as I always wonder "what is the point of these types of stories as they never seem to have a point to me).
So, with this in mind, I opened the book and found an interesting premise - 5 BFF have been together since college and meet up once a year to talk about their lives. This year, they are once again together, but something is terribly wrong and this will affect the girls for the rest of their lives (don't want to give it away!).
As the novel progresses, we find the main characters confronted with the past and the choices they made - where they the right ones? Lots of discussions, tears and second thoughts as the girls try to figure out the meaning of life and where they fit it. They are simply trying to be happy! and Kendrick has found a clever and entertaining way of showing us the progression (and at times, the backward steps) that each woman goes through.
There is a lot of soul searching here and it is a great novel if you want to sit back and reflect on your own choices in life.

The writing is top notch as always - Kendrick always writes her stories beautifully and her characters are always deliciously fleshed out - buttttttttt I miss the chick lit aspect of her writing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bearette24 VINE VOICE on March 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a feel-good novel about a group of friends from college who are stuck in the wrong careers. One of them dies (though her death is not dwelt upon), and leaves an inheritance for each remaining friend to pursue her dreams. Although it may sound hokey, Kendrick keeps things light with humor and minor catastrophes. I liked seeing where the girls' new paths took them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Samantha J on April 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Ten years after graduating from Leighton College in New York, five friends hold a reunion, where they reminisce on old times. All former English majors, the women wonder what would have become of their lives if they had chosen a different major and profession. A professor, a bartender, a copyright, and an administrative assistant all get that second chance when the fifth member of the group passes away, leaving her four friends $1,000,000 to reinvent themselves.

Now, a novelist, an event planner, a pastry chef, and a bed and breakfast owner are finding the answers to their "what if" questions. They are finally following their dreams and desires, and are doing it together back in the town of their college. Finding their true callings amidst career struggles and love battles, the four friends grow closer to one another while honoring their friend's spirit and life along the way.

Second Time Around by Beth Kendrick is a heart-felt story on the value of friendship and finding a way to follow your heart. Each woman's story was interesting and colorful, and the way each character could tie in with one another was excellent. A unique subplot involving the deceased friend kept the mystery up throughout the novel, and the ending will make all readers satisfied.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Emma on June 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
There's a lot of soul-searching and decision making between five long-time best friends who have made a pact to get together once a year on July 4th ever since college. Their ten year reunion was celebrated at Arden's vacation home...(a successful attorney) where they got caught up in a deep discussion on the subject, "What if?"
Arden dies within the following year and leaves each friend a boatload of money to rediscover themselves with and explore that question, "What if?"
I love this one, not only because it's an exciting, humorous, meaningful peek into these women's interesting lives but the camaraderie, the heart-felt quests, the chance to start over and follow the DREAM, and the opportunity to realize what is truly important in life.....A wonderful lesson in life that can't be touched on too often!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
The five females became BFFs in college and get together every July Fourth weekend since. Their tenth gala is at successful attorney Arden's vacation home where each discusses what they would have done differently if they were able to start over.

Two months later, Arden is dead and her four compatriots (Jamie, Brooke, Caitlin, and Anna) inherit $250,000 each to begin anew only if they seek the dreams they mentioned would make them happy. One buys a broken down dorm with plans to convert it into a B&B; another strives to be a chef; a third starts a novel; and the fourth becomes an event planner. However, dreaming and going for the dream are not the same as each finds roadblocks and detours, but have one another and the memory of Arden to help them achieve their goals.

The women make this sister bonding contemporary a solid tale as each seems genuine although some of their problems feel forced as if each of the foursome has to have major tsuris to achieve their objective. Inspiring, fans will enjoy this fun character study as the women have a Second Time Around to go after what they failed to go after the first time.

Harriet Klausner
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More About the Author

Author of twelve women's fiction novels, including the Black Dog Bay series and "Nearlyweds," which was turned into a Hallmark Channel original movie. Loves rescue dogs, red wine, and the Chicago Cubs. To find out more, please visit www.bethkendrick.com and www.facebook.com/BethKendrickBooks.

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