I recently finished reading the novel The Season of Second Chances, by Diane Meier. The publisher sent me a review copy and based on the description, I was really looking forward to reading it. I was not at all disappointed. What a fun summer read! This book is exactly what you're looking for if you want to relax, escape, and have a good time.
The main character Joy Harkness, lives in New York and teaches at Columbia University. But she's ready for a change.
"I've been rubbed raw by the administration, frustrated by the exclusionary snobbery of academe and driven wild by the politics and the postures we're forced to assume to maintain any standing in the community."
So Joy moves to Amherst, Massachusetts, about a two hour drive west of Boston, and takes a job teaching at Amherst College. Moving out of an apartment overlooking the Hudson, she purchases an old Victorian needing plenty of work.
Although the story is fiction, I liked the authenticity of place. The author chose real schools instead of making them up. I especially liked that most of the story takes place in Massachusetts. It was interesting that the author set the story in the western part of the state, which isn't written about as much as the Boston area.
As you can imagine, Joy meets lots of new people and has some interesting encounters. One of my favorite parts is the house renovation. I'm certainly not buying a house anytime soon or even redecorating where I am now for that matter. So I enjoyed the vicarious decorating. I want this book to be a movie just so I can see the house!
"On Saturday morning I was sitting in my newly finished home office. My study. My workroom. My retreat. I could hardly believe how peaceful it was. There was a place for everything. Teddy had fashioned a desk from two filing cabinets, a hollow-core door, and some legs. He then had the town fabric shop stitch up a kind of slipcover for the desk out of khaki canvas. He ordered a glass top and underneath the top he randomly placed color copies of pages from a botanical book on ferns. ... He painted the little room sage green with the same creamy white paint on the trim and wainscotting that ran through the rest of the house. ... An old wooded desk chair from a consignment shop was painted green, and a fragment of a dark green rug, left over from a client's installation months before, was bound at the carpet store in town. On the far side of the room sat my old bookshelves, now divided into four sections chair-rail high; Teddy screwed them together, added a top and some moldings, and painted them the same color as the wainscotting behind them. Instant built-in bookcases!"
Doesn't it sound nice? There's even mention of a mirror found at Brimfield, which is on My Life List.
Not only do I think The Season of Second Chances is a great book. But I want you to have it! To get you started on your summer reading list, I'm giving it away along with three other books that I recently read and enjoyed. The other three books are:
* Corked, by Kathyrn Borel
* Mennonite In A Little Black Dress, by Rhoda Janzen
* The Secret Life Of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd
I'll be giving away the actual books that I read, so they are gently used.
If you'd like to win these four books, let me know in the comments. The contest starts Wednesday, June 16, 2010 and ends midnight EDT, Sunday, June 20, 2010.
This giveaway is open to everyone aged 18 and older in all countries. I'll mail these books anywhere in the world.
No duplicate comments.
Winner will be selected via random draw and will be notified by e-mail.
Please make sure that I have a working email address for you. After the winner is notified by email, they have 24 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The winner will be announced sometime next week. Best of luck everyone!
Disclosure: I received complimentary Advance Reader's Editions of The Season of Second Chances and Mennonite In A Little Black Dress from Henry Holt & Company.
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