The Season of Second Chances – Diane Meier

I bought this book as a gift and as is the way with book gifts, it made its way back to me.

Here is the blurb …

 A world of possibilities opens up for Joy Harkness when she sets out on a journey that’s going to show her the importance of friendship, love, and what makes a house a home

Coming-of-age can happen at any age. Joy Harkness had built a university career and a safe life in New York, protected and insulated from the intrusions and involvements of other people. When offered a position at Amherst College, she impulsively leaves the city, and along with generations of material belongings, she packs her equally heavy emotional baggage. A tumbledown Victorian house proves an unlikely choice for a woman whose family heirlooms have been boxed away for years. Nevertheless, this white elephant becomes the home that changes Joy forever. As the restoration begins to take shape, so does her outlook on life, and the choices she makes over paint chips, wallpaper samples, and floorboards are reflected in her connection to the co-workers who become friends and friendships that deepen. A brilliant, quirky, town fixture of a handyman guides the renovation of the house and sparks Joy’s interest to encourage his personal and professional growth. Amid the half-wanted attention of the campus’s single, middle-aged men, known as ‘the Coyotes,’ and the legitimate dramas of her close-knit community, Joy learns that the key to the affection of family and friends is being worthy of it, and most important, that second chances are waiting to be discovered within us all.

I enjoyed this novel. It is a quiet story about community, friends and the family we create for ourselves. We only have Joy’s point of view and she is very self-involved not selfish just inwards looking. Her ‘renovation’ parallels the house – both being performed by Teddy. As this novel was a modern fairy tale (I see Joy as being Sleeping Beauty), I was a bit disappointed by the ending. I loved all of the literary references and the philosophical discussions on education.

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