Second Chance by Jane Green

Book Type: Paperback – own copy

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Holly Macintosh is sitting round her kitchen table with her oldest friends – friends she hasn’t seen since school – now reunited by an unexpected tragedy and catching up on the past 20 years.

On the surface, they are all successful and happy. But scratch a little deeper after that extra glass of wine and it’s not quite so straightforward: Paul and Anna are struggling to have a baby, Saffron the actress is still waiting for that really big break that – at 39 – is looking less and less likely, and Olivia, always the wallflower of the group, is newly single and mourning her lost love.

And what about Holly Mac? Can she and her husband Marcus get their marriage back on track for the sake of the children? Or has someone just come back into her life who will change everything forever?

This is the first Jane Green novel I have read and I really enjoyed it. This is grown up chick-literature, and it was entertaining and a quick read. I was gripped from the beginning. This really is a roller coaster of emotions. It was easy to fall in love with the characters and I found myself cheering them on and sharing their pain.

The main character is Holly Mac. She has not seen her oldest friends in nearly twenty years – and it is an awful tragedy that has brought them back together – one of the group has been killed in a terrorist attack on a train in America. Tom was the centre of the group, the one who kept in contact with everyone, and his death has drawn them all together. They sit at Holly’s house and catch-up and grieve. From there they go on to Tom’s memorial service. There they run into his younger brother Will, who joins their circle of friends. During this time they all experience other pain. Olivia has a fling, that has consequences; Paul and his wife Anna are struggling to have children; Saffron is a recovering alcoholic and Holly’s marriage is in trouble. They group together and help each other through every crisis. Tom’s death has reformed the group but they still feel the pain of his absence.

The way Green deals with the issues of death, old friends and marriage is wonderful. I thought she was sensible with her outcomes – although I personally would of liked Holly’s story to end differently. Green is sensitive and delicate. Her writing is humorous and gripping. I found the story easy to follow and engaging.

I found the characters realistic and wonderful. The friendship is gorgeous – the way they will drop everything for each other. I was so happy when they all ended up in Gloucestershire for Saffron. Her Hollywood life is not all that glamorous but they are all there for her. I liked Holly but some of her choices I didn’t like. My favourite character was probably Anna – Paul’s wife. She wasn’t part of the original circle of friends but she slipped into the group with ease. She felt pain but still looked out for others. She makes crisis calls, works hard, and is just easy to like. She was a realistic character and someone I would have picked as a friend in real life.

I enjoyed this book and it did not take long to read. It is easy to see why Jane Green is such a popular author and I will be reading more of her novels.

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