I wonder how many of us had a close group of friends when we were in high school and college, and thought that our bonds were so strong that we would be in contact for a lifetime? Then I wonder how many of us truly have kept up relationships that have been distanced by the passage of time or too many miles between friends?
Lifelong friendship is the basis of Jane Green’s newest paperback Second Chances. Holly, Saffron, Paul, Tom, and Olivia were friends in high school, and really thought that they’d be friends for the rest of their lives, but as so often happens they grew apart. Each went on to live a life different from the others. Tom and Saffron living in America pursuing separate dreams, Holly marrying and being a mother. Paul, who married a Swedish beauty, is stressing over fertility treatments, and renovation of a country home. Olivia has just ended a long live in relationship and believes that she is content to live alone and just work at the animal shelter for the rest of her life.
When Tom is killed in a terrorist attack the old friends naturally reach out to one another for comfort. What they end up finding is that the bonds of friendship that were established years ago weren’t broken, but merely stretched, and as they reminisce about their beloved friend they find themselves being drawn back into their circle and more willing to work at the friendships that were established so long ago.
As so often happens when tragedy strikes the characters in Second Chances reevaluate their lives and attempt to decide what is important to them, and have they really lived their lives as they had imagined they would back when they were teens.
When you have so many characters in a story it is often difficult to fully give each one their own moment to shine and have their story told to a reader’s satisfaction. Ms. Green wove each story so tightly together that the thread was easy to follow, and no gaps were left. Each character is allowed to shine, and while I felt that the focus of Second Chances was on Holly perhaps as you read you’ll decide that the focus is on a different character, that’s how smoothly their stories intertwine.
Second Chances was my first novel by this talented author, but I know it won’t be my last.