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Friendship by the Book: Second Chance by Jane Green

Published: February 12, 2009 | Last Updated: February 17, 2023 By | Reply Continue Reading

Second Chance by Jane Green

“There’s just something about getting together with people who have always known you,” remarks Olivia, one of the thirty-something characters in Second Chance by Jane Green (Viking, 2007).

With a storyline that is somewhat reminiscent of the 1983 move, The Big Chill, when a childhood friend (Tom) dies tragically, it sets the stage for four friends to come together at midlife and examine their lives and loves. This novel, by the prolific, New York Times best-selling chick-lit author Green, highlights the role that shared history plays in friendships.

Although their lives have followed very different paths, the four childhood friends reconnect instantaneously. The author describes how that feels for Holly Mac, another of the protagonists: “With friends that feel more like family, not because of …closeness to them now, but because of the strength of a shared history,” writes Green. “They know her mother, she knows theirs. She knows their brothers and sisters, who they were before they adopted the mantle of adulthood…”

The protagonists realize that friendships of our youth remind us not only of our past but also of the person we had always hoped to become. What I enjoyed most about Second Chance by Jane Green was the book’s treatment of weighty issues—like infertility, divorce, betrayal, loneliness, alcoholism, and maintaining one’s sense of self in a marriage—and their bearing on female friendships.

‘Friendship by the Book’ is an occasional series of posts on this blog about books that offer friendship lessons. To read other posts in the series, use the search function on the right side of the page.

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