Love! The Season of Second Chances, by Diane Meier

Words like adoration and enchantment are popping into my head as I read The Season of Second Chances, by Diane Meier. I will cry and be heartbroken if I don’t love this book as much as I have loved it from the beginning through the first fifty pages.  It’s out on Henry Holt and Company next Tuesday, March 30th, and I am reading it in preparation for a review and interview with the author and her husband, Frank Delaney, the author of Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show – another book that is being wonderfully and favorably reviewed on so so many blogs that I love.  I can’t wait to read it as well.

It’s not even the fact that she is writing about my college town of Amherst, Massachusetts that thrills me so much.  I am just loving her book and her writing, and I am finding it to be so funny!  Readers of my blog might know that I usually tend to steer clear of humor in books, especially if that humor is intentional – it usually falls flat to me.  I am a very finicky humor reader, even though I think I have a healthy sense of humor.  I admit that there could be something that some one or many some ones (I’m looking at you) are not telling me, but I do better with humor that arise naturally out of situations, and there is plenty of that in this novel.

Natasha from Maw Books posted about ruthless de-cluttering on her blog the other day, and pointed to bunches of boxes of books that she still needed to go through.  It’s always difficult to get through those last few boxes!  I have also been on a de-cluttering kick of my own this year.  I was just feeling overwhelmed by stuff, and yes that included, books and have been giving stuff away to the point that friends have asked if I was okay.

The main character in The Season of Second Chances, Joy Harness, is in the midst of going through her personal items in preparation for a move and makes a list entitled “How to Move Your Life”.  Number one on that list reads:

Appraise all belongings and determine what is worth keeping and what is worth moving.  Separate them.  Figure out how you are going to get rid of all the belongings not worth  moving.  Somehow, this is far more difficult than simply moving them.

I absolutely loved Joy’s list.  It so true.  Every time I have moved, I have said that I was going to ruthlessly rid myself of all that I no longer need, only to take a good amount of it with me.  Every time I try to de-clutter, I find it hard to take the extra step to rid myself of things that no longer have any value besides a fleeting notion of loss.  The list and the chapter continue with a moving description of sorting through belongings as sorting through, coming to terms with and letting go of the past and ideas of our selves and our lives.  The writing is beautiful, funny and true and has resonated with me as have many other wonderful passages which are equally thoughtful and moving.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Blogger Unplugged! December 23,  2009   Jan 2, 2010

Just thought I would pop in and share that really quickly and ask if you have come across any ideas that have resonated with you during your reading this week.  Hope everyone’s Friday is grand.  Now back to my book!

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  1. Oh Nicole….so hoping it continues. This is my next read (I hope). It sounds great, and the Amherst, MA/college setting is a favorite town of mine.

  2. There are all sorts of books about the emotional context of overeating; it's about time someone–even in fiction–wrote about the emotional context of hoarding!

  3. I had no idea Diane Meier and Frank Delaney are married – what a great literary couple! I also had no idea you went to UMASS – for some reason I thought you went to college in the city.

  4. When I saw the cover in your "What I am reading now" section I had serious cover lust and hoped that this book would be good! I am so happy to hear that it is turning out that way!
    My recent post Something I Used to Do

  5. I love the declutter line! I have such an issue with clutter — it is hard for me to part with "stuff" even when I know I need to!

  6. Sometimes I worry about myself, because it is hard for me to be truly tickled over humor in a book or in a movie. Often I will be watching a movie with my husband, he is rolling on the floor from laughing, and there I sit stony-faced. Intentional, dumb humor just irritates me!
    My recent post Maui Highlights

  7. I tried to comment on your Henrietta Lacks post and it didn't work? It is an amazing legacy that this woman left for all of us. I wish should could have received compensation and recognition in her lifetime! Sorry for posting a comment about another post but just had to comment!

  8. So glad you're enjoying this one and that it's speaking to you so much! Books like that are why I read. I just received this one the other day and cannot WAIT to start — though I'm drowning in books right now, and thick in the middle of Twelfth Night! Gah!
    My recent post Where In The World Weds.: Back in D.C.

  9. I was storing most of my stuff at my grandmother's so when she moved into a nursing home, I had to be ruthless. Some of it was easier to throw out (boxes of Seventeen magazine…really? I was saving those?), and some of it much harder. And at the end, I still had a ton of stuff. That has been reduced over the years, because it is $$$ to send stuff to Germany.
    My recent post International Book Blogger Mentor Program Featured Bloggers (1)

  10. As everyone else mentioned above, the cover for this book is beautiful and I am looking forward to reading it!