Season of Second Chances by Diane Meier
I really *have* been reading - just got caught up in a couple of titles, and my computer at home has been beastly lately...still, onwards with some reviews!
I was offered an advanced copy of this title to read and review, and with a cover and blurb such as that, I was in! I love "transformation tales" - especially with houses! Joy Harkness is a university professor who impulsively leaves NYC to take a job at Amherst College, and in the process purchases a tumbling-down Victorian home that clearly is going to need some TLC. Enter a hunky (younger) handyman, as well as a bevy of suitors for Joy - none of whom seem to be as good a fit as that pesky handyman...
This is definitely a love letter to academia, and the writing is sophisticated and to me, "uppity" - Joy is clearly painted as a brilliant mind, and thus the prose doesn't *flow* for trying so hard to sound so smart and elite. I liked the secondary stories surrounding Joy, but not Joy herself - her perfect life, her endless money for restoration, her laundry list of men seeking her, her new friends who are so much better than her last, her perfect job, her artful application of makeup...it was all just a bit cloying. The book is heavy on the details (wallpaper samples, lipstick colors...), and just felt really...pompous. I felt like I didn't *deserve* to read the book, not being rich, an academe, or having a parade of men sniffing at my heels - or kicking the one good guy in the book when he's down.
I soooo wanted to love this book - to lose myself in the restoration, in the stories of Joy's new circle, in a sweet romance, but instead...it just wasn't for me. That's not to say it won't be for you, it just wasn't for me. I quite simply felt too excluded to be part of this elitist tale. Major bummer. :-(
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