Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
Amazon US PB Amazon Canada PB
Marlene Fanta Shyer
Kensington, Jun 2001, $6.99, 384 pp.
Following the engagement party of one of their daughters, Gilbert and Julie Kessler argue over who will drive. Julie is exhausted, but Gilbert is intoxicated. Julie wins the argument, but falls asleep at the wheel. The subsequent car crash leaves her without a scratch and Gilbert in a coma.
Julie is wracked with guilt, but her three daughters (Karen, Susanna, and Gaby) refuse to allow her to destroy herself. They manage to arrange for her to take Tango lessons, not even thinking their mom would begin to fall in love with her younger instructor. Gaby is torn between two lovers; Susanna struggles with her husbandís refusal to have children; and Karen feels trapped in her marriage to a much older man. Happiness is not even an illusion for the four disconsolate female Kesslers.
SECOND CHANCE is an interesting relationship drama that would have had a better chance of success if Marlene Fanta Shyer broke the four subplots into a quartet of novels. At times, the story line engages the reader, but fans never feel compassion towards the emotional baggage of any one character because too many feelings overflow the story line. Although SECOND CHANCES isnít perfect, the author is very talented and just needs time to perfect her craft a bit better.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner