May 16, 2012

Second Time Around: Beth Kendrick

Five college friends meet up every summer to catch up and are usually bemoaning their jobs and talking about the dreams. When one of the group Arden, dies of an ongoing illness she leaves a million dollars to be split between the remaining 4. The only catch to the money is that she tells them to use it to pursue their dream. The rest of the plot follows them as they work out what to do with the money and how to pursue their dreams.

The first to use the money is Brooke, who works at the alumni office at the college they all graduated from. With the windfall and an old dorm just being put up for sale from the college, she jumps on the chance to try and run a Bed and Breakfast in the small college town with their past. The others gather around her as she tries to get the B and B up and running and finds that the house which holds their memories and her dream now might not be in the condition she thought it was and her dream requires more work then she might be able to do.

Jamie follows her to the B and B as she quit her job in order to go to Arden's funeral. With three failed weddings under her belt she can't imagine that it is that hard to plan weddings and events for other that actually succeed. What she doesn't count on is ghosts from her past visiting that make it hard for her to take Arden's money and making her question what she wants and can do.

Cait is a professor of literature, but prefers to read romance novels. She blows off work as her ex tries to manipulate her and heads to the B and B to pursue her dream of writing. With a blast from the past with one of the girls past professors she may realize what her real dream is and what she wants to write as well as find out about herself and her own courage.

The last to join them is Anna, who has been trying to get pregnant and all they are gaining is debt. It is straining her marriage too. She joins the girls at the B and B when she is needed for a crisis, but stays when her marriage needs the space. Anna, has always found comfort in baking, so she starts baking for parties. The other Baker in town challenges her, but they may find that they both need each other.

Different parts of the story focuses on each of the girls. Since it was covering so many character I personal feel like too much was covered in the plot and in such a short period of time that the book took place. But, I did enjoy reading all the characters story, I would have just like more and deeper connections at times. Also, I think that characters relationships were speed up in the time frame also..

One of my favorite parts of the book was how information/secrets about the characters were revealed. We were given hints that something specific would be going on , but just enough to know that it has an influence, but not what specifically happened or is going on until we really need the information and at that point the character grows and can forgive or learn from the revelation of the secret.

I would give this book 3 starts in that it was a very enjoyable read, but there are draw backs to the book so I couldn't give it more than that. I liked the writing style and will check out other books by Kendrick, I appreciate how she built the characters and hope to see more like that.

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