Love, Second Time Around by Penny Appleton
Story starts out wth Maggie and she's heading to the seminar in Edinburgh. Through many sources of travel she does arrive, in time and sees her old friend Greg. They had often been on opposite sides of the table, both are fighting for their side to win-environmental oil issues.
She put a lot of work into her research and is a bit thrown off by finding him there. They do connect but she keeps her distance.
When they meet up later and spend the night at the same hotel after a conceert they draw closer. She needs the money to fix up her square cottage.
Love parts of the land and surrounding areas that are described. Love also the US locations as I've been through many. Love learning about the new places to explore.
Lvoe hearing about the horses and the places they are able to get to. When they meet for another meeting in the city her boss finds out she's spent time with Greg and she's fired. He does find out and I like hearing what he did about it. He has the solution if she will agree.
Love hearing of the native Indian customs and tradiitions. Love the escusions. You wonder if they will ever get to connect again. Love chats they had about their past lives and kids as they create new memories.
Can't wait to read more from this author. Wish some parts she had spent more time on with more details because I really like to learn new things.
Beautiful story! Love that it's about older people, not those in their 20's because the problems are different. This book has something for everybody to enjoy.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.
Honestly, I can't imagine what Anansi Press was thinking, letting this first novel go out into the world with a title so similar to that of a pop-culture phenomenon. Otherwise, though, they have done well by Gil Adamson in both production and editing, and I'm very glad they published this interesting story.
Adamson deliberately distances us a bit from her characters. They are "the Reverend", "the Ridge Runner", the "Widow." The significance of "the widow" as the constant name for the protagonist -we don't get her real name until well into the book - is that it keeps at the top of our minds exactly what is always at the top of hers - that she has murdered her husband. And that same distancing relieves us of the responsibility of empathizing with her more than we want to, though you'd have to have a pretty black soul not to feel something by the end of her picaresque adventures through the Crows Nest Pass area in western Canada. The landscape is very definitely a character, and a cruel one, in this novel. It has its spectacularly climactic plot event in the Frank slide (a notorious 1903 landslide that wiped out a sizeable part of a mining town). I thoroughly enjoyed how well Adamson described it and wove it in to her story from several points of view.
The widow - Mary Boulton - is supported by a well-described set of supporting characters, one of whom, the reclusive Ridge Runner, becomes a romantic interest though not, thank goodness, in a conventionally sappy way that would have ruined everything we have come to know about both characters. I thought the inclusion of the Native characters was sufficiently nuanced and well-managed to meet the political correctness standards of our time, though Henry is a relatively minor character.
At the beginning of this novel, Mary is highly vulnerable, fumbling her way to survival and sometimes very nearly not making it. She is dependent on a series of saviours - an old lady (and her household), the Ridge Runner, Henry and his white wife Helen, and the Reverend Bonnycastle (working out his own demons of abuse in the rough mining town of Frank). But after she is finally caught by her slightly cartoonish Furies, a pair of red-headed giants (brothers of the ex-husband), Mary accomplishes her last escape from disaster without a saviour. This, I would say, is the principal emotional dynamic of the novel.
I did find this one a bit of a page-turner, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes period settings and interesting women's stories. I would warn off only those readers who have a strong need for emotional identification with a protagonist.