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Getting It Right The Second Time Around by…
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Getting It Right The Second Time Around

by Jennifer Frank

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Elinor Hobbs is dead, but she leaves a curious legacy in Jennifer Frank’s Getting It Right The Second Time Around. Elinor’s pithy comments head the chapters with thought-provoking relevance. And her legacy demands that Alison reverse the decisions of her past if she wants to inherit a minor fortune. The question, of course, is whose life Alison wants to live—her own, the one her one-time boyfriend demanded, an unknown new life with a new romantic attractions, or the life this legacy seems to command from her.

Unfulfilled, unhappy except when helping others, uncertain of what she has to offer, and unwilling to see the value in herself, Alison proves to be a canny counselor, generous neighbor, and unstintingly busy young woman—too busy and too wounded to counsel herself. Friends ask if she’s asked God about her future, but God doesn’t offer pat answers in this low-key Christian tale. Instead Alison’s left to work it out.

Describing Alison’s conflicted emotions, society’s trials and tribulations, and the streets of Boston all with equal aplomb, the author may be sometimes wordy, but this story kept me eagerly reading and left me happily satisfied.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Feb 17, 2016 |
If you had a second chance to redo your life choices, would you take it?

In her debut novel, Getting It Right The Second Time Around, author Jennifer Frank weaves a compelling tale that follows twenty-eight year old Alison on a personal journey of self-discovery as her life is unexpectedly given a second chance at following her dreams. Alison is surprised when her late Aunt Elinor leaves her a two million dollar inheritance, but the inheritance has a stipulation: that Alison re-enter and graduate from law school, and fulfill her dream that she had let go of six years ago for a relationship that didn't work out.

Set in Boston, Alison's story alternates with flashbacks to the past interwoven with the present. You can't help but get drawn into this feel good story as Alison's late Aunt Elinor challenges her to change the direction of her life, and grasp the second chance at achieving the dream she had wanted not so long ago. But considering the new choices and changes doesn't come easy for Alison, she enjoys her position as an advocate for women at a domestic violence shelter, and she has a blossoming new romance with a man named Ryan. So come along for the ride as Alison embarks on a personal journey with a little prompting from heaven (Aunt Elinor) to push past her comfort zone and decide what life choices and path to follow. This is a thought provoking story that makes the reader sit back and ponder what they would do if given the opportunity of a second chance at making life choices and decisions.

Getting It Right The Second Time Around is a delightfully lighthearted and uplifting contemporary romantic / women's fiction tale that will leave a smile on your face.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a book review program hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot.com/2015/08/getting-it-right-second-time-a... ( )
  JerseyGirlBookReview | Aug 26, 2015 |
I really appreciated the idea of a coming of age tale retold in a new and different way, and I appreciated the evolution that the main character Ali goes through, but I found it difficult to be sympathetic towards her. Her life is not without struggle, especially on the romantic front, but as for the rest of her life, Ali seems... entitled. Her grocery planning is better than any late year old I know, and her apartment and clothing are not suited to someone who would be in her bracket. Even the relationship with her next door neighbor comes off as trivial at best. Ali stood this woman up, and it is never addressed that she should apologize, even though it was an accident. Her relationship with the men in her life are not how normal everyday women would react... I mean pining away for a man for years? Another man leaves for a month, and there is no reaction? All in all I agree that this book is certainly not making any moves forward for the women's movement, and it is a bit heavy handed in the religion department, but the story is cute; certainly for women who like "cute" books. ( )
  kristincedar | May 21, 2015 |
Jennifer Frank’s debut novel, “Getting It Right the Second Time Around,” is such a fun, delightful, and uplifting story! But it was more than just the entertaining, fast-paced, sometimes humorous, and light-hearted story that kept me reading; it was also the book’s inspiring message. This is a novel about self-determination, about following your own path in life and not letting others control your destiny.

But I’m getting ahead of myself by stressing the book’s theme. Most of all, this book is about a great story…the type of story that makes you smile, laugh, and feel good about the world.

It deals with six months in the life of Alison Henning. At twenty-eight years of age, she’s doing quite well: she’s completely independent; she has a meaningful job as an assistant director of a major urban domestic violence shelter; she’s living in a nice studio apartment in Boston’s tony Beacon Hill district; her life has fun, routine, balance, and good friends; she has an understanding and supportive family; she’s living close to her best childhood girlfriend; and she’s part of a nurturing church community. By any measure of success, she’s made it. What she doesn’t have is any idea of what she plans to do with her future.

Six years earlier, she had a fiancé and an acceptance letter to prestigious Boston University Law School. But she never attended because her fiancé wanted her role in their future marriage to be as a stay-at-home mom and wife, not as a career woman. Two years later, he broke off their engagement, leaving Alison heartbroken and feeling like she might have missed her big chance at a significant professional career—a career where she might have been able to make a greater difference in the world.

As the book opens, Alison’s life is once again turned on end when her fiercely independent, eccentric, and wealthy Aunt El dies, leaving a will with tons of strings attached for every member of the extended family who gets his or her portion of her $20-million-dollar estate. In Alison’s case, Aunt El dangles the possibility of a two-million-dollar inheritance, but only if Alison agrees to go back to law school and get her degree first. She’s got less than a half a year to do the paperwork and get herself into law school or the inheritance is off. But does she want to do that at this stage in her life? Does she even still want to go to law school?

As the months fly by, all kinds of crucial events start happening: unexpected responsibilities pile up, a new man enters her life and she falls in love, and then—against all reason—she finds herself irresistibly drawn to a short-term volunteer opportunity at a third-world orphanage in Africa.

What would you do? What does Alison do?

As you can guess from the plotline, this book also deals with important secondary messages about how vital it is to live a life full of meaning, goodness, and humanitarianism. It also deals with the importance of life-partners (and other loved ones) supporting each other’s goals in life.

I think it’s important to rate books within their own genre; otherwise it would be like rating apples and oranges. This book crosses a few genres, but if I were pressed to assign it a genre, I’d call it a Post-Feminist Christian (very Chick-Lit-like) novel…and in that genre, it’s an absolute standout.

The book is published by Clean Reads, so you can count on a reading experience that offers “wholesome reading without compromise.” ( )
  msbaba | May 6, 2015 |
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