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Second Time Around: A Novel
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Second Time Around: A Novel

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  341 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews

In this latest early novel from bestselling author Marcia Willett, Mathilda Rainbird bequeaths her home to three unknown relatives: twenty-two-year-old Tessa, who misses her dead parents and brother but has learned to live alone; Will, a widower, who is drawn to Mathilda’s housekeeper, Isobel; and Beatrice, a retired prep-school matron who thinks the idea of living wi

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Paperback, 289 pages
Published December 9th 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published August 1st 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mo
Mar 24, 2015 Mo rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars
Sue
Jan 25, 2008 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely book. It's about four diverse people. Firstly Isobel, recently separated from her husband and estranged from her daughter, she becomes companion and housekeeper to the elderly Mathilda Rainbird. Then there are three distant relations, to whom Mathilda bequeathes her coastal house. None of them know her, or each other, and all are lonely in their different ways. There's a recently widowed man who has lived in Switzerland, the just-retired matron of a boys' school, and a young wom ...more
Mdh1717
Nov 01, 2016 Mdh1717 rated it liked it
This was an entertaining book in the spirit of Maeve Binchy. Easy to read and enjoyable. Sometimes you just need a simple book that doesn't make you work, and this is it. It was also fun to read a book from the 90's where an inability to get people on the phone instantly cause problems.
SarahC
Dec 20, 2009 SarahC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: seekers of different women's fiction
Marcia Willett's books seem to be classified as women's fiction, but might appeal to readers who aren't crazy about women's fiction. She presents the issues and happenings of everyday life without being heavy on drama. Also counter to much "women's fiction," the men in her stories get a chance to voice their struggles in life also.

Second Time Around centers on a long-time resident of the southwest coast of England, a self-sufficient botanist who in later years who has come to depend on her hous
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Elizabeth
Sep 09, 2010 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was a charming book and a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying read. The reviewers' comparisons to Maeve Binchy and Rosamunde Pilcher were apt.

I won't rehash the story, because it's been done well by other reviewers, but the English coast provides a vivid and scenic backdrop to the story. A series of circumstances, primarily set in motion by the wishes of an elderly lady in her will, bring several unlikely characters together. Each in his or her own way, is escaping from unpleasant situa
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Jina Howell-Forbes
I really love the type of books that Marcia Willett's writing. Her stories always involve multiple characters who each have their own stories, but the stories join together in places too. This was one of her earliest books, and I think that her writing has become more complex and compelling, and certainly more compelling in her later works, but this story of personal growth, acceptance and compassion was well worth the reading time. I did wish for a better ending for the character of Will, but I ...more
Franny
Jan 16, 2016 Franny rated it liked it
Willett delivers one of her classic tales in "Second Time Around" this time dealing with 3 cousins, Tessa, Will and Bea - previously unknown to one another - who inherit a beach property together. It is also the story of Isobel, a woman who destroys her own marriage and tries to rebuild her life. As usual, Willett includes some favorite characters from previous novels. Unfortunately, both Isobel and Tessa, in this book, are just too silly and wishy-washy.
Catherine
Jun 06, 2015 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just a great booked about issues many people experience in the life in a great location. I won't say anything about the basis of the story as others have done this. This is a nice read, good holiday read and I looked forward to picking up and seeing what would happen next. This is my first book by Marcia Willett but it won't be my last.
Terri
Feb 05, 2009 Terri rated it really liked it
I was very happy to recently discover this British author. If you enjoyed Rosamunde Pilcher, Maeve Binchy, you'll be delighted with Willett.
This was my first read of hers and it was a pleasant and enjoyable story. The characters were great and the plot was realistic.
I'm now reading my second one of hers. They're being reprinted in the US.
Jackie Wolfred
Aug 20, 2016 Jackie Wolfred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Second Time Around" by Marcia Willett was published in 1998. I love it when I run across older books at yard sales. Otherwise I would not have had the opportunity to discover this heartwarming story by a new-to-me author. I shall hunt up some other of Marcia Willett's books as I adore her writing style.
Macpudel
Jun 18, 2016 Macpudel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"In the bestselling tradition of Rosamund Pilcher". I believe my copy also dropped Maeve Binchy's name. They are exactly the same except for the inferior plot and characters in this book. They do share a strong sense of place, but alas, that wasn't enough to give me that "aaah" feeling.
MaryLynn
This was a nice read, but I kept having the nagging feeling that I had read it before. I don't know if I had or not, but it seemed very familiar. Or maybe the titled just messed with my mind. There were some good insights, but I didn't relate to any of the people in the book.
Lizzie
May 01, 2009 Lizzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say its not the kind of book I would normally go for. It came free with a magazine a few years back and I finally got round to picking it up and reading it. Surprisingly it was quite enjoyable, I liked the characters and it was a great light read.
Candy
May 26, 2014 Candy rated it really liked it
"If you can't be grateful for what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped".
This story made me appreciate the bad decisions I did NOT make in my life! All that glitters is not gold.
This is a thoughtful read.
Elsa
Aug 30, 2015 Elsa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was a nice easy going book. The attempt at excitement with the antique dealer wasn't very exciting. It wasn't bad but it wasn't great
Penny
Jan 18, 2011 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Willett West country read.
Diana
Jun 09, 2011 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet book, I enjoyed it a lot.
Virginia
Jan 04, 2012 Virginia rated it liked it
Very english slice of life.
Becca
Oct 18, 2013 Becca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started slow for me but definitely got more interesting as the story line developed. Lots of nature descriptions that I skimmed over.
Joanna
Jun 14, 2009 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, fun, clean quick read with quirky, enjoyable characters. I love Willett's use of the British English and the pictures she paints.
Bessy
Apr 01, 2013 Bessy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it very much.... I had heard that she reminds Piltcher, but now I can see why... I enjoyed it a lot, but I really loved the scriptures where she discribes the story of dogs' view...
Kim Leighton matthews
This was is very good-love.
Vionna
Aug 11, 2013 Vionna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very easy read with a Harlinquinish story line. The characters were not very interesting, rather dull and predictable
Julie
Aug 11, 2011 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really liked the story but stopped reading it because of some repeat l=bad language.
Clara Dearmore Strom
I liked this realistic account of 3 people thrown together by the will of a distant relative. Set on the English coast in a quaint village its a delightful read.
CLM
Dec 14, 2008 CLM rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Pilcher, D.E. Stevenson
Shelves: fiction, uk
Willett has now mastered the Pilcher-like novel, with the added ability to gently reintroduce characters from previous books in a way that is not jarring for new readers.
Wendy
Jan 02, 2010 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't read this author before. Good story. Thanks Heather for this book for Christmas! I'll pass it on to you when I see you next.
Josette Garcia
Aug 19, 2016 Josette Garcia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Great description of scenery but no interest in the characters.
Sue Dawson
This was a lovely read, she does write very much in the style of Rosamund Pilcher.
Lovely characters and readable plot.
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Marcia Willett began her career as a novelist when she was fifty years old. Since that first novel Marcia has written twenty more under her own name as well as a number of short stories. She has also written four books under the pseudonym "Willa Marsh", and is published in more than sixteen countries.

Marcia Willett's early life was devoted to the ballet, but her dreams of becoming a ballerina end
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