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Second Time Around

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  358 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
When Mathilda Rainbird bequeaths her beautiful house in a Devonshire cove to three unknown relatives, she brings together a group of people who all secretly yearn for a sense of belonging. Tessa, a delightful twenty-two-year-old, still misses her dead parents and brother but has learned that it is better to be alone than to be with the wrong people. Will, a retired widow, ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 13th 1998 by Headline (first published August 1st 1998)
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Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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.
Dec 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it
"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.
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
"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.
Jan 13, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
May 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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.
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another great Willett West country read.
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
A sweet book, I enjoyed it a lot.
Very english slice of life.
Oct 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This book started slow for me but definitely got more interesting as the story line developed. Lots of nature descriptions that I skimmed over.
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
A good, fun, clean quick read with quirky, enjoyable characters. I love Willett's use of the British English and the pictures she paints.
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was is very good-love.
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
A very easy read with a Harlinquinish story line. The characters were not very interesting, rather dull and predictable
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Really liked the story but stopped reading it because of some repeat l=bad language.
Clara Dearmore Strom
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 rated it did not like it
Great description of scenery but no interest in the characters.
Sue Dawson
Mar 12, 2014 rated it liked it
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
More about Marcia Willett...

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