I read an article that listed several recent Reese Witherspoon’s acquisitions and since everything Reese touches turns to gold I put all of the featured books on my library holds list. Hey, when are we as a society going to earn a Reese’s Book Club in the vein of Oprah’s? Come on Reese! Slap a sticker on whatever you’re reading. We have identical tastes!
Anyway. Out of the half dozen books I picked up last week at my local library I started with the thriller Second Life. And I can’t believe I’m saying this but- I think Second Life will make a better feature film because a lot of the bloat will inevitably be trimmed for time. As a novel I got frustrated with all the extra storylines. While many things tied together in the end I still could have axed two storylines without altering much of the story.
After a troubling young adulthood Julia has a pretty perfect life. The one blemish in her picture perfect family is her younger sister, Kate. When Kate was sixteen she had a son, Connor, and after a few years she accepted she could not properly care for him and let Julia & her husband, Hugh, adopt him. Ten years later and Kate has her shit together, she is living in Paris (Julia is in London) and she wants her son back. Before the fight for custody can get too heated Kate gets murdered in a Paris alleyway, she isn’t raped or mugged and the case goes nowhere. When Kate’s roommate, Anna, mentions that Kate used to go online to meet men Julia decides to go online as well to see if she can solve her sister’s murder. Julia ends up developing a relationship with a younger man, Lukas, online and things progress to the real world.
There is a lot going on. I’m going to use bullet points:
- About 15 years ago Julia took a photograph of her druggie boyfriend and it got a little famous
- Julia is a recovering alcoholic
- Kate left Anna a bunch of money in her will and the rest to Connor
- Hugh has a malpractice case filed against him
- Julia and Lukas meet in person and begin an affair
- Lukas begins stalking Julia when she tries to cool things
- Connor is a 14 year old boy with an online girlfriend
Like I said, everything eventually ties together but unfortunately it doesn’t tie together until there are only about 10 pages left! Is there anything worse than that?! This had a lot of potential but could have used some editing and a stronger, more clear ending.