In the Land of Second Chances

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GS: Not specifically. Do you think that the townspeople had a similar influence on him? How does he change during his time in Nebraska? GS: Vernon is not like you and me. His job is to help other people, not the other way around. Nevertheless, two people had a significant impact on him in Second Chances —both of them women. He was swept away by Loretta, but he also developed a great affection for Wilma. GS: Lucy is Perspective. By the tragic circumstances of her disease, she is the one who reminds Clem that there is more to life than money. Lucy has been dealt a mortally bad hand, but she is strong enough to play it.

I thought it was an extraordinarily ironic and difficult challenge for Calvin. Did you agree? JMG: Yes. As I was reading, I wondered what he would do. Calvin was playing the same awful hand his daughter had been dealt. He had to feel like shit when he was playing it: He had to be incredibly angry, he had to be sad, he had to be constantly upset, and he had to be unsure of everything. JMG: Vernon says, "I believe that God wants me to experience the absolute fullness of my life to my very last breath. Who ultimately embraces it? GS: In real life, almost everyone I have ever known has fallen away from that mindset.

In the book, of course, Calvin is the most obvious example. Not only has he fallen away from the concept that life is a gift, he has rejected it. Fortunately, however, Vernon finds a way to sell him some hope, but it takes some doing. What is it about these women that made them so compelling to write about? Why do divorced women love to return to Ebb? GS: Ebb is the "last oasis of nice.

Wilma and the other founders of the Quilting Circle made it that way when they invented the Quilting Circle, and then turned it into a financial and political force. Women have been on the short end of the stick for at least ten thousand years. What were the challenges of writing a novel that combined philosophy, religion, and humor? Some parts are funny and some are sad, some are superficial and some are deep, some are exciting and some are horribly dull.

As a novelist, the only part you want to throw out is the dull bit. In my opinion, the reader should laugh or cry or be surprised in every chapter. What change inspired him to ask for her hand in marriage? Why did you deliberately leave her answer open-ended? GS: Vernon asked Clem to name his three greatest memories. GS: I make most of my new ground in the afternoon, usually between two and seven.

Sometimes I write until much later, but rarely.

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Then I get up the following morning and edit what I wrote the day before, a process which has the effect of pointing my brain in the direction I want to go next. GS: Second Chances is the first book of a trilogy. In the second, Vernon returns to Ebb to sell "some charity. Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book! Join Reader Rewards and earn points when you purchase this book from your favorite retailer.

Read An Excerpt. Paperback —. Add to Cart. Also by George Shaffner. See all books by George Shaffner.

Konoha: The Land of Second Chances

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Land of Second Chances (in Spanish)

Lesley Kara. Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Daniela Petrova. Those People. Louise Candlish. Moore pitches philosophy and faith to Ebb's residents. During Mr. Busybody Wilma makes for a spunky narrator, but in this story of odds and uncertainty the stakes fall short. The conceit—hotshot stranger comes to town to talk sense to backward rural folk—is hoary and diminishes the otherwise colorful characters, especially when Mr. Moore's shaky logic and platitudinous pontificating go unchallenged. View Full Version of PW. More By and About This Author. Buy this book. Apple Books.