The Pre-Nup ) revisits the notion of doing it all over again in her buoyant if uneven sixth novel. Best friends since college, Jamie, Arden, Brooke, Cai"/>

Second Time Around

Beth Kendrick, Author . Bantam $15 (336p) ISBN 978-0-385-34224-7

Kendrick (The Pre-Nup ) revisits the notion of doing it all over again in her buoyant if uneven sixth novel. Best friends since college, Jamie, Arden, Brooke, Caitlin, and Anna get together for their 10th annual Fourth of July girls’ weekend at Arden’s vacation home to discuss what they should have done differently—except Arden, who is a successful lawyer. Two months later, Arden dies and leaves $1 million for her friends to divide amongst themselves, with the stipulation that they use the money to pursue their dreams. Brooke buys the ramshackle ex-dormitory they shared as college students, intent on turning it into a bed-and-breakfast, and the ladies move in to assist with the renovation and assess their own desires. As the women embark on their new enterprises, each discovers that Arden’s gift has led them into situations they hadn’t expected. Although some situations feel tacked-on or phoned-in, Kendrick is an undeniably practiced hand at depicting female bonds, and her insight eases this tale of wish-fulfillment to a gratifying and not entirely predictable conclusion. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/08/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
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