Friday 9 February 2024

Rules for Second Chances

Finished January 30
Rules for Second Chances by Maggie North

This book is centered on Liz Lewis, who grew up and lives in a small community in the mountains of B.C. where much of the business is around tourism. She is married to Tobin Renner-Lewis, and they both work for a small backcountry tour company. Lately Liz doesn't feel seen, either at home or at work. At work, her suggestions don't seem to be taken seriously by the owners, and she hasn't been promoted, even after her immediate boss left and she'd doing all his work. 
At home, her husband doesn't appear to be able to say no to anyone that asks for help, even when that means her plans are affected. Her parents have a house nearby that is no longer their primary home, and that her older sister and niece live in. She is close to her niece, who is autistic, and spends a lot of time with her. 
Tobin's parents bought the house next to theirs shortly after they married, and his mother demands of lot of him, and hasn't warmed up to Liz at all. As the book opens, his mother has co-opted Liz's birthday party and that is the last straw for her. 
As she takes a break from her marriage, and tries to put together a winning pitch for the company's annual service pitch competition, she gets pushed into attending improv classes.
This is a very interesting twist to the story, as improv becomes a way for Liz to let go of some of her fears, as well as using an improv guide to reconnect with Tobin and change their dynamic. 
I really enjoyed Liz as a character, and could relate to her in many of the feelings and experiences she has. 
I loved the Canadian setting, and found it especially interesting that the author is herself autistic and thus could really describe certain elements of the autistic characters in the book so well. 
This book has real depth to it, and some of the exercises described for Liz and Tobin might be taken and used in readers' own lives. I loved seeing Liz grow and appreciate her own strengths. 

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