Cover image for Second chances
Title:
Second chances
Author:
Adams, Alice, 1926-1999.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
South Yarmouth, Ma. : J. Curley, 1988.
Physical Description:
393 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781555047283

9781555047047
Format :
Book

On Order

Summary

Summary

A wonderful portrait of friends who have shared their lives together for over 30 years, helping each other through all of life's ups and downs and testing the limitations of the heart. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.


Summary

A wonderful portrait of friends who have shared their lives together for over 30 years, helping each other through all of life's ups and downs and testing the limitations of the heart. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.


Author Notes

Alice Adams was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1926 and grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. After graduating from Radcliffe College, she married and had a son in 1951. Adams later recalled her late 20s and early 30s as the worst years of her life. After divorcing her husband in 1958, she worked at secretarial and clerical jobs to support herself and her son.

Adams published her first work of fiction when she was about thirty, and was more than forty-years-old by the time she began making a living solely as a writer. In 1982, in recognition of the twelfth consecutive appearance of her work in "Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards," Adams won a special award for continuing achievement. The only other previous winners were Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike. A New York Times best-selling author, many of Adams's books, among them A Southern Exposure and Almost Perfect, focus on love and on women struggling to find their place in the world. Other works of Adams include the novels Medicine Men, a story that explores the relationship between doctors and their patients, and Superior Women, a compelling tale of five women who come of age during World War II.

Now a San Francisco resident, Adams's work has been compared for Southern flavor to that of Flannery O'Connor and for sophistication to F. Scott Fitzgerald.

(Bowker Author Biography) Alice Adams was born in Virginia and graduated from Radcliffe College. The author of eleven novels and dozens of prize-winning short stories, she was the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She lived in San Francisco until her death in 1999.

(Publisher Provided)


Alice Adams was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1926 and grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. After graduating from Radcliffe College, she married and had a son in 1951. Adams later recalled her late 20s and early 30s as the worst years of her life. After divorcing her husband in 1958, she worked at secretarial and clerical jobs to support herself and her son.

Adams published her first work of fiction when she was about thirty, and was more than forty-years-old by the time she began making a living solely as a writer. In 1982, in recognition of the twelfth consecutive appearance of her work in "Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards," Adams won a special award for continuing achievement. The only other previous winners were Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike. A New York Times best-selling author, many of Adams's books, among them A Southern Exposure and Almost Perfect, focus on love and on women struggling to find their place in the world. Other works of Adams include the novels Medicine Men, a story that explores the relationship between doctors and their patients, and Superior Women, a compelling tale of five women who come of age during World War II.

Now a San Francisco resident, Adams's work has been compared for Southern flavor to that of Flannery O'Connor and for sophistication to F. Scott Fitzgerald.

(Bowker Author Biography) Alice Adams was born in Virginia and graduated from Radcliffe College. The author of eleven novels and dozens of prize-winning short stories, she was the recipient of an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She lived in San Francisco until her death in 1999.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 6

Booklist Review

An emotionally and intellectually satisfying look at how advancing age, declining health, and an uncertain future can refine the priorities of life among a group of close friends. [BKL F 15 88 Upfront]


Publisher's Weekly Review

With characteristic insight and sensitivity, Adams (Superior Women) writes about ``the over-60, getting into 70's group.'' Over the timespan of a year, and with adroitly managed flashbacks, Adams follows the lives of a group of old friends in a small Northern California community. Close neighbors now, their lives have intertwined in various places in the past; several of them shared a commitment to liberal political activism in Spain and during the anti-Vietnam War years. Celeste, whose husband Charles has just died; Dudley (a woman) who is married to Sam; Polly, who once had an affair with Charles; and Edward, a homosexual who lives with his lover, Freddy, have known each other for four or more decades. Now well past middle age, they are hoping to preserve their sexuality, avoid illness (they are all phobic about cancer) and maintain the quality of their lives. Each will suffer a major, dislocating loss, an intimation of their own mortality. Meanwhile, Adams shows this group in desultory, gossipy conversations that have the texture of real life: low-key, mundane. The tensions that lie under the surface are confined to stream-of-consciousness and intuitive insights. (Adams becomes a little tedious about the latter: too many characters have amazing intuitions and guess unknowable things exactly right.) Into this group come two young people: Sara, Celeste's 40-year-old godchild, herself long involved in political activism, and Bill, Celeste's mysterious, much younger suitor, whose strange behavior is never adequately explained. While most of the strands of the plot come together in satisfactory fashion, the reader may feel cheated that all the dramatic events take place offstage. This device does, however, allow Adams to convey with moving accuracy the loneliness and isolation of people, qualities that old age seems to deepen. For all that, this is also a book about survival, and the resiliency of the human spirit. 50,000 first printing; BOMC alternate. (April) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

This is a novel about relationships. Several elderly men and women, living in a small town near San Francisco and sharing complicated histories, are experiencing major and minor changes in their livesdeaths of people they love, the onset of disease, the shocking realization that they are old. With each loss, the group becomes tighter and more interdependent. Despite the concerns the characters have for current social problems, there is a strangely time-free quality to the novel. Specific events are not significantwhat matters is their effect on these people. The characters are well drawn, and Adams makes you care what becomes of them. Recommended for serious fiction collections. BOMC alternate.Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

An emotionally and intellectually satisfying look at how advancing age, declining health, and an uncertain future can refine the priorities of life among a group of close friends. [BKL F 15 88 Upfront]


Publisher's Weekly Review

With characteristic insight and sensitivity, Adams (Superior Women) writes about ``the over-60, getting into 70's group.'' Over the timespan of a year, and with adroitly managed flashbacks, Adams follows the lives of a group of old friends in a small Northern California community. Close neighbors now, their lives have intertwined in various places in the past; several of them shared a commitment to liberal political activism in Spain and during the anti-Vietnam War years. Celeste, whose husband Charles has just died; Dudley (a woman) who is married to Sam; Polly, who once had an affair with Charles; and Edward, a homosexual who lives with his lover, Freddy, have known each other for four or more decades. Now well past middle age, they are hoping to preserve their sexuality, avoid illness (they are all phobic about cancer) and maintain the quality of their lives. Each will suffer a major, dislocating loss, an intimation of their own mortality. Meanwhile, Adams shows this group in desultory, gossipy conversations that have the texture of real life: low-key, mundane. The tensions that lie under the surface are confined to stream-of-consciousness and intuitive insights. (Adams becomes a little tedious about the latter: too many characters have amazing intuitions and guess unknowable things exactly right.) Into this group come two young people: Sara, Celeste's 40-year-old godchild, herself long involved in political activism, and Bill, Celeste's mysterious, much younger suitor, whose strange behavior is never adequately explained. While most of the strands of the plot come together in satisfactory fashion, the reader may feel cheated that all the dramatic events take place offstage. This device does, however, allow Adams to convey with moving accuracy the loneliness and isolation of people, qualities that old age seems to deepen. For all that, this is also a book about survival, and the resiliency of the human spirit. 50,000 first printing; BOMC alternate. (April) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

This is a novel about relationships. Several elderly men and women, living in a small town near San Francisco and sharing complicated histories, are experiencing major and minor changes in their livesdeaths of people they love, the onset of disease, the shocking realization that they are old. With each loss, the group becomes tighter and more interdependent. Despite the concerns the characters have for current social problems, there is a strangely time-free quality to the novel. Specific events are not significantwhat matters is their effect on these people. The characters are well drawn, and Adams makes you care what becomes of them. Recommended for serious fiction collections. BOMC alternate.Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.