Birthdays are supposed to be great, but not so for Taylor Edwards. It was on her seventeenth birthday that she found out her father had pancreatic cancer and would not last the summer. So, it was decided that the family would spend the summer at their summer home on a lake in Pennsylvania, a place Taylor left abruptly five years earlier and had not returned to since, leaving behind her best friend, Lucy, and her boyfriend, Henry.
It was a big shock for everyone being back at the lake. Of course, Lucy and Henry were still there harboring unresolved hostility towards Taylor. Taylor wanted to be anyplace else but the lake, however circumstances wouldn’t allow it. And how do you act ‘normal’ when you know it’s your father’s last summer?
Morgan Matson’s Second Chance Summer is a book about second chances…second chances with friends, family, yourself. Taylor, always in the habit of running away when things got tough, is forced to stay and confront all those difficult situations. In doing so, she becomes a stronger person.
In this day when there are many families with two working parents there’s not enough time for family. Second Chance Summer reinforces how fleeting life is and how important family is. The book is 468 pages and I was fine until the last 15 when tears welled up in my eyes. While I don’t want to think about my own mortality and leaving my children, I admire the way Taylor’s father made sure he was still in their lives long after his passing. Second Chance Summer is quite nicely done. Congrats, Morgan.