Second Glance: A Novel

Jodi Picoult
In a small Vermont town, an old man puts a piece of land up for sale, igniting a firestorm of protest from the local Abenaki Indians, who insist it is an ancient burial ground. To appease them the developer looking to buy the property hires a ghost hunter, Ross Wakeman. Ross is a suicidal drifter desperate to cross paths again with his fiancee, who died in a car crash eight years earlier. But after several late nights all Ross can lay claim to discovering is Lia Beaumont, a skittish, mysterious woman who, like Ross, is on a search for something beyond the boundary separating life and death. Thus begins Picoult's enthralling and ultimately astonishing story of love, fate and a crime of passion. SECOND GLANCE, her eeriest and most engrossing work yet, delves into a virtually unknown chapter of American history, Vermont's eugenics project of the 1920s and 30s, to provide a compelling study of the things that come back to haunt us - literally and figuratively. Do we love across time, or in spite of it?

Reviews

Reviewed: 2017-08-29
Book Description In a small Vermont town, an old man puts a piece of land up for sale, igniting a firestorm of protest from the local Abenaki Indians, who insist it is an ancient burial ground. To appease them the developer looking to buy the property hires a ghost hunter, Ross Wakeman. Ross is a suicidal drifter desperate to cross paths again with his fiancee, who died in a car crash eight years earlier. But after several late nights all Ross can lay claim to discovering is Lia Beaumont, a skittish, mysterious woman who, like Ross, is on a search for something beyond the boundary separating life and death. Thus begins Picoult's enthralling and ultimately astonishing story of love, fate and a crime of passion. SECOND GLANCE, her eeriest and most engrossing work yet, delves into a virtually unknown chapter of American history, Vermont's eugenics project of the 1920s and 30s, to provide a compelling study of the things that come back to haunt us - literally and figuratively. Do we love across time, or in spite of it?
Reviewed: 2016-03-04
Jodi Picoult has written several books that I just loved. Because of that I tried really hard to like this one. But I just found it over worked and irritating.

We have Ross who is pining for his dead fiancé.
We have Leah, a woman who died at 18, just after her baby was born in 1932.
We have Eli the cop helping with the investigation into Leah's death.
We have Meredith, who has a son with an uncommon diagnoses that make disables them both.
Then there's another woman that ends up with Eli that I can't remember the name of. She's Ross's sister.
We have Lucy who is Meredith's daughter.
Ross has a son that I also can't think of the name.

All of these characters lives intertwine from Leah's death. It's an odd convergence that I guess makes since but I just wasn't interested despite my efforts to be interested. Unfortunately I have 2 more Picoult books that are 1/2 done that I've had a similar response to.

I can't say I would recommend this book to anyone I know. I can't even think of general groups that I would recommend it to.
Reviewed: 2015-04-07
Ancient Indian Burial Ground.

Sure, they do exist, but it's hard for a writer to introduce the concept without drawing a laugh at her expense. Once again, lots of angst-filled characters emoting all over, an ethical question (is genetics testing eugenics all over again?), lots of plot to keep you reading, a little romance. Picoult has her craft down cold, and I admire that. But in the end she leaves me cold.

Here's a fun thing: look through the one and two star reviews of any of her books. You'll find a whole lot of people who have always enjoyed Picoult before, but this book (whichever one it was) just didn't work. The first time Picoult fails a reader, they are invariably disappointed. The second time, they turn bitter.
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