Second Life – S. J. Watson

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imageShe loves her husband. She’s obsessed by a stranger.

She’s a devoted mother. She’s prepared to lose everything.

She knows what she’s doing. She’s out of control.

She’s innocent. She’s guilty as sin.

She’s living two lives. She might lose both . . .

 

“A perfect pick for your book club”

There’s a lot that can be said about Second Life, although not without giving away too much of the plot, and like any story, it has both its positive and negative sides. On the negative side it’s a difficult book to get into, protagonist Julia comes across as the typical bored housewife, stuck in a rut of duty and care brought about by a combination of love and guilt, who, despite the unusual circumstances of connection, embarks on an affair.  After a while you begin just begin to think, yeah, so what?

On the positive side, once you push past that inital bout of indifference to Julia, get to the repercussions, and the see the way Watson cleverly spins events on their head, you can really begin to understand just how smartly layered Second Life really is. To me it was like lighting a firework, just as you are beginning to wonder if the fuse has gone out, it suddenly sparks into life, delivering a dazzling display with bang, after boom, after bang until the darkness around you is nothing but a smokey haze.

With a clear understanding of the difficulties associated with an addictive personality, trading one addiction for another, and with an ending so distinctive you will either love it or hate it, this is one book that is a perfect pick for your book club. Prepare for a book hangover, this one will sit with you a while as you reconcile your thoughts, and will certainly create plenty of discussion amongst hardened book fans, particularly those who loved Before I Go To Sleep.

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