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Second Glance | [Jodi Picoult]

Second Glance

An intricate tale of love, haunting memories, and renewal, Second Glance begins in current-day Vermont, where an old man puts a piece of land up for sale and unintentionally raises protest from the local Abenaki Indian tribe, who insist it's a burial ground. When odd, supernatural events plague the town of Comtosook, a ghost hunter is hired by the developer to help convince the residents that there's nothing spiritual about the property.
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Publisher's Summary

An intricate tale of love, haunting memories, and renewal, Second Glance begins in current-day Vermont, where an old man puts a piece of land up for sale and unintentionally raises protest from the local Abenaki Indian tribe, who insist it's a burial ground. When odd, supernatural events plague the town of Comtosook, a ghost hunter is hired by the developer to help convince the residents that there's nothing spiritual about the property.

Enter Ross Wakeman, a suicidal drifter who has put himself in mortal danger time and again. He's driven his car off a bridge into a lake. He's been mugged in New York City and struck by lightning in a calm country field. Yet despite his best efforts, life clings to him and pulls him ever deeper into the empty existence he cannot bear since his fiance's death in a car crash eight years ago. Ross now lives only for the moment he might once again encounter the woman he loves. But in Comtosook, the only discovery Ross can lay claim to is that of Lia Beaumont, a skittish, mysterious woman who, like Ross, is on a search for something beyond the boundary separating life and death. Thus begins Jodi Picoult's enthralling and ultimately astonishing story of love, fate, and a crime of passion.

Hailed by critics as a "master" storyteller (Washington Post), Picoult once again "pushes herself, and consequently the reader, to think about the unthinkable" (Denver Post). 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?

(P)2003 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

  • Romantic Times Award Winner - Best Women's Fiction Novel, 2003

"A spellbinding suspense novel offering insight into the human spirit and the depths of true love." (Publishers Weekly)
"Best-selling author Picoult mixes shocking fact and compelling fiction to produce a mesmerizing tale of love and second chances." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (841 )
5 star
 (276)
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Overall
3.9 (275 )
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4.1 (281 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 11-04-06
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 11-04-06 Member Since 2005

    Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    102
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    5
    Overall
    "Not up to par"

    I discovered this great new writer and read her books Plain Truth and then My Sisters Keeper and I thought WOW! Can't wait to get into the next one. Maybe I read the best first and set the bar too high, but Second Glance did not hold a candle to those other two books. It was choppy, and I found my mind wandering over and over. I was very close to putting it down permanently, but I was sure it would pick up. It did in the last third, but that's not good enough for me.
    The narrator George Guidall is remarkable. I listened to him reading "Night" and he was fabulous there too. So thanks to George this one gets two stars.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Corpus Christi, TX, USA 11-13-04
    Sue Corpus Christi, TX, USA 11-13-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "similes like a pillow over my head"

    I had great hopes for this title because I enjoyed Picoult's "My Sister's Keeper" so much. I've not been able to finish listening because of the over use of figurative language that bogs down the story(memories that rise like mermaids from the ocean, fear like crows on a highline wire, etc.). The plot and characters seem interesting, but unless you're willing to hear every event and emotion related figuratively, pass on this title. I'm not kidding. Some sentences have 2 or 3 similes or metaphors to express a single thought or event. After the first 100 or so similes, each additional one felt like a firecracker exploding in my head and my jaw tightened like a vice and my teeth ground together like grindstones pulverizing the last of the season's wheat crop. Sorry. You get the point.

    29 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katharine Anaheim, CA, USA 04-17-05
    Katharine Anaheim, CA, USA 04-17-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    2
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    "Second Glance"

    It was easy to get lost in this story. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed getting to know them. The reader did a great job with the various voices, which always adds to my enjoyment. Best of all, the story seemed to have a good grip of history of the area. I would like to visit Vermont so I could see the landscape for myself. The ending was really good. You'll enjoy this book.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Sonoma, CA, United States 08-04-04
    Pamela Sonoma, CA, United States 08-04-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    188
    ratings
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    45
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    5
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    "oddball characters (this is good!)"

    My first experience with this author, and based on this read I would try her again. The characters in this book were interesting and ended up being connected in a way that I saw coming. But I liked these characters, so who cares that I figured it out. Their combination of oddities kept me listening. Moved well and was never dull.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 12-09-06
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 12-09-06 Listener Since 2003

    Black

    HELPFUL VOTES
    561
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    354
    78
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    "Strange but ..."

    This book is very hard to characterize. It is NOT My Sister's Keeper! It is also a challenge to listen to, especially in the beginning. Being inside the head of someone who is suicidal is not pleasant. Still, it is worth the trip. It is important not to go into it with any preconcieved notion based on other books by the same author.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Kingfisher, OK, USA 03-21-09
    Christine Kingfisher, OK, USA 03-21-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Best Picoult Yet"

    Jodi Picoult always delights with densely constructed plots that pack a final ending punch, but Second Glance was as finely layered as an onion. No matter how many intertwining layers of storyline the listener peels away, more await beneath until the final surprise. The reader was not one of my favorites, but I did not find him as distracting as did some of the other reviewers here, and whatever flaws he might have were easily compensated for by this wonderful story.

    The only reason why I still prefer Picoult's work in written form is that you miss the opportunity once the final plot is revealed to flip back through and revisit key pieces of the intricate story from the perspective of your newfound knowledge of how it all really fits together. But that drawback could also be a plus, because it means a total relisten will be just that much more interesting.

    If you're teetering on the edge of buying this one, you won't regret taking the plunge.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Tifton, GA, United States 06-09-08
    John Tifton, GA, United States 06-09-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    "Not Your Usual Picoult!"

    I really enjoyed this book - it was so not the usual formula Picoult. I did get a sense of Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen while reading it, but that's a good thing. I don't care who you write like, as long as I like it! I will listen to this one again, trust me!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris summerville, SC, USA 07-05-09
    Chris summerville, SC, USA 07-05-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "loved Second Glance"

    Not only is this one of her best books I have read. The person's voice reading this book to you really makes this book great! It was wonderful!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy New Mexico 06-24-11
    Kathy New Mexico 06-24-11 Member Since 2007

    Kathy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "historically informative novel"

    I found the multiple story lines very well entwined as the impact of eugenics on our underprivileged and minorities was addressed from the characters' viewpoints. I really knew very little of this movement and have been appalled to find out it was still in practice up into the 1970s! In fact there was something in the news two days ago about sterilized persons in NC possibly being paid back by the state.
    There is a touch of magic in the story as well with the love stories. Its mysteriousness will keep you guessing at what will be happening next. If you like learning about historical events as well as watching love stories and families evolve it will be very satisfying to you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Franklin, CT, United States 08-01-10
    Jill Franklin, CT, United States 08-01-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
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    "Probably my favorite Picoult book so far"

    I bought this as part of a collection that included My Sister's Keeper. I wasn't thinking I would enjoy it as much as I did! I liked the parts that were flashbacks to the 1930's in Vermont and also enjoyed how everyone was connected for the ending.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 55 results PREVIOUS126NEXT
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  • Penny
    Gajoubert, France
    1/29/08
    Overall
    "Spellbinding and entrancing"

    I had not read any Jodi Picoult before, but this sounded good and I knew George Guidall was an excellent narrator. I was not disappointed! The book held my attention to such an extent that I got nothing done for 3 days, as I listened to this book. Captivating, thought-provoking, spell-binding - it left me wanting to go straight on to another Jodi Picoult.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Sylvia
    Patchway, Bristol, United Kingdom
    4/17/08
    Overall
    "Spellbinding"

    Fascinating and cleverly woven story that held me captive to the very end. George Guidall narrates beautifully and Jodi's writing is tip top in pace and atmosphere. I loved it!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Plumstead, London, United Kingdom
    3/25/08
    Overall
    "Hmmm"

    This was an okay listen but a little bit contrived, I have downloaded many other books that have been more satisfying. But on the other hand it wasnt awful either. Sorry this is a luke warm review, but I guess thats how I feel about it.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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