Book review: Second Acts

How often do you find people who are gonna travel all the way through your life?

I have a set of friends whom I have known for a decade and a half now. We may not be physically close, but when we meet or talk to each other from different parts of the world, it has always been like we are back to our primary classes, mostly. We know each other’s heartbreak stories, the crushes, and the family issues.

Most of my friends are people with whom I have been for more than four years now. That is quite a huge thing, especially for someone like me, who jumps from one shiny thing to another frequently. Thankfully my friendships have not taken that route.

Why am I converting a book review into a sappy old story of yours truthfully? Nothing much other than sheer narcissism and the fact that Second Acts is a book about the friendship between grown ass adult women.

About the book

second acts

Book Name: Second Acts

Author: Teri Emory

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Characters: Sarah, Miriam, Beth

Setting: The USA

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Author and Edelweiss for the Advance Review Copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.


The story takes through the lives of Sarah, Miriam, and Beth right from their college days. They have spent their lives together for decades, all through their happiness, heartbreaks, the ups and the downs, even when they had lived physically far from each other.

Now the ladies are in their fifties, and their careers and domestic lives are changing. Would their friendship sustain through these storms?

The book alternates between the voices of Sarah, Miriam, and Beth in the first person throughout. Sarah lives with her boyfriend Kevin who wouldn’t commit or even let her in on his life, which seemed convenient for her. She finds out something huge about Kevin and his son and Kevin did not even feel it was important to inform her. And the changes at work makes it impossible for her continue shying away from commitments.

Miriam has had her heart broken once, and she wonders about all the men that she had turned down. She is more than settled with the idea that she is never going to meet the right one. Beth seemingly has it all, until she finds her husband cheated on her. To make her life more fragile the love of her life, the one that got away is back. The group has a second chance in life. Should they trade their old lives?

My initial thoughts

The idea that college friends can stay together well into their fifties is highly romantic. The dynamics among them does not change and if anything, it has become better with age. Though the ladies are all at different points of their life and have chosen different paths, there is no judging and an unwavering support through it all.

Second Acts makes it a point to let us know that 50s are not something to be dreaded about. Lives still go on and about, and exciting things do happen.

Things that worked for me

  • The characters were well developed, and even the minor characters had depth. 
  • I found a part of myself among all the three leads, and I kept rooting for Miriam the most. She was just too cool.
  • Several themes like grief over death, lost love, hurt by a loved one, despair over unrequited love, unexpected changes were all dealt with such flair that the reader would feel them.

Things that could have been better

  • Though there were too many details and the book as such was tad bit lengthy, I continued through it.
  • I would not call the book an un-put-down-able, and it took a lot more than usual to complete the book.
  • On the whole, I was not disappointed at all, thanks to the realistic plot and engaging writing.

Bottom – line

Second Acts could be your summer read, the one that you wanna read when you miss your friends in real life or the one you read during your daily commute. If you are up to reading a woman’s fiction with realistic writing this weekend, you should watch out for Second Acts.

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Second acts

Let us chat

What are your favorite women fiction? Do you like books that are character oriented with slow moving plots? Let us talk.


  1. Megan @ Ginger Mom

    This one sounds amazing and I just put it on our Ginger Mom book club list 🙂 Great review! You really had me engaged.

    • Gayathri

      I am flattered. I have to take a peek into your book club recommendations.

      • Megan @ Ginger Mom

        Right now it’s just the two of us just starting out 🙂

        • Gayathri

          I love all the features in your blog and I have been stalking your blog for a while now. And I am planning to join the 2018 A-Z Challenge as well.

          • Megan @ Ginger Mom

            Yay 🙂

  2. empressdj

    How did I miss this one? It sounds delightful!

    • Gayathri

      It was refreshing to read about people in their later years.

  3. Jo Linsdell

    Great review. Nice to come across a book with older lead characters. Love the theme of the book too.

    • Gayathri

      It was definitely welcome change, from the YA and contemporaries I am reading.

  4. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

    Thanks for your love Terri. Yes it has been a while, I am good. I just needed some time off with my books. But now I am back. 🙂

  5. Terri

    I haven't seen you on FB much the last few days. Just want to make sure you're doing ok. I'm sure you're just busy. BTW, I liked the review too 🙂

  6. Lilkadykitty

    This sounds like a good book for friendships. Granted it seems to be a little bit long winded it, this book is going to be a good drama read.


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Gayathri has been reviewing books since 2010. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she works as a writer and a digital marketer. Head over to meet me!