Second Chances by Lincoln Cole – 3/5

Title: Second Chances

Author: Lincoln Cole

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis: 

“Nichole, a young intern at a prestigious law firm, is caught in a tough position. She is juggling too many responsibilities as her world falls apart around her. After her mother goes missing while performing an errand, Nichole is left picking up the pieces of her shattered life and taking care of her younger siblings. She isn’t sure where she can turn to for help, and she is facing a lot of harsh realities about how life works and how much prejudice can hold her back.

Richard is a lawyer who lost his identity in corporate law. He wants to help Nichole through this heartbreaking situation, but he makes mistakes and loses her trust. He discovers that he’s been doing the right things for the wrong reasons for a long time and it has cost him a lot. Everything begins to fall apart as he realizes he’s swept problems under the rug for so long he might no longer be able to fix them.

After meeting an alcoholic who is struggling to take control of his life, Richard wakes up to just how far off-course his life has become and attempts to right it. He asks Nichole for a second chance to help her overcome her obstacles, and he hopes it isn’t too late.

Can Nichole and Richard overcome their differences and get a Second Chance?”

Review:

I was very excited to read this novel.  Based on the reviews and awards that it has won, I was expecting a treat and a perfectly executed novel that examines racial inequality and sheds light on the topic.  Being a student going to school for social work, and someone who has had multiple internships and careers working with minorities and the impoverished, I have been around a lot of the problems and experiences that were presented in the novel.  However, I am sad to say that this novel was poorly executed.

First, I would like to say that Lincoln Cole is a talented writer.  His writing is clean and interesting to read, but based on his novel “Second Chances” I could tell that he had very little experience with the situations that he was writing about.  Reading this novel made me feel that I was reading one of the many novels trying to portray the female experience, but from a male perspective.  His dialogue was forced and unrealistic, which made the characters seem fake.  I didn’t see them as real people, I saw them as minorities that an author was trying to create with what little knowledge he had about the minority experience.  If he were to write novels about his own personal experiences, or things that he is more educated on, I know for a fact that he would succeed.  I just feel that he was a little out of his element with this novel.  One of the biggest tips that I give to authors is to write based on what they know (their own experiences and memories) because this technique will make sure that the writing is likable and realistic.  I am not sure what went into “Second Chances”, but I would suggest that Lincoln Cole go back and interview people who have gone through the experiences that he wants to write about.  Having that information will intensify the story and bring a much needed light to racial inequality and give a voice to the silenced.  Until then, I wouldn’t suggest this book if you don’t know very much about the experiences of minorities.  I feel that it could wrongly taint your perspective.

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