"A second chance at life drama"
San Diego novelist Charlotte Dearborn is going through a
mid life crisis as the forty two --old woman, encouraged by
her agent and publisher, decides to become an elementary
school teacher after her writing career seemingly failed.
The published author feels first grade has to be better
than the lack of sales beyond family and friends, and
horribly worse award nominations in genres she does not
Starting over in the classroom, Charlotte is stunned by the
siege mentality of her peers. The other teachers deride
her for turning to teaching as a profession. Furthermore,
they scorn her inability to keep her first graders in line
as her class of six-year-olds runs roughshod over her.
Meting out discipline is difficult to someone who cannot
discipline herself until she begins to mirror a character
from one of her novels.
SECOND DRAFT OF MY LIFE is a look into the life of a person
trying to get off a treadmill of what she deems as a so far
failed life to start fresh. However, Charlotte is so
unprepared for teaching, the audience must wonder why she
selected that profession to the point that this reviewer
agrees with her classroom peers that can she really be that
ignorant to choose it for money and vacation time? Still
the audience will feel empathy for the lead protagonist
until the nirvana ending, but wonder where the tale could
have went if Sara Lewis explored the concept of parallel
lives between Charlotte and one or more of her characters.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 18, 2002
Forty-two years and five books into her life, Charlotte
Dearborn is ready to start over from scratch. As a writer,
she's had enough rejection to sink a ship -- or at least a
writing career. It's time to find a new job. Teaching
elementary school sounds good. Although the work may not be
glamorous, it offers many of the compensations that writing
lacks. Steady paychecks. The camaraderie of colleagues. And
the children -- to give her life a clear purpose.
As she's committing herself to getting what she wants from
her work, Charlotte decides to break free from her
noncommittal boyfriend. She deserves better! She may be
giving up her dream of being a recognized novelist, but in
return she'll find a stable income, job satisfaction, and
Of course she will. Any minute now. Just as soon as she
figures out how to cope with twenty yelling first-graders,
her nasty coworkers, and a series of romantic misadventures
that fall far short of true love.
Charlotte's struggle to navigate the waters of a new
career, a new single life, and the loss of her identity as
a writer make Second Draft Of My Life a funny, compulsively
readable gem. From an author The Boston Globe applauded
as "very, very good on the business of falling in and out
of love," it is part romantic comedy, part manual for
living, and wholly triumphant.