Second Glance

Second Glance

by Jodi Picoult
4.2 248


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Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

"Sometimes I wonder....Can a ghost find you, if she wants to?"

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 fiancée'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 thingsthat come back to haunt us -- literally and figuratively. Do we love across time, or in spite of it?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416583868
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication date: 08/05/2008
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 92,335
Product dimensions: 5.34(w) x 9.84(h) x 1.16(d)

About the Author

Jodi Picoult received an AB in creative writing from Princeton and a master’s degree in education from Harvard. The recipient of the 2003 New England Book Award for her entire body of work, she is the author of twenty-one novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, and My Sister’s Keeper, for which she received the American Library Association’s Margaret Alexander Edwards Award. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Visit her website at


Hanover, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

May 19, 1966

Place of Birth:

Nesconset, Long Island, NY


A.B. in Creative Writing, Princeton University; M.A. in Education, Harvard University

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Second Glance 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 248 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The town of Comtosook in rural Vermont is a quiet, bucolic place while nothing very much ever happening until the day that Rod van Vleet, on behalf of the Redhook Group, buys a piece of land from Spencer Pike. They intend to raze the house and build a shopping mall but the Abenaki Indians are protesting the sale saying that it is on Indian burial ground. From the time Pike¿s signature is put on the bill of sale a lot of supernatural happenings begin to occur. The sky is raining rose petals, the land that van Vleet bought is frozen solid even though it is august and the building crew hears strange sounds. Ross Wakeman, one of the walking wounded meets Lia, a beautiful woman who seems to fear her husband. When he discovers that she is a ghost he looks into a crime that happened in 1932 and with the help of a local police officer manages to solve it and bring the victims home again. Ross, a man who has cheated death many times, finds he has to outwit it once more when the victims he brought back as well as his nephew find themselves in mortal danger. Jodi Picoult has outdone herself in writing SECOND GLANCE, a novel that is the best work she has ever written. It has elements from three different genres contributing to the main storyline but it is so unique it defies classification. Genre fans and readers who like literary works will have their needs met with this outstanding novel. The protagonist in this novel, a man who defies death is a true hero because when danger threatens those he cares about, he takes action and by doing so finds redemption. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are transcription errors on nearly every page of this novel whenever the type changes to italics in the Nook format. This creates an irritating, distracting reading experience. Every few sentences my attention to the story was halted while I was forced to pause, re-read the last words and attempt to decipher though the typos. This experience and similar with some other eBooks has made me reconsider my previous affection for the Nook.
thebluehoop More than 1 year ago
This book was a step away from the everyday Jodi Picoult book, as she delves out of the realms of fiction and into a story which is centered around the supernatural. She intertwines the lives of numerous characters even connecting their fates through time. In this novel, Ross Wakeman, grieving over his dead wife, struggles between his attempts in suicide and his relentless persistence in looking for an afterlife through his hunt for ghosts. After many disappointments, he stumbles upon a mysterious woman named Lia, who he falls in love with despite himself. After a shocking discovery that Lia had in fact died years ago, he delves into Lia's mysterious past. As he progresses further into Lia's haunted past, he relives her time of discrimination and prejudice, as she is suppressed by her controlling and prejudiced husband who attempts to deal with her suicidal depression, unaware of her Abenaki heritage. Ross proceeds to solve the mystery of Cecelia's murder and her child's death. This book conveys Picoult's previous themes, such as power of love in both a positive and a dangerous way. On one hand there is Ross' sister, Shelby, who has both a powerful maternal love for her son, Ethan, who has XP, and a familial love for her brother Ross, who is suicidal. Her caring and healing nature spawns from her ability to love them. On the other hand, there is Spencer, whose love for Cecelia led to his restriction of her freedom and inability to understand and help her, due to his fear of rejection by society. She illustrates the full potency of such a selfish love, when Spencer attempts to murder Lia's baby, leading to her final suicide. Her characters natures were flawed and confusing, as in real life, but also managed to inspire empathy as we examine the contrast of valid opinions based on each person's life. For example, Meredith, seeing many miserable people with genetic defects, feels that the people have a right to choose a better future for their child through her job of eliminating those with bad genes. However, Shelby argues that she would not have wanted to spend the twelve years of her life with anyone else but her son, Ethan. Although this book was a slight disappointment to me due to the lack of scenes in a court, it was nevertheless a good read. Picoult's ability to invoke empathy in the reader did not fail in this book, and although I usually do not read ghost stories, this was nevertheless fantastic, tinted with Picoult's usual romances and opposing viewpoints. I also was a little disappointed at the fickle nature of Ross, who went from pining for his wife to loving a ghost to settling on the ghost's granddaughter. I felt like the author could have found another way to develop the plot without making his character suffer. Anyone who is interested in a good novel, or a chilling story to read, should try this book. Picoult fans won't be disappointed in this book which continues her multidimensional aspect as well as a new element of the unnatural.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, I LOVE Jodi Picoult's books, but this one was not her usual standard. It was extremely difficult to get in to and follow the characters in the beginning. However, by the end, all the loose ties are neatly in a bow. But, I debated putting it down several times - which is not my idea of a 'great read'. This is definitely a 'borrow from the library' - not a 'buy!!!'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have truly enjoyed reading Jodi's novels over the past couple years, however this one was very hard to get into. The middle of the book was the best part, but I was slightly disappointed at the end -- I guess I wanted a little more out of it. Her writing style is the same as other books, but after the first few chapters, it starts getting more interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was much enthralled by JP's 'My sister's Keeper' and '19 Minutes' - I read both in two weeks, I could not put them down! I thought I would read all her books until I opened this one. I had to force myself to turn the pages hoping it would get better. Instead I found myself skipping many pages to see if the good bit was close! The unravelling of the mystery was a tad pridictable. As much as I loved her other novels, this one didn't reach the bar. But it certainly won't keep me from reading another of JP's novels. Her writing and the way she expresses those moments in life deserve more than a second glance.
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Thank you Jodi for another great book! Loved it could not put it down, A must read, Ten stars!!!!!!!!!
JustMyTwoCents More than 1 year ago
One of Picoults Better Novels-- I've read several of Jodi Picoult's novels and found this to be one of her better ones. It was a bit difficult to get into in the beginning due to there being so many different characters, and I actually had to stop and write down the various characters and who they were in order to sort them out in my head. However,once you get past the somewhat confusing beginning, the story becomes transfixing. How she was able to tie together a ghost story, a love story, a story about a boy with a rare genetic disorder, and eugenic studies and laws in the 1920s and 1930s is amazing. I have also found sometimes that while I thoroughly enjoy the ride Picoult takes me on, I am not always enamored of the way she ties up all the loose ends. This book was an exception and caught me by surprise. A captivating read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my third jodi picoult book. The first couple i read several years ago, the books were good but i really enjoyed the way she stretched her style into magical realism
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not her usual read...but very good! The loose ends started pulling together but still held my attention right to the very end. Another hardback to add to my library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one is slow reading; different sort of topic and jumps around some. had it a while and still not finished. usually like her books.
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MichaelTravisJasper More than 1 year ago
Little Known True American History is Explored and a Different Kind of Love Story Unfolds here. This novel started a little slow for me. None of the characters really seemed immediately likable. However, as the story developed, it became quite interesting. The characters come to life in a way that causes you to invest in them because they are quite realistic in their feelings and motivations. The historical aspects and exploration of the little known pursuit of eugenics right here in the United States is a fascinating and scary topic. Ghost hunting is another interesting practice that we learn a bit about. I wasn’t sure how Ms. Picoult was going to pull together all the divergent storylines, but she pulled it off with her usual skill. This novel is an entertaining study of different kinds of love, and what they mean in our lives. Michael Travis Jasper, Author of the Novel “To Be Chosen”