The Second Ending by Michelle Hoffman
5/30/23; 352 pages
The Second Ending by Michelle Hoffman is a highly recommended humorous and captivating debut novel about two pianists and a reality show competition.
Prudence Childs, 48, was once a household name as a child prodigy and
star who played the piano for the famous and influential until she gave
it all up to live an anonymous normal life and raise a family. Alexei
Petrov is a current, young virtuoso who hosts a reality show competition
with a large following. For reasons of her own, Prudence agrees to a
competition facing Alexei on the dueling pianos TV show where the winner
will take home a million dollars.
Adding to the drama is an ex-husband who hopes to extort money from Prudence, an HOA president who wants revenge, and a show producer with increasing demands. Both Prudence and Alexei have to win the competition for differing reasons but the two don't realize how much they have in common. The subject of controlling/stage parents is also readily present and the result of domineering actions is illustrated in the development of the characters.
The Second Ending is a compelling novel that will especially resonate with those who love music and play
any instrument, but will certainly be enjoyed by any reader who loves well-written character based novels. The eccentric characters come to life in this novel that is packed with drama, humor and
the love of music. Challenging and difficult issues are tackled with
humor and passion. The narrative held my attention throughout and the
ending was satisfying. This is a great debut novel!