Second Thoughts, Second Chances
by D.C. Moses

"Viktor took another good long look at all the Clinton Street his eyes could take in. 'Where have all the immigrants gone?' he hummed to himself."

First generation children of Polish immigrants to the U.S., Mitchell and Viktor Kipnis have reached retirement age. Mitchell’s declining health leads him from the West Coast, where he led a successful career in aeronautics, back home to Thompsonville to live with his cousin Viktor. Paul Kipnis, son of Mitchell, now in his thirties, is also there. Mitchell and Paul are soon introduced to Corrina, a vibrantly attractive adoptive daughter of Viktor's, now in her twenties. Corrina has been dating Sydney Steinberg, a gifted and ambitious Jewish boy whose upper crust family makes her anxious about acceptance. Mitchel and Viktor re-connect, Corrina struggles with her emotions, and Paul tries to understand his situation.

The plot of the novel is about family in the early twenty-first century. Mitchell comes to question the meaning of his successful life, and Viktor helps him re-establish meaning by bringing him to Thompsonville. Corrina is troubled by Sydney's Wall Street involvement with sub-prime mortgages, and Paul steps into the picture. Themes covered include values, commitment, social responsibility, and honesty. The healing power of a small community, even if full of plight and empty houses, is championed. In fact, almost all of the characters wind up working to revivify the formerly one-industry town. The characters are colorful and lifelike, the author addressing difficult existential questions through them. The language is ornate and evocative, with the power of community and family being thoroughly celebrated over life in the fast lane.

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