The Second Chances of Priam Wood
Published on March 13th 2013
Priam Wood is a painter, but when the colors of his life coalesce in unwanted ways, he is unable to change the canvas he has created. While he dies alone with no one at his side, he longs for his ballerina Ellie to return, but she is gone and there is no way to get her back…or is there? Death greets Priam in the form of a white abyss where a golden retriever informs him that he has the chance to relive the seven days of his life that he regrets the most. Before each of his second chances begin however, Priam must first relive each of the seven days the original way they happened, as a passenger within his own body, witnessing the day for what it was while being unable to do anything at all. He has to live through the death of his mother, the end of his relationship with his brother, the tragedy that befalls his son Charlie, and the loss of his one true love Ellie all over again. During his journey, he is able to amend occurrences in certain ways, but in doing so, his second chances are put on an entirely new trajectory. The seven days are connected and thus, as he begins to alter events that happened during his life, what he comes to fix later on no longer even exists. When he reaches the end, his second days are incomparable to how his life originally went. The Second Chances of Priam Wood is a story about realizing that not everything that happens in our lives can be explained, and that regardless of the tribulations we face, we must never give up.
"A passionate, highly relatable love story based on a fantasy-tinged premise. Priam's despair is poignantly juxtaposed against the urgency he feels in trying to correct his mistakes during the second chances. Rigby ties characters, even peripheral ones, throughout the threads of both stories, proposing that we fatefully meet people we are intended to meet. Rigby wraps up his story with a tight, satisfying ending that gives meaning to Priam's journey and provides readers with a keen lesson in the importance of forgiveness, making amends, and never wasting a moment." –Publishers Weekly
"The best of this novel echoes John Irving and his great imagination, storytelling, and love for his characters. It's an ambitious, far-fetched premise that the author pulls off quite well, allowing readers to suspend disbelief and enjoy what is referred to as fiction's continuous dream. Despite the dark themes of this novel-guilt, shame, feelings of unworthiness, death, suicide, war, and terrorism-the novel is for the most part a warm, interesting, and uplifting read. This is a moving story of loss, regret and salvation, of life as journey, and of souls as forever students." –Writer's Digest
"The writing is flawless; the seven days that the character had to re-live is told in details and isn't rushed...it is beautifully and genuinely written. The lessons and inspiration that one can take from this book are plenty: live life to the fullest, nothing lasts forever and you don't know what you have until it's gone. The depth of this story was astonishing. This is a kind of book that you will want to read while you are relaxing no matter where or when." –Readers' Favorite