Atria, May 2002, 24.00, 320 pp.
San Diego novelist Charlotte Dearborn is going through a mid life crisis as the forty two. Encouraged by her agent and publisher, she 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 write in.
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 charcaters.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner