Book Cover of The Second Ending by Michelle Hoffman

Book Review: The Second Ending by Michelle Hoffman Book

Thank you NetGalley and Ballantine for my E-ARC in exchanged for my honest review. 

Dive into the world of The Second Ending, a humorous and heartwarming book that explores the power of second chances and the magic of music.

Book Cover of The Second Ending by Michelle Hoffman

The Second Ending Summary

We meet Prudence Childs, a genius who finds herself adrift after her youngest offspring heads off to college. But a new journey begins when her cherished childhood Steinway and Sons piano shows up. Follow Prudence as she navigates through mishaps, reignites her love for music, and discovers a long-held misbelief about herself in The Second Ending.

Introducing the renowned pianist and television personality Alexei Petrov! Though his life may seem like a dazzling display of fame and fortune, it takes a surprising turn when he confronts his innermost truths. Meanwhile, Prudence, tormented by her struggles, will cross paths with Alexei in a thrilling piano battle on national television. Who will emerge victorious in this battle of the keys? Tune in to find out!

The Second Ending Review

The Second Ending is a comical tale that unravels twisted events, misunderstandings, and the eventual discovery of realities we tend to overlook.


When I dive into a story, my attention is immediately captured by the narrative style and the author’s perspective. It has a significant impact on how I experience the story. In The Second Ending, the narrator is all-knowing, which isn’t usually my cup of tea, but Michelle Hoffman’s use of this point of view was nothing short of brilliant. It brought a whole new level of humor and momentum to the book, which I had never encountered before.


Prudence Childs is a fascinating and imaginative woman who possesses profound emotions. Though her outward appearance might lead one to think otherwise, she is benevolent and warm-hearted. Her emotional depth often leads to dramatic outbursts, which only serves to enhance her already colorful persona. As a mother and someone who experiences self-doubt, she is easy to identify with.

Alexei Petrov’s character embodies the quintessential obedient son, but his transformation is relatable and captivates any creative mind. His early inability to rebel, coupled with a lifetime of micromanagement by his mother, serves as a poignant reminder of the pitfalls of authoritarian parenting.

In The Second Ending, there are many supporting characters, all with unique backgrounds and motivations. What’s great is that they aren’t just there for show, but rather they add depth and richness to the storyline. Of all the secondary characters, my absolute favorite is Pierre Millet. He’s like a beacon of light, helping Prudence see the way and believe in herself. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some wise advisors in my life who share similar qualities to him.

Conflict & Theme

The Second Ending brims with conflicts unlike any other, but Michelle Hoffman has managed to infuse it with a playful touch despite the grave outcomes. What makes this novel stand out is the internal tug-of-war that each character experiences. Their individual battles propel the plot forward in remarkable ways, making for an enthralling read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Throughout the book, the author delves into the characters’ innermost insecurities, which drive them to make impulsive choices. These self-doubts are often rooted in external influences, such as the opinions of influential figures in their lives, which have shaped their self-image. As I read, I couldn’t help but appreciate the author’s creativity in exploring this recurring theme.

The book truly showcases the characters’ self-discovery journey, culminating in their personal realizations.

“Immortality, she realized, was in all of us, in some form or another. Because each of us lives on in the people we connect with, whether through music, or lover or a shared dream.” 

Noteworthy Elements 

As I delved into The Second Ending, a delightful surprise awaited me. The author’s hidden talent for tickling the ivories was revealed through the enchanting depiction of Prudence’s musical prowess. The subtle nods to notes and Classical pieces were a delightful touch that resonated with my love for this genre of music. This added dimension elevated my reading experience and left a lasting impression.

Overall Reading Enjoyment

The Second Ending is an intriguing and heartwarming tale that has left me with a powerful realization – my own perception of self holds more weight than anyone else’s opinion. This book is a must-read that will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions – from laughter to tears to moments of exasperation and hopefulness. I wholeheartedly urge you to dive into the world of The Second Ending and experience its creative magic for yourself.

Favorite Quote

“Everyone thinks their dreams are silly. That’s why so few go after them.” 


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