Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One by Raphaelle GiordanoYour Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One by Raphaelle Giordano

Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One

byRaphaelle Giordano

Paperback | July 24, 2018

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The feel-good #1 bestselling French novel about a woman whose mission to cure her "routine-itis" leads her to lasting joy and true fulfillment, for fans of The Alchemist and Hector and the Search for Happiness.

At thirty-eight and a quarter years old, Paris native Camille has everything she needs to be happy, or so it seems: a good job, a loving husband, a wonderful son. Why then does she feel as if happiness has slipped through her fingers? All she wants is to find the path to joy.

When Claude, a French Sean Connery look-alike and routinologist, offers his unique advice to help get her there, she seizes the opportunity with both hands. Camille's journey is full of surprising escapades, creative capers, and deep meaning, as she sets out to transform her life and realize her dreams one step at a time...
Raphaelle Giordano is a writer, artist, and expert in personal development who lives in Paris, France. Trained in communication and stress management techniques, she previously owned Emotone, an events agency that organized art activities and innovative team building, stress management, and creativity/innovation courses. She has previo...
Title:Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have OneFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.12 × 4.95 × 0.67 inPublished:July 24, 2018Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0525535594

ISBN - 13:9780525535591

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Fictional Self-Help (In the Best Way) This was a different read for me. Although it's classified as Fiction, I felt that the story and the messages and lessons involved in this character's journey, made this novel hover the Fiction/Non-Fiction boundary line. In fact, that is one of the main reasons I loved this novel as much as I did. The character of Camille, and her struggles, read like a reflection of myself (as well as many people that I know). Whether you have a case of "routinitis" now or later, it seems that particular ailment is inevitable. It seems like this is a struggle everyone will encounter throughout different seasons of their life. Now, the amazing part was that as I was reading this novel and following Camille's journey, it became obvious that the fictional lessons that she was participating in would be beneficial for many of the general public. This is where this novel hovered the Fiction/Non-Fiction border. Although there was a story, it also read like lessons from a self-help book were integrated within that story. It was done so naturally as well, that it didn't appear as if the author was preaching to the reader and instead flowed with the circumstances of the novel. Yet at the same time I was intrigued enough with the lessons on self-discovery that Camille was participating in, that I wouldn't have minded doing an experiment with my own answers. I really liked following Camille's journey and found it both inspirational and motivating. I cannot help but praise the unique format of this novel because it read so different than what I have read before when it comes to a character's self-discovery and personal journey. For those that read, "The Wealthy Barber" by David Chilton, this novel's format reminded me a lot like that book (minus the lessons on financial planning). It's a novel with real life messages and lessons being told in a fictional manner which I found made it more thought provoking. ***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review***
Date published: 2018-09-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cute feel good story! I changed gears and lanes completely with this book, from my usual.  This was a charming tale about a woman who has everyone she needs, but finds herself completely unhappy and missing something in life. The story opens with Camille, driving along while thinking of how unhinged her life has become when she gets into an accident in an isolated part of town.  She walks to the closest house to call home and for a tow truck and is greeted by Claude. Claude sees emptiness in Camille as she quickly breaks down in front of him about more than just the car accident she was just involved in.  On her way out, Claude offers Camille his card and offers to help her if she needs life guidance.  Puzzled by the offer, Camille goes about her days but the intrigue of Claude’s offer haunts her until she picks up the phone and contacts him. Claude’s diagnosis for Camille is acute routinitis; “fiinding it hard to feel happy despite an abundance of material wealth, a feeling of disillusionment and lethargy, amongst other things.” A series of challenges and mini life projects is Claude’s mandate.  Although Claude’s offer leaves Camille skeptical at first, she goes along with it with hope that she will find the answers she has been desperately seeking in her marriage, her family life and in her career.  Claude’s main purpose is to teach Camille a more creative way to bring about change in her life so that she can reach the full potential of her inner happiness. Much like a self-help book, this story weaves in and out of tactics on tackling the clutter in life that keeps us from truly feeling full and happy.  It was definitely a feel-good book but I thought the plot lacked some depth, especially with Camille’s character I wished there more of a deeper dive into her mindset.  It was a quickly paced book, but I felt that final resolution was a bit rushed at the end. Overall I enjoyed reading this one and thought it was a fairly quick read (approx 220 pages).  I also thought that some of the challenges Claude had Camille engage in were interesting and definitely had me considering them for myself. I recommend this book to anyone looking for some guidance on improving positive self-image and self-worth.
Date published: 2018-08-01

Read from the Book

oneThe raindrops crashing against my windshield grew larger and larger. The wipers creaked and shuddered and soon the torrents of water were so great that I instinctively took my foot off the accelerator. It was an almost biblical storm; a car accident was the last thing I needed.To avoid the Friday-evening traffic on my way back into central Paris, I had decided to take the back roads through the woods that surround the city. Anything to avoid the gridlocked highways and the horror of spending hours at a standstill. I squinted as I tried to make out the road signs ahead through the misted-up windows. And as if the weather and the traffic weren't enough, all of a sudden, in the middle of the dark wood, my GPS gave up the ghost.It has to be said, no GPS would ever have survived the journey I'd just made. Or at least not unscathed. I was returning from an uncharted wilderness, the sort of area where "you are here" means "you are nowhere." And yet . . . out there was a small office park, an unlikely collection of PLCs (Profitless companies, I thought to myself) that my boss must have thought offered enough of a commercial opportunity to justify my trip. Although I had the unpleasant suspicion that ever since he'd agreed I could work a four-day week, he was making me pay for that favor by giving me the jobs no one else wanted. Which explained why I was in this tin can on wheels, navigating the roads on the outskirts of Paris to chase after such small fry . . .Come on, Camille, stop feeling sorry for yourself and concentrate on the road . . .Suddenly there was a loud bang. I swerved terrifyingly out of control. My head hit the windshield, and I learned that the story about your life flashing in front of your eyes in a split second wasn't just a myth.After a few foggy moments, I came to and tentatively reached up to where I'd hit my forehead . . . nothing sticky, thank goodness, just a large bump. I quickly checked myself all over. No, no other injuries to report. More of a fright than anything else, thank god!I got out of the car, shielding myself from the rain as best I could with my raincoat, and went to inspect the damage: a burst tire and a dented fender. Once I got over my initial panic, fear gave way to anger. For fuck's sake! Could today possibly get any worse? With shaking hands, I grabbed my cell phone as if it was a lifeline. No signal, of course. Why was I not surprised?The minutes ticked by. Nothing-there wasn't a soul around. I was all alone, stranded in this empty wood.Don't just panic, do something! There must be people living round here somewhere . . .So I abandoned the car-it was no use to me now-and set off along the road, braving the elements in my oh-so-glamorous hi-vis waterproof. Needs must . . .After an eternity of ten minutes, I came across the iron gates of a large house. I pressed the button on the videophone as urgently as if I were dialing emergency services.A man replied tersely, in one of those haughty voices that you reserve for unwanted callers."Yes? What is it?"I crossed my fingers: Please let this guy take pity on me!"Good evening . . . So sorry to bother you, but I've crashed my car in the woods behind your house . . . My tire's burst and I don't have any cell recep-"The buzzing sound of the gate being opened made me jump. Was it my bedraggled shipwreck survivor's appearance that had convinced him to offer me asylum? I didn't care. I slipped inside without a second thought and found myself confronted by a magnificent mansion, surrounded by a manicured garden. I felt as though I had struck gold.twoThe light came on at the top of the front steps, and the door opened. A man's imposing silhouette advanced toward me, carrying an enormous umbrella. When he drew closer, I could make out a long face, good-looking despite the wrinkles. He was one of those men who had aged well: a kind of Gallic Sean Connery. I noticed dimples at the corners of his mouth, which gave him a friendly air. One that put me at ease. He was at least sixty, but it didn't look as if it had taken much effort to get there. His pale gray eyes had a lively twinkle to them, and his salt-and-pepper hair was surprisingly thick for a man his age, only slightly receding in a way that suited the shape of his forehead. A beard as well tended as the gardens finished off his stylish appearance. He invited me to follow him inside."Come in. You're soaked through!""Tha-thanks. It's really kind of you. Again, I'm so sorry to disturb you . . .""Don't be. It's not a problem. Take a seat while I fetch you a towel."Just then, an elegant woman who I guessed must be his wife appeared. Her pretty face was creased with a frown, which she quickly suppressed when she saw me."Is everything all right, darling?""Yes, everything's fine. This lady had a car accident and couldn't get a signal in the woods. She just needs to use the phone and to recover a little.""Oh yes, of course . . ."When she saw how cold I was, she kindly offered me a cup of tea. I accepted on the spot.As she disappeared into the kitchen, her husband came back downstairs, holding a towel."Thank you, you're very kind, Mr. . . .""Call me Claude.""Ah, OK. My name's Camille.""Here you are, Camille. The phone is over there.""Wonderful. I won't be a minute.""Take your time."I went over to the telephone, which stood on a pretty inlaid wooden table beneath a piece of modern art. These people had taste, and they were obviously well-off. What a relief I had come across them and not some monster who devoured desperate housewives in distress.I picked up the receiver and dialed my insurance company's roadside assistance number. Since I couldn't give them my car's exact location, I asked the mechanic to come to the house, after Claude gave me the address. I was told they would be there within the hour. I breathed a sigh of relief: things were looking up.Then I called home. Claude was considerate enough to go over to the fire crackling in the hearth on the far side of the room and poke the logs while I did so. After eight seemingly endless rings, my husband picked up. I could tell from his voice that he had fallen asleep in front of the TV. He didn't seem surprised or worried that I was calling: he was used to me sometimes coming home quite late.I explained all the catastrophes that had occurred, but he kept interrupting me with annoyed grunts and tuts of exasperation, before asking technical details: How long would it take the tow truck to come? How much was it going to cost? My nerves were frayed enough as it was, and the way he was behaving made me want to shout down the phone. Couldn't he show a bit of understanding just this once? After telling him that I would sort it out and he needn't bother to wait up for me, I slammed down the phone.Despite myself, my hands were trembling and I knew tears were welling in my eyes. I didn't hear Claude coming back over to me, so I jumped when I felt his hand on my shoulder."Everything OK? Are you all right?" he asked gently. I only wished my husband's voice on the phone a few moments earlier had sounded as concerned.He bent over me and said again, "Are you OK?"At that, something in his face brought my defenses crashing down: my lip began to wobble, and I couldn't hold back the tears. My mascara ran down my face as I released all the pent-up frustration that had built over the previous hours, weeks-months, even . . .threeAt first Claude said nothing. He simply stood there, one warm hand resting on my shoulder.When my tears finally dried, his wife, who in the meantime had put down a steaming cup of tea beside me, went to fetch some tissues. Then she vanished upstairs, no doubt sensing that her presence might inhibit what would be a welcome opportunity to get things off my chest."I'm . . . I'm so sorry, this is ridiculous. I don't know what's come over me. I've been on edge recently anyway, and I've had such a terrible day-it's all too much."Claude had gone to sit in the armchair opposite me and was listening closely. Something about him made me feel I could trust him. He looked me straight in the eye. It was not a judgmental, intrusive look-more like a pair of open arms.Gazing at him, I sensed that I could open up. My inner resistance crumbled. So much the worse. Or so much the better?I told him the main reasons why I felt so down. I explained how all the micro-frustrations had accumulated and eaten away at any enthusiasm I felt for life, just when it seemed I should have everything I needed to feel on top of the world."It's not that I'm unhappy, but I'm not especially happy either . . . It's so awful, this feeling that joy has slipped through my fingers. I don't want to see a doctor about it: he would probably tell me I was depressed and stuff me full of drugs. No, it's just this sort of . . . dissatisfaction. It's nothing serious, but . . . it's as if my heart simply isn't in it anymore. I'm sorry, I really don't know if any of this is making sense."What I said seemed to move him so much that I wondered if it hadn't struck a very personal chord. Although we had only met barely an hour before, a strange feeling of trust had sprung up between us. My confession had suddenly brought us several degrees closer and established a surprising bond.He obviously felt a genuine desire to comfort me."Well, you may know what AbbŽ Pierre said: 'We have as much need of reasons for living as of the necessities of life.' So don't say it's not serious. It's tremendously serious! Troubles of the soul are not something to be taken lightly. And listening to you, I actually think I know what's wrong.""You do? Really?" I sniffled."Yes . . ."He hesitated a moment before continuing, as if trying to work out whether I was going to be receptive to what he had to say. He must have decided I was, because he went on, as though revealing a great secret."You're probably suffering from a kind of acute routinitis.""A-what?""Acute routinitis. It's a sickness of the soul that affects more and more people in the world, especially in the West. The symptoms are almost always the same: a lack of motivation; chronic dissatisfaction; feeling you've lost your bearings and everything meaningful in life; finding it hard to feel happy even though you have more than enough material goods; disenchantment; world-weariness . . .""But . . . but how do you know all that?""I'm a routinologist.""A routine-what?"He must be used to this kind of reaction, because he remained calm and collected while still projecting compassion.He briefly explained what routinology was: an innovative method still little known in France but already popular in many other parts of the world. Researchers and scientists had come to realize that an increasing number of people were suffering from the syndrome. While not being clinically depressed, one could still have a feeling of emptiness and unease and suffer from the unpleasant sensation that although you had everything you needed to be happy, you didn't have the key to make the most of it.I listened to him wide-eyed, drinking in what he was saying. It was such an accurate description of what I was feeling. My expression encouraged him to continue."You know, at first glance routinitis may seem like a benign condition, but it can cause real damage: epidemics of pessimism, tsunamis of discontent, catastrophic storms of bad moods. Smiling could become endangered. Don't laugh, it's true! Not to mention the butterfly effect. The more the phenomenon spreads, the greater number of people fall prey to it . . . If not properly treated, routinitis can lower the well-being index of an entire country."Although I knew he was being serious, I also realized he was laying it on thick to bring a smile back to my face."Isn't that a bit of an exaggeration?""Only slightly. You can't imagine how many happiness illiterates there are. Not to mention all those lacking any emotional intelligence. It's a real scourge. Don't you agree that there's nothing worse than the sense that life is passing you by? Simply because you don't have the courage to go for what you really want, because you haven't stayed faithful to your deepest-seated values, to the dreams you harbored as a child?""Yes, that's so true . . .""Unfortunately, developing our capacity for being happy isn't something we're taught at school. Yet there are techniques you can learn. You can have lots of money and be really unhappy, or equally not have much but make your existence the sweetest there is. The capacity for being happy has to be worked on, built up day by day. All you have to do is take a good look at your system of values and re-educate the way you look at life and what's going on around you."He stood up and went over to the big table to fetch a plate of cookies to go with my tea. He nibbled a few absentmindedly, seemingly keen to return to our conversation. The more I listened to him telling me about how important it was to rediscover yourself, to love yourself better so as to find your own path and your happiness, to make that joy radiate around you, the more I wondered what on earth could have happened to him to make him so passionate about all this.He lit up completely as he tried to persuade me to share his conviction. Then all at once he fell silent and stared at me with that benevolent look of his that seemed to read my mind as easily as a blind person reading Braille.

Editorial Reviews

“[A] charming, feel-good story...funny, sweet, and not without a few important happy-life tips.”—Good Housekeeping“This charming novel is perfect for anyone who feels they aren’t living the life they could be. Plus, once you’re finished, you can gaze lovingly at the cover, which is basically the motivational poster your desk needs.”—Hello Giggles“A good pick for readers who are looking for a lighter take on Eat, Pray, Love. A fast, feel-good story about finding happiness.”—Kirkus Reviews “A one-sitting read, because we all resemble Camille to some degree, and we’d all love to do what she does. So, what if we gave it a go...?”—Femme Actuelle (France)  “A delicious feel-good novel.”—Marie France  “Giordano teaches us how to come up for air and to fall in love with life. We say yes!”—Madame Figaro (France)