While reading The Second Date, I had an amazing, heart-warming feeling in my chest. It's a beautiful, touching story not just about Sonia Amundsen, the protagonist, but it is also a story about her family and about her roots. Sonia and her family are completely ordinary people that you could meet around the corner on your way to the local shop, but Simonsen made their lives a little less ordinary, as every single person that appears in the novel is an individual, a special person. I like the way she focused on every person. Every character that appears has a personal story to tell, a history behind them, traditions,beliefs, traits, even if a character appears only in one chapter. They're not just named characters you need to get on with the story.They're living, breathing creatures that, after reading the novel, seem so familiar, as if you'd met them and talked to them before. I appreciate that a lot. It really makes the story seem real, like it's an actual family chronicle. Really, very, very well done! And Mary Simonsen is very talented, in my opinion, because I believe it takes some skill to create such vivid characters. There are no stock or shallow characters in this story, which is really amazing.The writer touched a theme that is, I think, a very important American subject (or at least I think it is, as I am not an American myself) - immigrants and their lives in America. I personally think that her take on the colourful Italian - American community is spot on. Knowing Italians, I think they'd approve of how they are portrayed. I kept thinking: "Wow, it would be so cool to be a part of such a big, but such a close family." Why? I think mostly because the Carellis/Amundsens are so open and genuine. It seems that lies are not an option in their world. I don't know if the author intended for her novel to have a message or not, but I found one: family and one's roots are really important. They define you very deeply and clearly and, in normal circumstances, your family is the one group of people you can always go to at the end of the day and they'll accept you with an embrace. Family's important. Heritage is important. This is one of the aspects that make this novel very inspiring and heart-warming.The story itself is really romantic (which I love) and fun, but realistic, too. Something like this can happen! I like that. It's very optimistic, and as an optimist and romantic myself, I was all smiles at the end. The idea of a woman who never goes on a second date is very intriguing, and the author executed the idea really well.This novel definitely is my cup of tea, but even if it wasn't, the story is truly well written. The Second Date is a wonderful piece of fiction, one that I will definitely return to in the future. I recommend it!