I absolutely loved The Winter That Made Us by Kate Field which I reviewed on its publication day back in September 2018. (You can read that review here.) So I jumped at the chance to read her newest book A Dozen Second Chances and it was equally as lovely.
The main character is Eve Roberts, a character I quickly warmed to. Eve works as a secretary in a high school, a job she doesn’t exactly love but one which she carries out to her own exacting high standards. She lost her sister, Faye, at a very young age and brought up Faye’s young daughter, Caitlyn, as her own. Now Caitlyn is off to Paris for a year to work as an au pair and knowing that Eve has always put her first, leaves her some vouchers. These twelve vouchers encourage Eve to be kind to herself. Every time she does something special for herself she is to fill in a voucher and send it to Caitlyn. I won’t tell you all of the things she does of course but some are very simple things like going for a meal with friends or buying some new clothes.
Paddy is Eve’s ex-boyfriend who left just when she really needed him and turns up unexpectedly when Eve goes to a lecture it turns out he is giving. They both studied archaeology at Uni and began working life together. When Eve took on the care of Caitlyn though, she had to give up her promising career. It was always their passion and dream to work together and while Eve had to put this passion on hold, Paddy went on to have a successful career including TV work. He wants to explain why he left so abruptly all those years ago and to show he is now a different man but Eve doesn’t want to hear! If I was in her shoes I would probably be the same but as a reader I was desperate for her to give him a second chance!
I loved Eve’s Gran, Phyllis, who was a real character. I loved her bluntness, her way of seeing straight through people and her unwavering love and support for Eve. When a horrible new head teacher begins work in Eve’s school and starts rubbing everyone up to the wrong way, I was outraged on Eve’s behalf that she was so underappreciated! Gran’s thoughts? “Why do you want to spend [time] on a job you don’t love? You get to my age and there’s nowt to do but regret what you’ve done and not done. It’s not much fun, let me tell you. If you don’t like the path you are on, try another while you still can.” See? Wise words indeed!
I so enjoyed reading about Eve as she started being kind to herself, prompted by the vouchers, but eventually realising that she did truly deserve happiness. A Dozen Second Chances is such a beautifully told story about taking second chances in life and love. The story really shows the importance of self care and putting yourself first every now and then. Kate Field’s writing is touching, uplifting and emotionally engaging and I loved reading this book.
My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random resources for the opportunity to take part in this tour. A Dozen Second Chances is published by One More Chapter and available now as an e-book: the paperback will follow in May. You can buy your copy here: A Dozen Second Chances
From the back of the book
What are the chances that twelve little tokens could change a life?
Seventeen years ago, Eve Roberts had the wonderful life she’d always dreamed of: a degree in archaeology, a gorgeous boyfriend, and exciting plans to travel the world with him, working on digs. But when her sister Faye died, the life Eve knew ended too. Faye’s daughter Caitlyn came to live with Eve, her boyfriend left, and she quickly gave up on her dreams.
Now approaching her fortieth birthday, Eve faces the prospect of an empty nest as Caitlyn is leaving home. Caitlyn gives Eve a set of twelve ‘Be Kind to Yourself’ vouchers, telling her that she has to start living for herself again, and that she should fill one in every time she does something to treat herself.
With her very first voucher, Eve’s life will change its course. But with eleven more vouchers to go, can Eve learn to put herself first and follow the dreams she’s kept secret for so long? Because life is for living – and as she well knows, it’s too short to waste even a moment…
About the author
Kate Field writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire where she lives on the edge of the moors with her husband, daughter and cat. Her debut novel won the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award for new writers.