The Second Love of My Life
by Victoria Walters
Publisher: Headline Review
Publishing Date: 7th April 2016
Source: Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 320
Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction
Victoria Walters’ debut novel is a powerful tale of love, grief and survival, perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern, Lucy Dillon and Miranda Dickinson. ‚Brilliant and superior women’s fiction’ Heat
In the Cornish town of Talting, everyone is famous for something.
Until recently Rose was known for many things: her infectious positivity; her unique artistic talent; and her devotion to childhood sweetheart Lucas.
But two years ago that changed in one unthinkable moment. Now, Rose is known for being the young woman who became a widow aged just twenty-four.
Though Rose knows that life must go on, the thought of carving out a new future for herself is one she can barely entertain. Until a newcomer, Robert, arrives in Talting for the summer…
Can Rose allow herself the chance to love again?
After reading a prequel to „The Second Love of My Life”, „The Summer I Met You”, that I enjoyed, I was very desperate to read more about Rose and Lucas. They were mentioned in the novella, and even though they were not the main characters there, I warmed to them immediately and wanted to know more about them. They just teamed so well together! However, it came to my knowledge that in „The Second Love of My Life” Rose is going to find, well yes, a second love of her life, and I must admit, it troubled me very much because I couldn’t see her with someone other than Lucas and I wasn’t sure how I’m going to like the book without the two of them. You know, I was scared what could have happened that they are not together anymore, and to be honest, I haven’t expected THIS to happen to end their relationship… So that was the first surprise already.
The second surprise were the characters from the novella, Emma and John, who to me seemed a little meh but turned out to be great people, supporting Rose as much as they could, great friends, and also working brilliantly together.
The third surprise was placed somewhere in the middle of the book and had something to do with Rose’s potential new love. I guessed there is something going on when he didn’t want to meet Rose’s family but didn’t know for sure why, and to be honest, I haven’t seen this coming.
So yes, I really liked this book, much more than I thought I would, to be honest – there was this „something” that makes a book exceptional and a real joy to read. However, I couldn’t stop waiting for something to happen and I had a feeling that Rose is either crying or chuckling all the time. It dragged on a bit and there were moments that I sighed desperately at something that I knew is COMING and how much longer? Of course, we are talking about grieving here, so there is never a right time to stop grieving after beloved, but Rose took it all to another level, I think. You also know how much I love these small communities in the books, them all knowing everything about other people, but I couldn’t help thinking that the residents of Talting exaggerated a little. I mean, you must have first waited to be accepted by them if you wanted to be with Emma, and the feeling of support was a little too overwhelming. I would feel invigilated living in this village, I think.
Sure I understand where Rose was coming from and how she felt: she felt ripped and broken and unfair towards Lucas, that she lived and he didn’t anymore, and this is why she was like in a state of hibernation. Also, Lucas’s parents, and especially his mother, didn’t help a lot in that matter, somehow eliciting guiltiness in Rose. And of course my heart went to her, but on the other hand she was only 24 when Lucas died and had a whole life before her, so this is why this crying and self – pitying, the lack of laughing and good mood annoyed me a little. But Victoria Walters has also managed to do something very exceptional, and namely wonderfully showed how Rose started to see that she also can love more than one person. And altogether, I truly liked Rose. Her story moved me and I really sympathised with her and wished her only best. And I think we shouldn’t judge the characters – at the beginning I was thinking they are a little too selfish and too self – pitying, but I also can’t put myself in their shoes and I don’t know what they really go through – though the author has done a great job in describing their feeling to us.
Rose was once a very promising up – and – coming artist but after Lucas’s death she couldn’t face her paints and brushes any more. And I wanted to gush a little (again!) about how well Victoria Walters described the reasons Rose couldn’t paint, and how well she put Rose through the hard times, and how well she captured the process of coming out of her comfort zones and trying again – because „The Second Love of My Life” is really beautifully written book about new beginnings, about love, friendship, forgiveness and strong relationships. The writing is thrilling, really beautiful, and for a debut novel it is really a mature book, where the author brilliantly described all kind of emotions and feelings. Victoria Walters can already paint very vivid and colourful settings and strong, clear characters, and if it is only the beginning of her writing career then I predict that we will hear a lot about her in the future. She can in a very magic way mix sadness with humour and wonderfully balance emotions, and to be honest I haven’t seen a lot of this in these thousands of books that I’d read. And she writes in such a beautiful way about love that even the biggest sceptics will start to believe in this feeling! A lovely story, I wholeheartedly recommend it!