What they say:
*AN AMAZON RISING STAR*
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?
Get lost in Victoria Walters’ immensely touching debut novel, and discover a world that will capture your imagination and heart.
The review: Okay, so as I said yesterday when I read the short story, The Summer I met you (read review here), which precedes this, Victoria Walter’s debut novel, The Second Love of my Life, there is an excerpt at the end, and when I read it I actually said, out loud, ‘No!’ (not sure I told you that bit), and then I bought it. Somehow I found the strength to wait until bedtime when all was silent to park myself outside the kids’ rooms and ingest this book. And what a book it was!
It began with a prologue detailing four years previous as we see Rose, an incredibly talented artist, and the love of her life, Lucus, planning for their future together in their beautiful home town of Talting, which was seaside perfection. Fast forward to ‘Now’ and Rose is alone and we’re slowly figuring out how she’s faring, with vivid, haunting dreams and a fear that she’ll never again have the motivation to produce any more paintings.
The book is told in first person narrative and it’s so easy to adore Rose, with her vitality jumping off the page (screen), even in grief. She’s one of those people that you know would be the hub of any group (she’s so cool!) and that makes it harder. There are many memories of course, but the book isn’t submerged in them, instead it’s about how Rose is dealing with finding her way in a new life, trying to find her art again, attempting to remain loyal to Lucas’ memory, and his parents, while trying to be happy as her friends Emma and John (who I loved) move down the path she thought herself and Lucas would be traversing together. Her descriptions of her feelings as she struggled forward were stunning, as were the artistic descriptions that put you right in her head, deciding what to do and how to do it. I love books that are as much about a talent or hobby as they are about romance, and this book showcased Rose’s artistic journey exceptionally.
The bits that made me cry caught me totally unaware- I had assumed it would be the description of how Lucas died that would do it, or something to do with his parents, but the magic was that Rose’s voice was so mesmirising that she could make something simple set you off. The romance is so pretty and dramatic and perfect and it matches the descriptions of landscape and art that is magnificently done. Oh and to top it off there’s a very realistic timeline to the book, as opposed to those that cause you to gnash your teeth as you read:
‘hints of autumn start to appear around me. The foliage around the cottage starts to change into oranges and reds’
There’s not much more to say, maybe go back and read The Summer I Met You, it’s not necessary, but it sets the book up nicely. There you go, a very cool, edgy, spellbinding, different read. Go get!