• Paperback: 480 pages
• Publisher: Harper (May 3, 2016)
“Rich, romantic, beautifully drawn and utterly compelling” Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author
Life is short. Sometimes you have to take a chance…
Two single parents, Scott and Frankie, meet by chance.
Their homes are thousands of miles apart: Frankie lives somewhat chaotically with her children on the shoreline of North Norfolk, while Scott’s life is in the mountains of British Columbia. Distance divides them – but it seems that a million little things connect them. A spark ignites, one so strong that it dares them to take a risk.
But fatehas one more trick in store…
There are some truths about life and family we only learn when we grow up. There are some we never thought we’d have to.
Buy, read, and discuss this book.
Freya North is the author of many bestselling novels which have been translated into numerous languages. She was born in London but lives in rural Hertfordshire, where she writes from a stable in her back garden. A passionate reader since childhood, Freya was originally inspired by Mary Wesley, Rose Tremain and Barbara Trapido: fiction with strong and original characters.
Connect with Freya
I started this book expecting it to be a kind of cozy contemporary romance story, and ended up with a rich novel about love, loss, and second chances, as well as glimpses into the creative process, which makes sense since the lead characters are a writer and a musician, respectively.
I was intrigued by Scott almost from the start, because he isn’t the typical romantic lead. He’s gregarious and handsome, yes, but he’s also very earthy and real. I love that in his scenes with Jenna, their relationship is a little nebulous at first, making the reader guess, although the cover blurb says both characters are single parents, so the guessing is only if your eyes are closed to the obvious.
Frankie annoyed me a little. I understand all to well what it’s like when a project isn’t speaking to you, but when I’m stuck on a piece of writing I write something else. Also, I felt that her refusal to use modern technology, and social media, felt a little contrived. Did it add to her richness as a character? Maybe. But it made her feel older than she actually was. (For the record, these characters are in the forties, roughly my age.)
But together Frankie and Scott were an amazing pair, and separately, each of them felt like a totally legitimate single parent, one with two adolescent (or nearly so) kids, and one with a young-adult daughter. I’d happily have been either of their children, or taken their children in. That’s how dimensional and well written these characters were.
As for the plot, it starts out feeling like a mature version of a typical romance, and ends up being something vastly different, but even when sadness takes over for a while, the pace is perfect, the story is never maudlin, and the end is both hopeful and satisfying.
I want to applaud author Freya North for making me laugh, cry, fume, and cheer, all in less than 500 pages. I want to give her a standing ovation for having lead characters who are flawed, human, fully-formed adults who still recognize that there are new things to learn and experience.
I loved this book.
Goes well with steak and chips and a cold beer.
Monday, May 23rd: Bibliotica
Tuesday, May 24th: The Book Chick
Thursday, May 26th: Comfy Reading
Friday, May 27th: Booksellers Without Borders
Monday, May 30th: Books and Bindings
Tuesday, May 31st: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, June 1st: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, June 2nd: As I turn the pages
Monday, June 6th: Into the Hall of Books
Tuesday, June 7th: Book by Book
Thursday, June 9th: Ageless Pages Reviews