Friday, February 7, 2020

Book Review: A Dozen Second Chances

By Sara Steven

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… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

There were a few plot lines blended into and all around A Dozen Second Chances; Eve and the demons she faces where her family is concerned, Eve and her need to settle for mediocre in order to put everyone else in her life first, Eve and the pain she still experiences when dealing with former relationships. It made for a very flawed character, yet a likable one, and the type of person we can all relate to, given our own familial experiences and potential heartaches. The vouchers Eve receives become a catalyst in digging Eve out of the rut she’s been in for years, a simple gesture, but one that spoke volumes.

I felt I could identify with Eve on a very basic level. As a mother and wife, I strive to do all I can for my family, and while I appreciate having that opportunity and enjoy my life, there have been times where I feel as though my own needs are put on the back burner. This is by my own doing, given the various ways I could change the situation in order to feel as though I’m more of a priority in my own world, and it is that same experience Eve goes through in taking care of Caitlyn, or in choosing a job that doesn’t fulfill her but checks a box to ensure her employment. It’s not that she doesn’t want to change, it’s that she’s worried on what it will do to those around her.

There are layers to Eve, reasons she’s the way she is, and those layers are peeled back like an onion. At times, not even she recognizes what the issues are, so the reader gets to discover that right along with her. It takes her a long time to figure it all out, but it seemed more than fitting for the type of person Eve is, given the gigantic cement wall she’s built up to block out so many things. Along the way we’re met with fun characters, like Eve’s grandmother, providing a much-needed lightheartedness to some serious topics. A Dozen Second Chances was an evolution of character, making me wish for my own vouchers so I’d feel a kick in the pants to make some changes in my own life.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon USAmazon UK

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. Visit Kate on Facebook and Twitter.

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