- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (9 Oct. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 197803007X
- ISBN-13: 978-1978030077
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.
Faye’s heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.
With the fragility of life staring them in the face, Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and Faye her friendship with Ethan. And poor Olivia is questioning everything – including why Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest. Is she about to take her own life too?
The Second Cup is a book about the power of friendship and taking charge of your life, and taking the chance to be happy. The book is narrated by the four female characters. Faye, is an artist who hasn’t moved on from her first love from University, Jack. She is confident, and likes to be the centre of attention in the group friends. Olivia is the opposite to Faye, she is quiet , insecure and avoids any kind of confrontation, she finds it hard to trust and likes to stay in the background. Abbie is on her second marriage and has a good job, but she also has insecurities, mainly about her first marriage. Finally Beth, she is the glue that binds these friends together, the one that befriended each of them at difficult points in their life, when they were vulnerable, and brought them together. Beth hasn’t has an easy life, she felt she didn’t fit in with her family so her friends are her family, although they dont know about her dreams and mental health problems.
At the centre of this book is the death of Faye’s first love Jack. It is a catalyst in all their lives, a chance for them all to reconsider where they are and what really matters; a second chance and what the means to them. The reference in the title The Second Cup refers to drinking a from a pot of tea and savouring that second cup; throughout the book there are tea facts that are really interesting. In times of crisis the British always turn to a cup tea and Sarah Marie Graye uses that at times of reflection and change. The title could also refer to second chances; a chance for each of the characters to reassess their lives, and start over and take a second chance with their lives, have the courage to make the change and be happy.
I found all the characters interesting and realistic; we all now friends or acquaintances like them. The only time we see all four together is their regular Friday evening meet up at the pub, their natural interaction means you feel you know them, that they could be a group you would find in your local pub.
Sarah Marie Graye is a very descriptive writer in terms of feelings and characters, as well as place. I noted her like of insect metaphors and similes in the book; references to a tingling of the skin feeling like ants, a pier being like a centipede. The only thing I wasn’t so keen on was the swap between the third person narrative and first person narrative in the chapters. I found this disjointed my reading experience as I had to check back to make sure I knew where I was with this. Some very difficult issues are raised in this book; suicide, bullying, miscarriage and divorce and dealt with in care and understanding, obviously well researched.
The Second Cup is an engaging novel, with characters you will recognise and care about. A wonderful heartwarming read, inspite of the difficult topics raised, a book that will say with you after you finish the last page.