Book Review: The Second Love Of My Life – Victoria Walters

I kindly received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewimage

Published: 7th April 2016 (Headline)

Synopsis: 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.

This book is absolutely beautiful, I was excited to read this after reading the short story prequel, The Summer We Met which was a fabulous introduction to the main characters but is from Emma’s perspective how she met John.

The Second Love Of My Life is written from Rose’s perspective, set in the town fictional town of Talting, 2 years after the tragic death of Lucas. The prologue opens the book, 2 years prior to Lucas’ death when he and Rose are newly engaged, this is such a bittersweet opening as they are so excited as to what their future as husband and wife will hold whereas we know that this is not to be. After 10 years, Rose has suddenly found herself without her best friend.

Rose is an artist however she has lost all creativity since Lucas’ death. The annual Talting Fair is coming up and Rose is selling paintings which have been in the press as the last pieces that she will ever paint. The Fair itself is also a painful reminder as to what she has lost because she always attended these with Lucas by her side.

The charming but mysterious Robert is in town after seeing the article about the paintings and is wanting to snap an original Rose Walker whilst he still has the chance, he falls in love with the town and decides to stay for the summer.

The Second Love Of My Life is not only about grief and the loss of a loved one, it is also about hope and recovery; how you can go through the absolute worst time of your life and come out the other side. Walters most definitely writes this book from the heart, the emotions that Rose is going through is so eloquently written, but not only about the feeling of loss, also the guilt and sense of unfairness that goes along with her grief. Rose has lost a future that she assumed that she would have and is lost, haunted by what could have been. Rose is anticipating that Emma will soon announce that she is pregnant following her marriage to John (as well as it’s all she’s ever wanted) and Rose feels so saddened that Emma will have something that they always envisioned doing together. Rose feels guilty that she cannot see how she is going to be happy for her friend once it happens – the selfishness of her guilt and of a future she hasn’t anticipated is sensitively written.

This book certainly had me laughing one minute and with a lump in my throat the next. I loved all the characters, and Talting which is a much as a character as the people themselves! The friendship between Rose and Emma is genuine, built upon strong foundations – they are both each others rock.

It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel, it is beautifully written full of emotion and hope, a heartwarming read from start to finish. It is a fantastic story about the recovery after a devastating lost, finding yourself once again and accepting that you can have a future again full of happiness and hope.

Victoria Walters is most definitely one to watch and I hope there are many more books to come!

About the author

Victoria Walters has always loved creating stories. Her first book was handwritten when she was sixteen years old, and was closely modelled on the Sweet Valley High series. Victoria studied sociology at Warwick University and has since worked for a business publisher and as a Waterstones bookseller. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry (named after Harry Potter, not Harry Styles).

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