Second chances, new loves and scrumptious cakes, in this heart-warming novel. Perfect for all fans of Fern Britton, Katie Fforde and Cathy Bramley.
Following the tragic death of her beloved husband, Anna Hemingway decides it’s time for a fresh start. So Anna and her three-year-old daughter Ellie move to a picture-perfect cottage in the beautiful village of Little Somerby, and when she takes over the running of the village tea shop, Ellie and Anna start to find happiness again.
But things get complicated when Matthew Carter, the owner of the local cider farm, enters their lives. Throughout a whirlwind year of village fetes and ancient wassails, love, laughter, apple pie and new memories, life slowly blossoms again. But when tragedy strikes and history seems to be repeating itself, Anna must find the strength to hold onto the new life she has built.
This beautiful, life-affirming debut novel marks the beginning of the Little Somerby series, and promises to make you smile, cry, reach for a cream tea, and long for a life in the perfect English countryside.
What does TWG think?
It’s TWG’s stop on Fay Kennan’s blog tour today! I hope you enjoy my review of her debut book, The Second Chance Tea Shop.
Okay, okay, I’ll hold my hands up; I have to admit that I did groan when I saw that this was yet another novel with yet another tea shop/café in the storyline. At least I admit it though, right? Seeing as this book is Fay Kennan’s debut novel (and the cover is a tad more-ish), I decided to put my teashop/café vendetta to one side and feed my curiosity by actually reading it. Yes, as soon as I saw the cover I was intrigued by it, definitely not going to lie about that. I was just throwing a little wobbly about the overuse of a particular setting.
Anyway, needed to get my little grumble out of the way before I started singing Fay Kennan’s book baby’s praises! I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ from start to finish! For a couple of seconds max, the thought of the storyline heading down the candyfloss route did enter my mind, when in actual fact, it was the complete opposite!
After the heart ache that Anna has been through recently, she decides that a fresh start with her daughter, Ellie, would be the ideal solution to regaining control of her life. Whilst the village of Little Somerby may be brand new to Ellie, it isn’t for Anna and as she starts settling into village life yet again, she ends up recognising A LOT more than she bargained for. Will Little Somerby give Anna the second chance at life which she desperately craves? Or could certain pasts end up colliding and ruin her fresh start before it’s even begun?
I have been wracking my brain trying to think of what Fay Keenan’s novel reminds me of; a multiple layered cake, that’s what it reminds me of! Don’t laugh, hear me out. By looking at the cake (the book) we would assume that it’s just a book about a little tea shop, yet by reading every chapter and going through each individual layer of the storyline and the character’s personalities, it was just like enjoying all of the different layers of a cake. Each layer contained different hurdles, different characters and different emotions, allowing us to surrender to the storyline and the magic between the words. Just like a multi-layered cake layers, no two layers, (or chapters), were the same and that is what made Fay Keenan’s book baby stand out for me.
As I said above, a lot of books at the moment are set in the oh-so-popular tea shop or café, which can make it harder for a brand new author to find a way of standing out amongst the crowd. What could ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ bring to the table that was completely unique? A bit like ‘what’s your tea shop got that mine aint got’, kinda thing. But you know what, ‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ is unlike all of the other similar books in its market and I’ll tell you why.
Firstly, the main character has already built up a life previously which didn’t contain any premises involving mini sandwiches. Unfortunately her life got turned upside down in a devastating way.
Secondly, the tea shop featured in this novel is already an established business, which means that Anna isn’t doing her own version of ‘Changing Rooms’ on the building.
Thirdly, there is A LOT more to this storyline that meets the eye; complex characters, devastating secrets, village gossip, heart breaking secrets, and enough warmth to keep your own house warm over the winter. No joke. Emotional it may be at times yet the heart warming factor trumps any sadness and uncertainty.
Fourthly, the little tea shop is portrayed as a character within the book, instead of being the hub of the storyline. It’s a fantastic addition to an already brilliant storyline, instead of being the centre of attention.
Personally? This novel has got to be one of my most favourite tea shop books out there. It has been brilliantly written (hard to believe it’s a debut book to be honest!), nicely structured with just the right amount of contrasting characters.
‘The Second Chance Tea Shop’ is just like drinking the perfectly made cup of tea; warm enough, sweet enough, not too strong and not too weak. In other words; perfection.
Thank you Aria.
Make sure you pop into the tea shop as the tour continues with the bloggers below!