Sunday, 19 March 2017

Book Review - The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Keenan - Fab Firsts

Fab Firsts is my new regular Sunday feature, that is going to be highlighting books that are firsts. When interviewing authors, it will be about their first book, as well as other firsts in their lives. When reviewing books for this feature, there will be a mix of debuts, first books in a series, the first time I read an author, and possibly other firsts depending on what I can think of!

If you are an author wanting to take part in Fab Firsts then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you.

I hope you enjoy this look at a variety of hopefully fabulous firsts, while making some sort of dent in my review and paperback TBRs which are my current main focus!

This is the debut novel by Fay Keenan, and I suspect what could be the first of many set in Little Somerby. 
Amazon UK
Title: The Second Chance Tea Shop
Author: Fay Keenan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 10th March 2017
Rating: 4 Stars

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.

Well this is a story that started off reasonably well, not spectacularly but was enjoyable enough, and then as it progressed and especially for the second half, it became more and more enthralling and I found myself thoroughly enjoying what was happening. 

As much though as I liked Anna and Matthew and was willing them together, to me the stars of the book were Ellie and Merry. Ellie is Anna's 3 year old daughter, and she comes out with some absolute classic lines. I love the innoncece of young children, and Ellie was just entertaining on all levels. 

Merry is Matthews teenage daughter, and she takes an instant liking to Anna, and is determined to matchmake the adults. She is wonderful with Ellie and has her own challenges to face later in the book. 

Despite them both having children, they are both single parents. Anna was widowed two years ago, and Matthew is divorced with his ex living in America. Anna has moved to Little Somerby where she grew up, to try to move on with her life, and has taken over the tea shop in town. 

Despite the tea shop being a hub of the community, I disappointingly didn't really feel that enamoured with what was being sold. Having read many books set in tea shops in the past few months, the one thing the usually all have is the ability to make me drool for some sort of food, but it didn't really happen in this book, which I found a bit surprising. 

However I did love the locals that came into the shop, and Anna slowly builds a great support network, and falls into a good routine of life, and getting to know her regulars. 

Although I found this book quite easy to read, I couldn't help but feel at times especially at the beginning that it felt a bit on the long side. It may just be that I hadn't really got into the swing of the book, but I felt the percentage meter just wasn't going up as fast as I was expecting, for how much I had read. As the book progressed it bothered me less and less, but to me it seems like the biggest indicator that for me the book was a slow starter. 

Despite my niggles, I did really enjoy The Second Chance Tea Shop, and I think this author has a lot of promise. I am definitely interested to see if there will be another book set in Little Somerby and to return to this village and some of the characters. 

Thank you to Aria and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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