Jackie Fraser’s The Bookshop of Second Chances is a meandering novel that explores what happens when one woman takes a leap of faith and changes her life, without really intending to.
Thea is recently separated from her cheating spouse when she receives notice that she’s inherited a house in Scotland. She sets out to sort the house and sell it, then finds herself being drawn to the quaint village, the emerging community, and the handsome if grumpy bookshop owner she’s in close contact with over selling her inherited books.
This novel has a beautiful setting that is practically a character itself. I love books set in Scotland, and I’m especially enjoying them while travel isn’t an option. This novel, along with Jenny Colgan’s, make me want to pack a bag and head for the Scottish highlands!
This novel is full of lovely characters you want to befriend and spend time with. Thea, our protagonist, is a quick witted woman who is slowly discovering the underlying strength she possesses. It’s great fun to witness her sardonic wit as she says what she’s thinking in a fun in refreshing way, often to the shock of the aristocracy in her company. Her English friends and her new Scottish friends are all well developed, and bring an added depth to the novel.
This book has a leisurely pace and character driven plot; it’s one to linger in. With themes of healing, redemption, self-acceptance and second chances, it’s an enjoyable read.
The Bookshop of Second Chances is out 4 May 2021 from Random House and Ballantine Books. Big thanks to them and Net Galley for an advanced copy so I could provide this review.