I’m glad to be a part of blog tour for The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye. Many thanks to author and Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me a chance to read this amazing heart melting book. Check out about the book, my review, and giveaway below.
Published: October 9th 2017
Read Date: January 20th 2018
Genre: Women Fiction, Literary Fiction
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 character driven women and literary fiction telling about friendship, loss, suicide, depression, emotions, and life experiences and mental conditions of characters. Story was set in Manchester, narrated by four main characters – Faye, Abbie, Beth and Olivia- revolving around their friendship, their past life stories, and what was going on in their life.
Abbie– had a good job and good money but her married life was not working that well. Her second marriage was on the edge of breaking and she had drinking problem. Her childhood was not so much shiny. Initially I felt she was selfish and has habit of running away if something happened, but as story progressed I got to know more about her and later I found myself liking her. I haven’t expected her to change initially but she did. Her development was great in the book.
“And although she craved human contact, she also despised it.”
Beth– was the connection and gravity in their friendship. She was adventurous but her sad nightmarish childhood had buried her strength to go after daredevil adventures, however it couldn’t bury the fire and so she had a habit of playing dares with herself to keep fire burning inside her. She was solid outside but inside her unfair childhood experience and biased parents were eating her. I liked her from the very beginning, but what happened to her on hearing Jack’s death was unexpected. Her character was little complex in the story but I could feel her pain and I liked her even more by the end of the book.
“If there’s one thing that’s going to push you to killing yourself, it’s your parents mocking you for it.”
Olivia– She was one sane and genuine among all four. She was kind-hearted, sweet and soft but she lacked self confidence and felt guilty for everything. She was into an insane relationship that made me angry, I felt like yelling at her for staying with such mucky person who was drowning her emotionally and mentally. I liked her ability to understand her friends and supporting them when needed. Development in her was slow but definitely amazing.
“Every day I’m alive is a day I’m judged.”
Faye– here is my least favorite character. This lady had so much potential in her but it was sad to see that she wasted it all over a boy not just one but two. And they both were well I don’t want to spoil it for you guys so let’s just say she deserved a life better than those two could ever give her.
“I had no idea if we’d make it to Maple but I understood the joy Faye got from escaping somewhere new on train. Getting a kick out of journey itself.”
All men in the story were so full of themselves. Okay, except Paul who was much better than all other. Matt was most disappointing. I felt for Olivia and I couldn’t understand initially why she was staying with him. Beth was right about him from the very start and also about her guilt stories.
Writing was really nice, it was different and new. Author drawn me slowly but steadily into the characters and it was hard to come out of their life once I was in. It took me four narration by each characters (a one round) to get into the book. On second round I got better idea what was going on. So I suggest take it slow.
I liked that part about how they met each other, they were not in same school, university or job and still they met and became buddies. I loved voices of characters especially voice of Abbie and Olivia was amazing and entertaining. They draw me into them slowly and made me curious to knowing more about them. I liked reading their back stories, the problems in their life and how they were trying to understand each other, the situations they were into, and more importantly themselves- what they wanted in life and trying to come out better than what they experienced in the past.
Oh and the city, trains, stations, streets, cafes, pub, all the description of the places were so vivid, it was like I was roaming the city I haven’t visited before. I also liked the tea chapters, telling about various types of teas and what they said about characters, connected to their nature and mood.
All four characters were fragile and weak inside no matter how much they tried to show stronger outside, they were even feeling insecure in their little circle, afraid of losing their friendship. They all put forward their pain and sadness they experienced in childhood and life in a way that it was hard not to feel them. I came out of the book like I was part of their friendship.
I think the story was not just about death of Jack, depression of Faye, mental struggle of Beth, unsuccessful marriage of Abbie, or unhealthy relationship of Olivia, it was more than all of these. It was about their fight in life, what they have gone through, and growing up and developing as a person, coming out of fragile state and becoming stronger mentally and emotionally, finding that one thing that makes life worth living.
End was really good and I’m with all the changes in their life.
Well, Faye and her actions were little hard to comprehend. Her whiny nature was not the only reason I didn’t like her, her selfishness and ignorance toward Beth was the main thing. I understood she felt bad that boys left her abruptly without giving reason, why she needed to find them and all, but I couldn’t understand her not looking back to her friends who supported her when she needed. I also didn’t like her voice in the book.
Overall, it was more than what I thought it was about. It was steady paced, emotional, thought-provoking, touching women fiction that everyone would like to read.
Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1975, to English Catholic parents. One of five daughters, to the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing… until aged 9, when she was diagnosed with depression.
It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision.
Now in her early 40s, and with an MA Creative Writing from London South Bank University (where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder), Sarah Marie has published her debut novel – about family, friendships and mental health.
Universal Purchase Link – https://mybook.to/SecondCup
Twitter – https://twitter.com/SarahMarieGraye
Giveaway – Win 3 x Signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye (Open Internationally)
*** Note: I received the review copy of the book as a part of blog tour, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author and Rachel’s Random Resources. ***
What do you think about the book and my review? Have you read this book already? Have you read something similar to this book? Share your thoughts in comment-box below.