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Second Chance Summer by Phillipa Ashley #Review

  I an delighted to be part of the celebrations for Phillipa Ashley's Summer novel, Second Chance Summer which was published by Penguin on June 6th. From the moment Lily Harper arrives at a remote retreat on the breath-taking Scilly Isles, she is itching to get back to civilisation - and her thriving business. Slowing Down simply isn't in her vocabulary, and so she quickly clashes with the gorgeous but dour Sam who runs the retreat. Just as Lily is about to give up and leave, disaster strikes, and she is involved in an incident that changes her perspective on everything. Lily is no longer sure she wants to return to the life she thought she loved. But will she have the courage to give the retreat, and Sam, a second chance? Praise for the Author ‘Full of genuine warmth and quirky characters’   Woman’s Own ‘Filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!’ Jill Mansell ‘Utterly glorious … one of the freshest voices to emerge in women's fiction today’   Cl

The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings by Joanna Nadin #Review


Today I am featuring an evocative novel by Joanna Nadin, The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings which was published by Mantle on 7th July.

The characters in this book are works of fiction. But, then, isn’t everyone . . . ?

1988, Pencalenick, Cornwall.
At seventeen, Jason wants much more from life than working at his father’s pub and when fate, in the form of twins Daisy and Bea and their small circle of friends, offers him a glimpse of another, more glamorous, world, he’s determined to become a part of it. It’s Daisy who Jason is most entranced by, though. Everyone is: she’s the sun around which others orbit.
The trouble with the sun, of course, is that those who get too close risk getting burned – and by the end of the summer, one of the group will be dead.

2018, Camberwell, London.
When famous actress Daisy Hemmings decides it's time to publish her autobiography, she chooses James Tate to write it. James is a ghost writer: it’s his job to step into other people’s shoes; to tell their stories for them. And he’s good at it. Very good. After all, he’s had years of practice at pretending to be someone he’s not.
But what happens when past and present – and truth and lies – collide?

Joanna Nadin’s
The Double Life of Daisy Hemmings is an unflinching, unforgettable novel about the people we are, the people we’d like to be, and the price we pay for getting what we want . . .


My Thoughts

The further I got into this novel, the more I enjoyed it. Written with a dual timeline, the action alternates between 1988 and 2018. Having met a group of characters in their late teens, you see how they have turned out. It is far from straightforward! I won't say any more about this as it would lead me into the land of spoilers but you soon realise that identity is a key theme and all is not how it seems. 

    The characters are certainly a varied bunch and at times, they are frustrating and unlikeable, at others, there is a sadness about them. The arrogance of privilege is set against the powerlessness of those at the other end of the social spectrum.  However, how much of this confidence is a facade, designed to fool? Jason, the teenager who the friends meet in 1988, is an observer of the group. He is an outsider.  When James meets them years later, his role is to question Daisy on her life and in doing so, he is led to some startling revelations. Much of the action takes place in the stunning setting of Cornwall. It appears to be an almost mystical place, set apart from real life in London.  This turned out to be an engrossing read with twists and turns and a few surprises. 

In short: interesting dynamics and revelations

About the Author

A former broadcast journalist, political adviser and government speech-writer, Joanna Nadin is the author of more than eighty books for children and teenagers, including the Flying Fergus series with Sir Chris Hoy, the bestselling Rachel Riley diaries, also set in Essex, and based on the author’s teenage years, and the Carnegie Medal-nominated Joe All Alone, which is now a BAFTA-winning BBC drama. She is also a lecturer on the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. She has written two previous novels for adults, The Queen of Bloody Everything and The Talk of Pram Town

Tou can follow Joanna here: Twitter  |   Website 

Book link: Amazon UK

Thanks to Joanna Nadin, Mantle and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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