Second Time Around by Marcia Willett

secondtimeNo one can talk about Marcia Willett without saying that she’s like Rosamunde Pilcher or Maeve Binchy, and it’s true. It’s a British novel that seems insanely old fashioned even if it’s set in modern times.  There are happy romances, but also very sad things that just don’t work out.  They’re cozy, but not entirely sweet.  For example, in this one the main character is a woman whose blown her 20 year marriage on a one year affair.  The affair ends and she’s left with an estranged daughter, a husband who won’t take her back, and the unbearable guilt of knowing that it’s all her fault.  And that doesn’t change. So there you go.  But that’s not what the novel is about, it is about the second phase of her life, and that of a few other characters as well, all brought together at a house by the sea.  (I forget names, so pardon me.) The Divorcee (that’s what I’ll call her) moves to the house to be a sort of caretaker/companion for an elderly woman. It’s a good place to be-they get along, they have the wild sea, and things are fine. But then the elderly woman dies and the fun begins.  Because she has no children she has willed her house to three distant relations who did not know her at all (nor do they know each other.) One is a Widower (or maybe he’s divorced, at any rate, a single middle aged man), one is a Young Woman (an orphan who has always longed for a family and has the curious career of dog sitting for people when they are up and running off to their London homes), and the other is a Matron, recently retired from being a matron and no longer welcome at the school or indeed, even in the village.  So they all come together and make a go of it and have a second chance at putting together a better life.  This was extremely satisfying to read and I’m pleased to see that I have not read everything she’s written because it’s nice knowing there are more out there.

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