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Overview

Having returned home to Wales for her mother's funeral, actress Kate Rivers is overwhelmed by her past and forced to take stock of her life. From nursing her depressed mother as a child, through to her successful career and relationship with handsome photographer, Paul. past and present bombard Kate as she revisits the cottage and village in which she grew up. Her mother recovered her health and enjoyed her daughter's stage and TV success. And Kate has a comfortable London life in acting and as a partner and ...
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Second Chance

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Overview

Having returned home to Wales for her mother's funeral, actress Kate Rivers is overwhelmed by her past and forced to take stock of her life. From nursing her depressed mother as a child, through to her successful career and relationship with handsome photographer, Paul. past and present bombard Kate as she revisits the cottage and village in which she grew up. Her mother recovered her health and enjoyed her daughter's stage and TV success. And Kate has a comfortable London life in acting and as a partner and unofficial stepmother to Paul's unlikeable twin daughters. But now, when she needs him most, Paul is not there, tragedy having overtaken his own family. And as she renews old friendships and faces up to the pain of her childhood, Kate finds herself questioning their relationship and drawn to her charismatic - and married - cousin, Rhydian. But is her affair a second chance at happiness or just a dangerous infatuation?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A 40-something British actress plunges headlong into a dangerous affair with her cousin in James' (Summer Storm) sixth novel, which begins when Kate Rivers is forced to take a break from her London career to settle family affairs back in Wales after the death of her mother. The mundane process comes with a risky potential bonus, though, when a visit from her cousin Rhydian, a handsome farmer with a wife and three children, kindles a serious spark. Their awkward efforts to get together are quickly complicated by Kate's divorced boyfriend, Paul, when his family completely comes apart after one of his college-age twin daughters is accused of manslaughter and the other commits suicide during the police investigation. James spends too much prose early on describing the details of Kate's childhood, but once the story gets going she delivers the various plot twists with brisk pacing and suspense, as the whirlwind of family activity keeps Kate's affair in suspended animation. That stasis fizzles into a disappointing, rather hurried resolution, as the pieces of the puzzle fall into place after the family explosion. James has a fine eye and ear for the details of small-town Welsh life, and the middle chapters are riveting and emotionally complex, but their excellence makes the ending seem all the more lackluster. Kate Rivers is a memorable character, but she deserves a more intriguing fate than her creator was able to deliver. (Aug. 17) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A contrived, overplotted romance from Welsh novelist James (Two Loves, 1999, etc.). After her mother dies unexpectedly, 43-year-old Kate Rivers, a moderately successful actress, returns briefly to the Welsh village where she was raised. Soon her cousin Rhydian and his wife drop by to pay their respects. Rhydian's mother had always been particularly kind to Kate and her emotionally fragile mother, but Kate's reaction to Rhydian goes beyond family ties: she feels a passionate chemistry she has never experienced before. Meanwhile, Kate's live-in lover Paul has his own family crises to keep him from offering her the solace she expects. First, his daughter Annabel is implicated in the drug death of a college classmate. Then, as soon as she's out of legal danger, her twin sister Selena commits suicide. Kate buries her mother and makes intense, meaningful though rather quick love with Rhydian before heading to Cambridge to help Paul cope. Although Kate claims she has never felt accepted by the twins, Annabel quickly confides not only her sense of guilt about Selena's death but also the news that she's pregnant and intends to keep the baby despite having broken off with the father. Annabel also warns Kate, who responds with minimal regret, that Selena's death has brought Paul and his ex-wife together. Suddenly close, Annabel and Kate return to Wales, where the family has decided to hold Selena's funeral. Annabel and the young minister who has recently taken over the local church fall head over heels at first sight. Kate and Rhydian decide that although they are soulmates he cannot leave his three children and pregnant wife. And Kate returns to London disconsolate-until she discovers she toois pregnant with Rhydian's child: her second chance for happiness has come along after all. Schlock with a lilting accent is still schlock.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781854116147
  • Publisher: Seren
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 254
  • File size: 342 KB

Meet the Author

Brought up and educated in West Wales, Sian James is the author of twelve novels, including Love and War, Return to Hendre Ddu, and Storm at Arberth, and two collections of short stories. She has twice won the Yorkshire Post Prize for fiction and her novel A Small Country was filmed as the award-winning Calon Gaeth. Her translation of Kate Roberts' The Awakening, is also published by Seren.Twice-winner of the Yorkshire Post Prize.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Superb complex tale

    When she was a very little girl, her father walked out on her mother and her. Kate River¿s mother had a nervous breakdown and was unable to take care of her. Instead, Kate acted more like the adult in their relationship, making sure her mother ate, bathed and got out of bed. By the time she was seventeen, Kate was an adult taking full responsibility for her mother. <P>Kate moves to London to become an actress and over the years, she has had some success in her chosen profession. At forty-three, she has lived with her significant other for several years, but the pair plan to marry soon. When her mother dies in Wales, she goes to the funeral alone because her lover is involved in a crisis with his ex-wife and their daughters. In the midst of the gloom, Kate meets her first cousin once removed and falls in love with him. The only problem is that he is a farmer tied not only to the land in Wales, but to his wife and three children with one more on the way. Just when she thinks her lot in life will never get any better, a miracle occurs that gives Kate a second chance at a new and different existence if she grabs it. <P> Sian James is a born storyteller who makes Wales come alive in the imaginations of her readers. All of the characters are very complex and realistically portrayed. The audience will empathize with them even though they might not agree with all the choices they made. SECOND CHANCE lives up to its title while inspiring the readers with hope for the future. <P>Harriet Klausner

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