I am super excited to share my review of The Second Cup with you today to celebrate its First Anniversary. Massive thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources and of course the wonderful Sarah Marie Graye for allowing me to be part of such a fabulous tour.
Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.
Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also 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.
Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too.
Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.
Is Beth about to take her own life too?
Written from multiple points of view The Second Cup tells the story of four friends, Faye, Beth, Abbie and Olivia. A mixed bunch, the friends have found themselves thrown together despite their different backgrounds and life experiences. Each facing challenges and decisions in their own lives the different narrative from each character’s perspective gives a detailed insight into both past and present inner thoughts and feelings.
Pivotal to the story is the discovery that Faye’s first love and ‘one that got away’ Jack, has committed suicide sending shock waves through the close-knit group, triggering a multitude of reactions and emotions. Beth seems to be the hardest hit and the story deals not only her grief and depression, but also gives a fabulously realistic, gritty insight into the impact mental health issues have on not only those affected but also their wider circle.
Mental health is a difficult and rarely discussed topic and as such The Second Cup is in no way a light, fluffy read. Hard hitting and thought provoking I’m assuming the author has first hand experience of depression and mental health issues as they are so realistically written. As someone who has suffered with issues for as long as I can remember I could totally relate to Beth and felt myself nodding along as I read knowing exactly how she was feeling.
What I found particularly interesting was the way in which the girls see each other’s lives in a different light to the way they view it themselves. It served as a fantastic reminder for me that what I think about myself isn’t always the way others see me and that I shouldn’t dwell on what my anxiety ridden brain wants me to believe.
The beginning of the book jumps straight into the story and the chapters come thick and fast, chopping and changing between the characters which I initially found hard to follow. Don’t let this put you off though as after a few chapters I got into the swing of the story and things began to make sense.
I find it hard to believe that this is Sarah Marie Graye’s debut novel, it’s such a strong and well-written offering. I whizzed through it, always wanting to find out what happened next and particularly enjoyed the post-story interviews with each character, it’s a fabulously unique way to conclude. I hope to see more in the future from this incredibly talented author.
About The Author
Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester in 1975, to English Catholic parents. To the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing, until aged nine, 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, including the one to write a novel.
Sarah Marie wrote The Second Cup as part of an MA Creative Writing practice as research degree at London South Bank University – where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder.
Sarah Marie was diagnosed with ADHD in November 2017 and published an extended edition of The Second Cup in February 2018 that included character interviews so she could diagnose one of her characters with the same condition.
The Second Cup is available to purchase from Amazon
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*We were gifted a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own