Does first love deserve a second chance?
When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder ‘what if’ . . .
Rosie is easing herself back into work after the loss of her husband and she’s learning to face the world again. The fact that work is a florist shop she runs with her two daughters, is both a help and at times a hindrance. It means she is always aware of both her and their loss, she is always Mum and always in the middle or aware of all family crises. But things are about to change…
When Rosie turns up to oversee the final wedding arrangements with the motherzilla of the bride, she unexpectedly meets the brides Uncle Peter, who is no stranger, but her first long lost love. Both are surprised and it feels like 47 years really wasn’t that long ago, as neither has really got over their teenage love, but can it really be re-kindled or has life moved on too much?
I enjoyed this book, it was a refreshing change to have a romance with older characters, with realistic life views and challenges that as a more mature reader I can empathise with. The story is told through Rosie’s eyes and as they get to know each other in the here and now, we also get to learn about their teenage selves and the intervening years. They are both likeable characters and it was interesting to see how Sue’s family re-acted to the possibility of their mother having another relationship.
The story was told with warmth and humour and while on the surface it appears to be a rom-com for the Third Age it also deals with real life issues. For Sue it wasn’t just a case of discovering how to love again, it was learning how be herself again. She had to untangle herself from the labels that had defined her over the years, wife, mother, grandmother and more recently widow. It looks at how she reconciles her present with the past and hopes to find the inner Rosie that somehow got lost along the way. It has lessons for us all in making sure we don’t lose sight of our hopes and dreams and let life and other peoples assumptions get in the way. But ultimately it’s a heartwarming and moving read about love, relationships and family and reliving the ecstasy and agony of first love.
I receeved a free ecopy of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.