Saturday, 7 January 2017
Another You - Jane Cable
Sometimes the hardest person to save is yourself…
Marie Johnson is trapped by her job as a chef in a Dorset pub and by her increasingly poisonous marriage to its landlord.
Worn down by his string of affairs she has no self-confidence, no self-respect and the only thing that keeps her going is watching her son, Jude, turn into a talented artist.
But the 60th anniversary of a D-Day exercise triggers chance meetings which prove unlikely catalysts for change.
First there’s Corbin, the American soldier who she runs into as she’s walking on the cliffs. He is charming and has a quaintness about him, calling her an ‘English rose’.
Then there’s George the war veteran, who comes to dine at the pub, and his son Mark. George fascinates Marie with his first-hand accounts of the war, whilst Mark proves helpful in making sense of the pub’s financial situation.
And there’s Paxton. Another American soldier with an uncanny resemblance to Corbin. Young, fit and very attractive, Marie finds him hard to resist. But little does she know Paxton is also battling some inner demons.
As the heat of the summer intensifies, so do the issues in Marie’s life.
Why is Corbin so elusive? Why is the pub struggling to make ends meet? Why has Jude suddenly become so withdrawn and unhappy?
Can she help Paxton open up and begin to deal with his pain?
Or will she be shackled to the pub and her increasingly spiteful husband forever?
But as events unfold, Marie finally realises that she is not trapped, but stuck, and that it is down to her to get her life moving again.
Perfectly blending the complexities of twenty-first century life with the dramatic history of World War Two, Another You is a charming tale that will warm your heart.
This is the third book of Jane's that I have read and what always strikes me about her writing is the almost mystical quality it has. Her way with words means that you are swept into the book immediately with the everyday minutia of life so wonderfully captured. I could imagine it all in my minds eye, the pub, the walks and the boat. Whilst there is always a little bit of a mystery to keep you guessing.
In this book Marie is the narrator and although she part owns a pub and is the chef there, her marital problems and little time to herself make for a woman who is having a tough time.
A series of men come into Marie's life, who bring their own problems with them. Except one of them may not be real - he could be a ghost? I really thought I had this all sorted out in my mind, but as the book progressed I began to doubt myself, what was real and what wasn't?
There is also her son Jude who brings another dimension to the story line with his art studies and love life.
I really enjoyed reading this book and although I've been to the area where the book is set, I also learnt a little more about the geography of it. I really wanted Marie to end up with one of the men - I'm not going to say which one, or if it happened - you will have to read it and discover for yourself.
I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. My thanks go to Jane for letting me have a copy of her book for review.