The Second Chance Holiday Club

A joyful and heartwarming story of friendship and taking chances, perfect for fans of Hazel Prior

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Pub Date 01 Dec 2022 | Archive Date 01 Dec 2022

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Description

It's never too late to change the habits of a lifetime...

Evelyn Pringle isn't the sort to make rash decisions. Or any decisions, really – she's always left that sort of thing up to her husband. But he's been found dead, wearing his best suit, with a diamond ring in his pocket that doesn't fit her. When Evelyn finds a letter addressed to a woman on the Isle of Wight, she decides to deliver it. By hand.

So begins a very unusual holiday, and an adventure no one could have predicted – least of all Evelyn herself. With the help of some unexpected new friends, and a little effort on her part, Evelyn discovers that it's never too late to have a second chance at life and forge friendships that are well-worth living for.

The Second Chance Holiday Club is a heartwarming and funny later-life uplit for fans of Judy Leigh, Hazel Prior and Maddie Please.

Praise for The Second Chance Holiday Club:
'An uplifting, positive story... Eat Pray Love for the older generation' Judy Leigh
'When a coach trip to the Isle of Wight turns out to be utterly life changing... I thoroughly enjoyed this poignant and heartwarming debut!' Fiona Gibson

Readers love Kate Galley's gorgeous debut!

'Sad, funny and uplifting. I really think we need a sequel to this one!', NetGalley Reviewer

'Wonderful story about friendships, second chances, and what ultimately can make life feel worth living', NetGalley Reviewer *****

'Wonderfully fluent and evocative writing, complemented this beautifully textured, fast-paced, multi-layered storyline... This story was definitely one of a kind', NetGalley Reviewer, *****

'What a brilliant debut novel from Kate Galley', NetGalley Reviewer, *****

'Uplifting and joyous, I didn't want to turn the last page. I can't wait to read more from Kate Galley', NetGalley Reviewer, *****

'I loved this book! I wouldn't have thought it was a debut novel, it was so well-written. I loved the author's style and also the pace of the story', NetGalley Reviewer, *****

'The perfect holiday read! I'll be looking for more books by Kate Galley in the future', NetGalley Reviewer, *****

'Really refreshing... A very enjoyable read', NetGalley Reviewer, *****

'What an utterly adorable book! I was totally invested.... Highly recommended', NetGalley Reviewer, *****

'What a fantastic book! The Second Chance Holiday Club perfectly weaves humour, mystery and unforgettable characters together in a story I didn't want to put down... The ending was perfect and made me cry', NetGalley Reviewer, *****

It's never too late to change the habits of a lifetime...

Evelyn Pringle isn't the sort to make rash decisions. Or any decisions, really – she's always left that sort of thing up to her husband. But...


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ISBN 9781804542217
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Featured Reviews

I loved Evelyn all her insecurities and heartache. What a journey we take with this unlikely heroine as she rises to the challenge that life throws at her. I loved the twists and turns of the story and all the characters, a great read. I would love to know what happens next.

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Really enjoyed this book with three refreshing old ladies each looking for an escape and booking a small break to the isle of white to find it, unlikely friendships and each finding their eacapes as their breaks progress, a few giggles along the way, brilliant

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This was not what I expected but I absolutely loved it. The story of 3 mature ladies on a coach trip . Mainly set on Isle of Wight. It was just fab.. They all had secrets . It was just great.. You have to read it. The very ending made me laugh. There were sad parts and parts that made you think as well. I look forward to Kate Galley ‘s next book

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What a fantastic book! The Second Chance Holiday Club perfectly weaves humour, mystery and unforgettable characters together in a story I didn't want to put down.

Poor Evelyn - finding a letter addressed to another woman and a diamond ring that isn't meant for her in her late husband's possessions, she decides to forgo the comforts of home to get some answers. This leads to a Christmas coach trip to the Isle of Wight, and a holiday Evelyn is never going to forget. It's a set up that allows the author to have lots of fun with Evelyn and her fellow holiday makers, and I adored the many comic scenes, from them first arriving at The Welcome Rest to their trip to see the sights in a snowstorm to them having to lay on Christmas dinner themselves. While the book is packed with humour, there's a real mystery at the heart of the book, and I loved how Evelyn's character developed as she examined the life she thought she had all these years with her husband against the truths she's faced with. The friendships she makes and the way the three main characters support each other along as they all try to deal with sadness in their lives and find happier endings was lovely to read. By the end of the novel, I was so invested in Evelyn's life, I didn't want to turn the final page, although the ending was perfect and made me cry. I can't wait to read the next book from Kate Galley!

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Three widows meet in this thought-provoking story. Striking up an amazing friendship in a seedy Isle of Wight

hotel over Christmas and the New Year, they look forward to new and better things in the future..

A wise, funny, and uplifting tale, offering acceptance and hope.. The holiday from hell is turned into a new

start as they move on. I really enjoyed reading this book.

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This is an absolutely delightful book. I particularly enjoy books with older main characters who are living life to the full. When Evelyn’s husband dies in a car accident she finds he was on his way to visit another woman with a ring in his pocket. The layers of Evelyn’s marriage are gradually revealed, and we see that Evelyn is a complex character. As Evelyn embarks on a journey to deliver the ring to its intended owner there are some hilarious moments as well as very moving ones. Evelyn emerges from her self imposed carapace to make new friends on the disastrous coach trip. There could definitely be a second volume to this tale, I hope so!

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I really enjoyed taking a coach trip with these three ladies - it’s the perfect holiday read! I’ll be looking for more books by Kate Galley in the future.

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The journey undertaken by Evelyn is full of emotions, heartache and laughter! It wonderful to read the friendships made between three unlikely friends was beautiful too!

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I absolutely loved this book. The most amazing characters and so well written. A really lovely, lovely book. Highly recommended.

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This is such a lovely book. It comes across as so easy to read which means that the author worked really hard to make it flow so effortlessly. It is feel good, fun and has some good twist and turns in it along the way.

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This is just a wonderful book which I got thoroughly immersed in. A gentle light read with more than a touch of underlying humour with twists and turns along the way. The characters are just utterly delightful, the main ones being women in their 70s, each with their own real life issues and secrets, after finding themselves on their own over Christmas after bereavement. Plus the peripheral characters were also real and bought to life so well by Kate Galley that one can imagine them all so well . The whole plot was so believable overall I found this book was such a refreshing and entertaining read that I just want to know what happens next.

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Evelyn Pringle is different from most older women described in novels. She is strongly built and, except for the odd niggling joint pain, in good health. Her relationship with her husband Tony, who has recently passed away, was distant but reassuring. He was there for the family and a popular member of the local community. It his only when she finds a concealed drawer in his desk that she realises Tony had a secret life apart from the one he shared with her. That's when she sets off on a voyage of discovery. to find out the truth about her marriage.

‘Evelyn Pringle isn't the sort to make rash decisions. Or any decisions, really – she's always left that sort of thing up to her husband. But he's been found dead, wearing his best suit, with a diamond ring in his pocket that more doesn't fit her. When Evelyn finds a letter addressed to a woman on the Isle of Wight, she decides to deliver it. By hand. So begins a very unusual holiday, and an adventure no one could have predicted – least of all Evelyn herself. With the help of some unexpected new friends, and a little effort on her part, Evelyn discovers that it is never too late to have a second chance at life and forge friendships that are well worth living for.’

Evelyn ignores her daughter's plans for the Christmas period and signs up for a few days in the Isle of Wight. On the coach she gets to know the women sitting on either side of her. Cynthia, who is a little older, is a natural organiser. Joy, who. is younger than the other two, is friendly but reserved, as if she is hiding something. What I like about these women is their willingness to take control of their lives. In spite of being from a generation of women who were expected to depend on their husbands for everything, they are enterprising and willing to take risks. Evelyn's daring attempt to locate her husband's lover almost lands her in trouble, but with the help and support of her new friends she wins through and begins to see the future more posiitively.

I found the premise engaging. Evelyn’s struggle to recover from the shock of her husband’s betrayal is convincing. All of the experiences of the women in The Second Chance Holiday Club seem genuine and arouse sympathy. It is good to see older women being presented as real people with genuine emotions.

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Really good book. The plot is very true to life. Believable. One most can relate to. The book is very well written.

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Quite a fun story with lots of mini threads running underneath. Easy to read, a perfect holiday book!

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Evelyn Pringle is totally a different main character that most authors portray. Strong willed, in fairly good health and plodding along in life. Until she loses her husband and her life is turned around by her findings

She embarks on a unexpected, out of character, trip away just before Christmas which leads her to find herself with the help from Cynthia and Joy, friends that ordinarily would never have been on Evelyn's radar in life

A refreshing read which keeps you wanting to read more. In fact, I read the whole thing in a day as I really didn't want to put it down...and when I finished, I felt as if I had lost touch with great friends

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Perfect summer read, about more mature ladies. Totally believable story many people can relate too. Thank you netgalley for the advanced copy.

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What an utterly adorable book! Being a lady of mature years myself ,it was joyous to read a book that allowed three mature ladies to be the leading characters. It took me a little while to warm to them but as they thawed and starting unpeeling their layers of defences , I grew to love them and want to spend time with them. The peripheral characters were equally engaging and I was totally invested in their stories . Highly recommended

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Evelyn Pringle isn't the sort to make rash decisions. Or any decisions, really – she's always left that sort of thing up to her husband. But he's been found dead, wearing his best suit, with a diamond ring in his pocket that doesn't fit her. When Evelyn finds a letter addressed to a woman on the Isle of Wight, she decides to deliver it. By hand.

So begins a very unusual holiday, and an adventure no one could have predicted – least of all Evelyn herself. With the help of some unexpected new friends, and a little effort on her part, Evelyn discovers that it is never too late to have a second chance at life and forge friendships that are well-worth living for.

The writing style is great and it's fantastically written. A wonderful story, beautifully told. I absolutely tore through it! A sparkling, joyful read!

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Evelyn has recently lost her husband Tony to whom she was married for over fifty years. She seems a bit lost until she finds a letter. He wasn't the man she thought she married. And so she heads off to the Isle of Wight where she meets Joy and Cynthia who have their own secrets.
It was really refreshing to read about pensioners for a change. They were a formidable threesome after initially Evelyn being a bit standoffish.
Cynthia is certainly full on.
They got into a couple of scrapes that were very funny.
I've recently returned from Shanklin so it was lovely to return to the IoW.
A very enjoyable read.
Thanks to Netgalley and Aria for the ARC in return for an honest review.

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I really enjoyed this story. An elderly lady's husband has passed away and she finds a letter to another woman and diamond ring hidden among his belongings. She sets out to travel to this other woman by booking a coach trip to the Isle of Wight. Along the way she gets to know two other elderly widows. A novel about the journey, not the destination. I enjoyed the focus on these older women.

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I absolutely adored this book! What a journey we take with Evelyn, our unlikely heroine! Wise, funny and uplifting I loved every twist and turn of this thought-provoking, heart-warming novel.
When Evelyn’s husband is found dead in his car, with a ring in his pocket, a map and a letter declaring his love for another woman it sets off a chain of events that will see Evelyn book a holiday to the Isle of Wight and deliver the letter by hand. So begins an adventure that will forge new friendships and see Evelyn examine the life she thought she had and find a happier ending.
Uplifting and joyous, I didn’t want to turn the last page. I can’t wait to read more from Kate Galley!

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I loved this book! I wouldn't have thought it was a debut novel, it was so well-written. I loved the author's style and also the pace of the story.
The main storyline is about Evelyn, who has lived in a sort of limbo for decades. Now as an elderly woman decides to do something bold and unexpectedly finds friends and a totally new life. It was lovely to watch as she was coming out of her shell.
I loved all the supporting characters as well. The two new friends also had their painful issues in their lives, but they also found a way forward.
The storyline itself was also really interesting, full of unexpected twits and turns.
To sum up, I spent really enjoyable hours with this novel, often staying up late in the night as I wanted to read one more chapter.
I can recommend it to everyone who loves a good story about senior protagonists. As for me, I will look out for the next works of the author.

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I just finished The Second Chance Holiday Club and absolutely love it! What a brilliant debut novel from Kate Galley.

The writing is effortless and each character comes to life in a relatable and tridimensional way that creates an immediate connection with the reader.
As I wizzed through the chapters it became impossible not root for Evelyn Pringle with her dry humour and no-nonsense attitude. I enjoyed the relationship and friendship forming between the different characters as much as the unravelling of the mystery and secrets unearthed by the sudden passing of Evelyn's husband.

Funny and touching, this novel is the perfect fireside read...although this is great book in all weather as it was very refreshing to read about snow and Christmas day during the heatwave :-)

I'm looking forward to read more books from this author.

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I really enjoyed this book, i don't think the cover in my mind relates to the story as i think the hotel is more central to the story.

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I really liked this book, it was gentle, warm, a little sad but ultimately uplifting. Great to have an older woman as the main character and I thought this was a well observed, well written novel.

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“It’s never too late to change the habits of a lifetime…”


This is another of those books I never really thought I would enjoy anything like as much as I did. However, I have no hesitation in awarding this one the full five stars and I would definitely never have guessed that it was a debut novel written by a new author. The messaging was discreet, yet there for all to see. The humour was subtle, but it still made me laugh out loud quite often. And when, despite the more advanced years of Evelyn over myself, I was a little perturbed to find myself comparing many of her quirky and often downright thoughtless traits; and sharp, acerbic, often insulting comments, with my own mannerisms, I came away almost determined to change my inbuilt habits of a lifetime – Am I really like that!

I am only going to divulge the very bare bones of a storyline which offers so much entertainment, building of friendships, new personal beginnings and laying of ghosts to rest… and even a little breaking and entering!

...

Evelyn had been married to Tony Pringle for many decades, when he is found dead inside his car, apparently the victim of a sudden heart attack. Theirs had not been a particularly happy marriage, as, given the prevailing circumstances, it had been rather forced upon a young and reluctant Tony by his family, very much against his wishes. Their son, Stephen, did unite them as a family for a short period, however, following his sudden and untimely death aged just seven, a distance between them was established which neither had the will or inclination to try and reconcile. Tony, as much as he gave off the air of being the successful businessman, was in fact, living off Evelyn’s wealth and therefore never had any intention of leaving her, or giving her her freedom. She in turn, relied heavily on Tony to organise, run and maintain the outward appearance of their lives, accepting the many ‘business trips’ he took, for what they were, or rather what she chose to close her eyes and mind to, for a quiet life.

When his body is recovered, an item of jewellery found in his possession, together with travel documents, makes it clear that he was about to take a trip, although this was news to Evelyn, who does some investigating of her own and discovers in Tony’s home office, a letter and address for a woman on the Isle of Wight. It is perfectly obvious that they were more than just good friends, although Tony had been keeping an even bigger and more terrible secret from everyone, which should she confront his mystery paramour with the information, might blow up in her face spectacularly! Evelyn, who doesn’t drive, has no friends except for her much younger and garrulous sister Carol and her family, and has never been further than the local shopping centre on the bus by herself, amazingly only prevaricates for a few days before deciding to deliver the ring to Tony’s mystery woman, in person. As Tony’s death was so recent and Christmas is only days away, Carol is definitely nonplussed when Evelyn announces that she will not be joining them for the festive period, but is instead taking a ‘turkey and tinsel’ coach trip to the Isle of Wight for a few days.

Much as a very cynical Evelyn had predicted, the trip itself is a catalogue of disasters right from the outset; from the over friendly and definitely over optimistic driver Alan; to the ebullience of her two immediate travelling companions Cynthia and Joy, who although much the same age as herself certainly don’t intend to let the grass grow under their feet and age gracefully; even down to the literally do-it-yourself, dingy hotel experience into which the entire coachload is plunged. Cynthia proves herself to be a consummate organiser, whilst Joy is able to command a kitchen and prepare meals befitting the season, with the help of four very young trainee staff members who have decided to remain and help salvage some vestige of seasonal cheer for this coach load of misery. It seems that all Evelyn manages to do really well – is complain about everything and snipe at everyone! Cynthia isn’t prepared to put up with Evelyn’s morose behaviour for the entire holiday, so she and Joy set about getting to the real reason for her making the trip in the first place. However, in the course of doing so, a surprisingly perceptive Evelyn works out that she is not the only one with a secret and as a tacit understanding develops that all three can be trusted with each others hidden truths, one by one they open up, in a cathartic release of pent up feelings and emotions, although each of them still has amends to make and bridges to build with friends and family back home.

Cynthia is probably the most emotional of the group, despite the ‘public face’ she wears, although it transpires that she is also the one who knows what she wants when she sees it and is prepared to move heaven and earth to get it. Joy has a much more serious problem on her hands, which will ultimately mean a delayed trip home for the three unlikely new friends, as they must wait for Joy to finish ‘helping the police with their enquiries’. Evelyn has a much more tricky visit to make to Tony’s mystery lady friend Sarah, although even she is totally unprepared for the complexity of a situation which is even worse than she could have imagined. Her anger dissipates in light of the sheer magnitude of Tony’s duplicity and lies, with her rather new and unfamiliar mellow approach to a problem, taking over. After a few false starts, some straight talking leaves the air clear and Evelyn surprises even herself with the decisions she reaches. She leaves a struggling, hard-working mother with a whole new start ahead of her and a young hotel trainee happily contemplating his future as a potential top chef. Whilst they will never become bosom friends, Evelyn and Sarah will always have a shared past and a brighter future in common.

By the time they are all finally free to go home, the New Year has already been rung in, so with a rallying ‘all for one and one for all’ agreement, the three new besties resolve to keep in touch and visit often, leaving a much changed and improved Evelyn to do some straight talking with Carol, in the hope of building bridges and tearing down some of the walls she had built around herself. Carol has a couple more revelations for Evelyn, but these she is now well able to take in her stride, much to Carol’s surprise. So whilst forgiveness for Tony is never going to be a realistic option, a calm sense of closure and laying ghosts to rest, makes Eleanor’s transformation complete. Oh! – and talking of walls. There is going to be one very happy and surprised young travel agent soon.

...

Some wonderfully fluent and evocative writing, complemented this beautifully textured, fast-paced, multi-layered storyline, which is narrated in the first person by Evelyn herself. Whilst the physical footprint the story occupies, is quite finely focussed, the narrative about specific places is very descriptive with good spatial awareness, although for any seriously confirmed ‘armchair travellers’ among you, this one might be a little light on location. But believe me, this was one unique hotel stay and botched house-breaking episode, which I could visualise in all its ‘laugh or it will make you cry’ moments.

This was a perceptive and poignant story about moving on, of new beginnings and making fresh starts, with its focus undoubtedly concentrated on the storyline and the cast of characters who occupied its space. The interactions between them as individuals and with the wider community. Their personalities and how a little understanding and compassion, often from complete strangers, could change their perspectives on life. Strange locations and unexpected circumstances only served to help create the bonds which would weave them together and re-define them, creating many immersive and memorable moments which they would never forget.

The three main protagonists Cynthia, Joy and Evelyn, represent a complex jigsaw of vulnerable human emotions, which are laid bare when the fragility of the lines between life and death, defeat and survival, love and hate, trust and duplicity, are drawn. However a raw addictive passion and the will to survive, overcomes all the odds stacked against them, making them stronger, determined to be true to themselves, and more united as time goes on. They brought out both the best and the worse in each other and the energy between them was genuine, believable, engaging and authentic to the roles created for them by the author, with the synergy between them obvious to see.

The trauma of grief and loss and the long term effects it can have on mental health is eased when their respective experiences are shared and brought out into open discussion, which for Evelyn in particular, is something which needed to have happened many years ago and spurs her on to seek a spell of professional counselling. Whilst this may not have made her relationship with Tony any easier, they may have been able to help each other overcome their loss, rather than Evelyn retreating further and further into herself, wrapping a blanket of guilt and shame around herself, thus making the gulf between them even wider.

Maybe the ending wasn’t quite as I had expected it to be, but what always makes reading such a wonderful experience for me, is that with each and every new book, I am taken on a unique and individual journey, by authors who fire my imagination, stir my emotions and stimulate my senses. This story was definitely one of a kind, having the power to evoke so many feelings, that I’m sure I won’t have felt the same way about it as the last reader, nor the next, so I can only recommend that you read The Second Chance Holiday Club for yourself and see where your journey leads you!

As one of my fellow bloggers so aptly wrote: “Sometimes reading something different is like a breath of fresh air”. Thank you, Shirley, I couldn’t agree more!

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Wonderfully sweet story of Evelyn Pringle an older, settled lady, whose husband suddenly dies.
She finds new friends that are not expected while on a sudden holiday trip, taken to solve a mystery that she found left by her deceased spouse.
Who knew that a beautiful friendship would develop and these ladies would help to deliver and solve Evelyn's dilemma!

I definitely recommend this book! Well done and it has a lot of detail. I easily could put myself in with these "girls" while reading! Thank you to #NetGalley and #HeadofZeus, Aria for this ARC and allowing me to provide my own review, I will be awaiting more to read from this new author!

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Firstly, thanks to Netgalley, Kate and the publisher for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

After the sudden death of her husband, Evelyn Pringle sets off on an unexpected holiday and meets Cynthia and Joy. Together they want to unravel a secret that her husband took to the grave which Evelyn only finds out after his passing - did she really know the man she was married to for all of those years?

Initially unlikeable, you can see Evelyn grow throughout the book and this is in part thanks to the blossoming of the friendship between the three completely different women.

Overall, a great read which covers betrayal, loss, grief and friendship.

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Wonderful story about friendships, second chances, and what ultimately can make life feel worth living. The character of Evelyn is easy to like and empathize with, and her story is full of insights. Recommended if you enjoy good writing, and stories about how to survive what challenges life throws at you. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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When I started this book, I wasn’t too sure about the age of the main characters, but this was soon dismissed as I got carried away with the story and the reveal about more detail of Evelyn, Joy and Cynthia’s lives. The revelations really make you think about your own life and in particular “seizing the day”. Sad, funny and uplifting. I really think we need a sequel to this one!

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Evelyn was an older character and it seemed unfair that she had to discover what she did.
Her husband found dead in a vehicle in another part of the county with ring in his pocket
and a cryptic letter addressed to a woman on the Isle of Wight. Her marriage to Tony has
been devoid of any deep feeling for a long time, and they had just got into a rut with Tony
ruling the roost most of the time, using Evelyn's money for his own advancement.

Evelyn decides to pursue her own investigation and their follows a hilarious journey to a
run down hotel on the Isle of Wight in the company of a tour group - including ladies as
dysfunctional as any you could find but all finding comfort and solace in each other. Evelyn
was set in her ways, did not like to mix, was very particular what she did and how she did
things which were very annoying to read about until you realized that most ladies of her age
were like that. (Made me very keen to be otherwise as I am in the same age category as her!!!!)

The story was sad and funny. Discovering the truth of Tony's infidelity which went back decades
his long relationship with the other woman, Evelyn making amends in the way she knew how which was
wonderful and peace coming to both Evelyn and the other woman's daughter who was resentful, angry
and wary at the beginning was a good ending for all.

Very character driven, very descriptive of the Isle of Wight as well and the courage of three
women to overcome odds in their personal lives.

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The Second Chance Holiday Club by Kate Galley far exceeded my expectations. This was an author that I was not familiar with, but the book description peaked my curiosity. The three main ladies each have a story to tell. They meet up on a Christmas holiday trip. Although they are different in every way, they come together and develop an affinity for each other. The other sub characters help weave the story together and they too are like able. I highLy recommend this book. I had to stay up very late last night to finish it and that’s the sign of a good book.

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This was such a good story to read, and one that I could relate to very well.
It focuses on an older woman, whose name is Evelyn, who decides to take a coach trip, to the Isle of Wight, after her husband dies of a heart attack.
She meets a group of people, and befriends two woman around her age, named Cynthia, and Joy.
They eventually reach their destination, but it turns out that the hotel they're staying in, doesn't turn out to be what they expected.
Evelyn's personal life comes into play, and as she shares what happened in her marriage, with her two new friends, the story shows her to be stronger than she believes she is. I did like her as a character, but sometime she could be a bit unreasonable. Both Cynthia, and Joy, were quite fun, but sometimes Cynthia could be a bit over the top.
I found the book quite slow in pace, but it was a nice book to curl up with, and very light, and realistic in its writings.
Thank you to the author, and the publisher, for allowing me to read this advanced copy.

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This story was definitely one of a kind, having the power to evoke so many feelings, that I’m sure I won’t have felt the same way about it as the last reader, nor the next, so I can only recommend that you read The Second Chance Holiday Club for yourself and see where your journey leads you!

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What a wonderfully warm and heartwarming story!

The writing was lovely and flowed well, the story really took me along with it and I miss the characters now that I have finished

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Three women who embark on a coach trip to really find themselves through the maze of secrets. Is anything ever how it appears? But this book shows the strength of female solidarity and female strength. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book.

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Three quite different elderly women are thrown together when they embark on a Christmas coach trip to The Isle of White. When they are dropped at the hotel it soon becomes obvious that it isn't the hotel that they had booked from the brochure and the welcome was anything but warm. The hotel was scruffy and cold with very few staff, they were told that the other hotel had double booked and this was their only option. The company that they had booked with didn't want to know and the only saving grace was the young man who was helping out and the coach driver, who tried to look on the bright side. The three women soon realised that they would have to work together and try to salvage Christmas even though it wasn't what they wanted or had expected. I soon warmed to the characters and I thoroughly enjoyed the read

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This story is told from the first-person perspective of our main character, Evelyn. What I enjoyed most about this book was the fact that the seriousness of the issues were mixed with plenty of moments of joy and there were scatterings of humour throughout. The three main characters are all women of a certain age (70+) but despite that, or maybe because of it, they all want change in their lives.

I loved learning about their innermost secrets and desires. It was so entertaining to read about them growing as individuals and as friends. I was so pleased that these women found their strength in and from each other while learning a few things about themselves and some lessons along the way. This was a very moving and poignant story of grief, friendship, marriage, and moving forward.

The book surprised me in that it wasn't the fluffy read I was expecting, but it did get very uplifting as I read on and I loved the fact that it showed you are never too old to start over or make new friends. What a wonderful debut and I look forward to Kate Galley's sophomore release next year, The Golden Girls Road Trip.

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This appealed because I like Hazel Prior's books and I could definitely see similarities. I enjoyed it a lot and it had a greater depth than had expected when I began the first few pages. Sometimes feel good stories are just what you need. Thanks to Netgalley.

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Tender, touching and refreshingly real, a definite must-read!

I am completely surprised to find out that this is the author's debut book, the quality of the writing and the beautifully poignant story say that there will be many many books to come from this talented author and after reading and loving this I can't wait to read any which will follow.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first came into this book, I liked the sound of it and the cover is pretty, but nothing jumped out at me to say that this was going to be as wonderful as it was. It's pretty unassuming like a beautiful songbird sitting in a corner, you don't know how beautifully they can sing until they put themselves into the spotlight and this is just the same. You don't realise how much you will enjoy it until you start reading.

I have to say that despite Evelyn being a good 40+ years older than myself, I saw a little of myself in her, I can't explain why or in what way but something in the way she thinks, her manner even her way of expressing herself and her borderline rude/insulting comments made me grimace thinking 'Oh, my god this is me! ' Eeek!
But put that aside and you have a woman who finds a unique way of dealing with loss and devasting unearthed secrets.

I really liked this book, written in first person the whole journey is laid out through Evelyn's eyes, and we get a deep understanding of her as a person and not just as a character all from her intimate thoughts throughout and I really liked that. I am very fussy when it comes to the first-person narrative some just don't sit well with me and some I can't get into at all yet this one hit all the right marks, it covers all the bases; emotion, humour, and insight into the story and friendship.

I loved the friendship aspect of the story, it's actually rather refreshing to read a book that isn't solely about romance, this has a lot of serious issues written within what is essentially a humous and poignant story of life after death, secret, discovery and friendship. I am pleasantly surprised at how uplifting this book is, despite the main plot of a woman grieving over the death of her husband and finding a world-shattering secret this is pretty light-hearted and very moving.
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@chicksroguesandscandals

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I loved this book. After finding a diamond ring that would be too small for her in her late husband's jacket Evelyn is devastated. She finds an address in the Iske of White and decides to book a coach trip there to investigate.
The coach trip is a Christmas one and Evelyn is not a woman who mixes well socially. She meets another two women on the coach who embrace her into their company and Evelyn grudgingly accepts.
When they arrive at the hotel everything is not as they expect, in fact its chaos.
I was not expecting the book to have the twists and turns like it did. I loved the fact that they all got stuck in to make the best of things over Christmas. Laughter, heartache and new friendships with a mystery thrown in. A really good read.

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What a brilliant book. It was life affirming, funny, witty, positive and the friendship shone through. It dealt with loss, grief, anger, adultery and much much more. I loved it was set on the Isle of wight as I’m reading here on holiday. I would really recommend this book to anyone just wanting a good read. Thank you netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I would never have guessed this was a debut novel as everything feels like it’s been honed over many years. The storyline, the characters, the themes, they all seem so well accomplished.

Evelyn immediately reminded me of my dear late Nan. Not that she took up spontaneous trips to deal with her husband’s lies, but there was just something comforting and familiar about her that leapt off the page and gave me a big hug. It really gave me a chance to remember my Nan which was unexpected but lovely.

I didn’t initially connect with Cynthia or Joy. I felt Cynthia was too brash and too in-your-face, and I felt Joy was a bit of a wet weekend. However, as the story got going, they both came out of their shells and showed off their vulnerability, and by the end, I couldn’t split the trio up. Whilst all ladies of a certain age and seemingly very similar, between them, they portray a variety of complex emotions.

There’s a small, but important, supporting cast including Liam, Sarah, Carol and Alan - but as good as they are, none of them held my attention for long. For me, this was a three women powerhouse.

I did think it was going to be a very nice, sweet story about an old lady who decides to go on holiday. But it’s more involved than that. Yes it’s a story about an old lady travelling, but there’s so many layers. There’s sadness and loss and grief, loneliness and friendship, love and hate. It’s a very clear story about what to hold on to and what to let go and what to move on from.

It’s got a very powerful undertone of loss. The loss of spouses, children, relatives, friends and strangers. But it’s not morbid or disheartening in any way. It’s because of this loss that we learn to appreciate what we have.

It didn’t end exactly how I thought it would; it went in a different direction which was still a satisfying and pleasing ending.

It’s such a gorgeous book to read, and one I possibly wouldn’t have picked to read myself, but I’m glad I got the chance. It’s very similar, in my opinion, to Josie Lloyd’s “The Cancer Ladies’ Running Club”. That’s not to say the plots are the same, but they’re both stories of womanhood and female friendship and loneliness, and how even the worst of times can bring out the best in people.

It is very sweet, but vengeful, funny and sad, entertaining and enjoyable. It proves you’re never too old to start again and go on an adventure. It’s a quick read, perfect for cold winter evenings with a mug of something hot.

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This was delightful. I have been searching for a heartwarming story that wasn't trite or syrupy and this was the perfect fit. Believable and characters you love, unless you are soulless and bitter this story will move you and make you cherish those you love.

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Well this is a book about my mother, or so it feels. Though I doubt I’ll tell her that. But I found several parallels in the attitude and situation of the main character so in many ways was glad that this worked out as it did. This suggests to me that the book was well written, with believable characters and of course it’s so refreshing to have older female characters who can just get on with stuff, even if they drive each other nuts as they do so. I’m glad that there are a number of books appearing with older women who aren’t hopeless and feeble and this is a good example of the genre. I liked the humour, the warmth and the structure to the book, so that not all the secrets came out at once but throughout the book. The characters of Cynthia and Joy were really good and I adored Liam. Again, great to see so many believable characters throughout.
The closing scene where she got the plaque taken down was a glorious tribute to women no longer feeling they have to put up with shit male behaviour and it made me cheer out loud. Lots to like here.

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Evelyn is recently widowed wheb she discovers secrets about her husband's life. Not wishing to spend Christmas with her sister and family, she books a trip away. The coach trip to the Isle of Wight has ups and downs , perhaps more downs ! Evelyn slowly thaws with a couple of women on the trip and all their secrets are gradually revealed. This is a book about friendship, relationships and grief. Emotions are dealt with realistically and the women support each other and open up to each other in a heart warming way. A great and thought provoking read
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5059261219

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Three women, strangers until they meet on a holiday trip.. each are running away from their life as they know it. Tears, laughter, angst and friendship. But each has a chance to change their lives and learn a lot about themselves, if only they have enough courage to hold on and enjoy the ride. Thank you Netgalley, the author and the Publisher, the Head of Zeus for this delightful book. The comments and review are my honest opinion.

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Kate Galley’s debut is a gem of a novel. Immersive, funny and at times tragic, it carries the reader straight into the world of its narrator, seventy-six year old Evelyn Pringle.

Evelyn’s world has been turned upside down by the recent death of her husband, Tony, and she feels ready to slide into a comfortless, isolated widowhood. But Tony has a few remaining surprises for her, a secret past that throws up too many questions. Before she knows it, she finds herself on a reluctant journey to the Isle Of Wight, hoping to find the answers.

What follows is in many ways a classic road trip, featuring a coachload of glorious characters, some of whom we will get to know very well, and a series of beautifully described destinations. Galley’s talent for observational detail and wry humour shines through, painting a set of very real individuals who are all dealing with their own challenges. A great strength of the novel is its vivid portrayal of senior citizens who are very much out to live life to the full, resulting in some wonderfully awkward situations.

Yet this is no frivolous comic story. With older protagonists comes buried baggage, and the second half of the novel lightly and movingly builds on themes of friendship, grief and loneliness. Transformation and ultimate redemption are vividly depicted, avoiding sentimentality to paint a strong picture of women turning their lives around, making the best of the moment and in turn flourishing all over again.

As such, the book has universal appeal and will be enjoyed by a wide audience. It is a well-written, well-judged page turner, full of both poignant and comic observation, building to a convincing and uplifting finale. I loved it.

Many thanks for the ARC.

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When Evelyn’s husband dies, the discovery of a letter means that she must reevaluate her whole marriage. Unable to bear the thought of Christmas at home, she impulsively decides to book a coach trip to the Isle of Wight to see if she can unravel some secrets from the past.

This is the lovely story of how Evelyn comes to terms with the past and steps into a new future; of how she sheds her brittle exterior and opens up to new friends; of how she comes to terms with grief and finds new hope. The author skilfully weaves the past and present together and gradually reveals Evelyn’s family history as the story progresses. I found this to be an easy but very enjoyable read. Highly recommended.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I chose this book because it was very different from my usual choices.it certainly was different, I liked the humour and the story, but wasn't keen on the main character, I wish I had liked her more, I understand why she was like she was, but I just couldn't take to her, However the book was good, and well written, and not a bad read.

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A charming book about three ladies who become friends on a 'Turkey & Tinsel' coach trip to the Isle of Wight. I wasn't sure when I first started reading it that it was for me but I totally enjoyed it.
It has little pockets of humour and wit along with true to life experiences and emotions. A really enjoyable alternative Christmas read.

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Three elderly ladies have fun on a coach trip to the Isle of Wight. Evelyn can't face going to her family for Christmas. Cynthia and Joy also want to escape their normal lives. The seedy hotel could have been a disaster but the holiday makes them friends for life. They're all great characters, making for an amusing and poignant Christmassy read. You really root for them all, especially Evelyn.

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I loved the settings and the theme of friendship and grief. I found the writing poignantly beautiful at times and amusing at others. An enjoyable read and I will be looking out from more from this author.

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The lives of 3 retired ladies join as they take a Christmas trip to the Isle of Wight. The coach trip is a disaster but the women form a close friendship. All 3 have seen their husbands die under different circumstances but it draws them together. Great funny characters and easy to read chapters. Thanks to Kate and her publisher. Also thanks to NetGalley

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Evelyn Pringle is going through her husband's things after he died when she finds a letter addressed to a woman who lives on the Isle Of Wight. Adding this to the fact that her husband had a diamond ring in his pocket that clearly wasn't for her, Evelyn decides that she needs to deliver the letter to the mystery woman herself.
Booking herself onto a coach trip Evelyn is totally out of her comfort zone but she is determined to complete the mission she has set herself.
Could she be making a big mistake or will this trip turn out to be the best thing she has ever done.
A story of friendship and new beginnings with three feisty, fun and surprising ladies of a certain age.
I really enjoyed this, it's hard to believe it's a debut novel. Well written with strong characters and a clever storyline.

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Evelyn Pringle has just been widowed but her husband was found dead in his car with a ring that doesn't fit her and a letter addressed to a woman she doesn't know. The lady concerned lives in the Isle of Wight and it seems Evelyn's husband killed her husband.
So Evelyn books a Christmas break in the Isle of Wight and decides to deliver the letter herself.
The delivery of the letter is more difficult than she expected but along the way she finds herself unexpectedly making friends and enjoying herself and at the end of the holiday she and her friends have had their lives changed forever.

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This book is touching and uplifting look at life after loss.

There were a few gentle twists and turns in this book, but the real stars are the characters. Brilliantly well observed.

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This story focuses on Evelyn as she travels to The Isle of Wight to hand deliver a letter her husband has written to another woman. It was lovely to see how Evelyn began to come out of her shell and made a few friends along the way. She has been recently widowed and it seemed to me reading this that her husband had made all the life decisions for them both. This was a lovely uplifting story and I can't wait to read more from this author

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This is a charming feel good book about ladies of a certain age who meet on an I’ll-fated coach holiday over Christmas to the Isle of Wight. I didn’t particularly take to some of the characters at first but grew to understand them and like them by the end. We get to understand their previous lives and enjoy their new relationship of mutual support.

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The Second Chance Holiday Club by Kate Galley

When Evelyn's husband Tony dies she finds a letter and a diamond ring intended for another woman. Reuniting them with their owner leads to her booking a coach trip to the Isle of Wight. Despite the diasters along the way, Evelyn makes new friends, Cynthia and Joy, and finally starts to heal after the heartache in her past.

What a fabulous book - I absolutely loved it. The characters were all so real, their quirks and personalities so authentic I was imagining the story as though it were a TV drama (please could we have a TV or film adaptation of this!) and raced through it. Fantastic debut from the author - I can't wait to read what she writes next. Very VERY highly recommended!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book.

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What a lovely book from
What I think is a debut author!
I’ve recently come back from a trip to The Isle of Wight so it was lovely because I recognised some of the places and the ferry etc

This book will definitely warm your heart

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A gentle story of three ladies of a mature age and the descriptions of their characters really brought them to life.
it was an entertaining story that kept the reader engaged as it was not predictable as to what would happen next. The back stories of the main characters were revealed more and more as the book progressed.

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An absolute delight of a read. I was very surprised to see that this is from a debut author. The writing is gentle but holds no punches as you become absorbed in the live’s of these three very unlikely friends to be. Three ladies all escaping their pasts book a Christmas break on the Isle Of Wight and what could be the holiday from hell may well be their salvation.
Great characters that you’ll become invested in.
Please can we have a follow up I need to know what happens next

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Such a delightful book. Easy to pick up and fall right into the story. I believe this is a debut book if so looking forward to more from this author.

Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this book.

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A wonderful debut book from this author, an easy read that you can get into the story from the very first page. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this authors books in the future.

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EXCERPT: As soon as I woke this morning, I imagined myself going through Tony's things. I thought about it at the hairdressers while the girl tried to curl my straight white hair, and while I made up my face and wrestled myself into my black wool dress, and again when Carol arrived with her husband to take control of the day. I was still thinking about it when Tony's coffin disappeared behind the curtain. While I should have been focused on the enormity of never seeing him again, never sharing another meal, a conversation, a bed with the man I'd been married to for fifty-five years, I'd actually been imagining myself coming home, kicking off my shoes and walking straight into his study to rifle through his possessions. With good reason it would seem.

ABOUT 'THE SECOND CHANCE HOLIDAY CLUB': Evelyn Pringle isn't the sort to make rash decisions. Or any decisions, really – she's always left that sort of thing up to her husband. But he's been found dead, wearing his best suit, with a diamond ring in his pocket that doesn't fit her. When Evelyn finds a letter addressed to a woman on the Isle of Wight, she decides to deliver it. By hand.

So begins a very unusual holiday, and an adventure no one could have predicted – least of all Evelyn herself. With the help of some unexpected new friends, and a little effort on her part, Evelyn discovers that it is never too late to have a second chance at life and forge friendships that are well-worth living for.

MY THOUGHTS: The Second Chance Holiday Club is an entertaining and amusing later-life story about it never being too late to change the habits of a lifetime and chase your dreams.

Evelyn is staid and stuck in her ways. So she is somewhat surprised at herself for booking a 'Tinsel and Turkey' coach tour getaway to the Isle of Wight - anything to avoid Christmas with her sister Carol and her family! But there's a reason Evelyn has chosen the Isle of Wight.

Cynthia is an overly-made-up, outgoing woman with a bung knee who sits beside Evelyn on the bus, noisily sucking sweets and talking to all and sundry. She drives Evelyn insane! And Evelyn knows she is a liar.

Joy is an attractive but quiet woman with more secrets than the bruises she is trying to hide. Why, for instance, does she need two phones?

So, how do these three overcome their differences and become friends? Read The Second Chance Holiday Club to find out. Enjoyable, entertaining, but with some real 'wakeup' calls to us senior citizens and the not so senior citizens amongst us, The Second Chance Holiday Club is an amusing read with some good life lessons cleverly woven into the fabric of the plot.

Even the supporting cast of characters are a breath of fresh air - Alan, the bus driver, on his last tour before taking retirement; Liam, the young student helping out at the 'hotel's (take that description very loosely!) and who wants a career in hospitality; Carol, Evelyn's sister, who Carol resents; and Sarah, the woman Evelyn finds when she's looking for Margaret.

This is a stellar debut novel, one that will not only entertain, but will give you food for thought.

⭐⭐⭐.7

#TheSecondChanceHolidayClub #NetGalley

I: @kategalley1 @ariafiction

T: @KateGalley1 @AriaFiction

#ageing #contemporaryfiction #domesticdrama #friendship #sliceoflife #womensfiction

THE AUTHOR: Kate Galley is a debut author who lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, children and Meg, their Patterdale Terrier. Much of Kate's inspiration comes from the many varied lives of her clients as a mobile hairdresser, and the inspiration for this book came from one woman's tale of a hilarious Christmas coach trip.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Head of Zeus, Aria, via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Second Chance Holiday Club by Kate Galley for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage

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The Second Chance Holiday Club
Earc:NetGalley
Publisher:
Head of Zeus, Aria
Publication Date: 1 December 2022
Genre: General Fiction Adult

What a fantastic first book! This was a pleasure to read—witty in a delightfully dry way, cheerful, and heartfelt. The three elderly women's developing bond was expertly handled; it was understated yet moving. With topics like loss, infidelity, the discovery of long-buried secrets, and opening oneself up to new experiences, the author dealt tenderly and genuinely.
All three of these older ladies had to ask themselves, "Who am I?" and make decisions about who they wanted to be in the future.
Age doesn't have to mean giving up our ambitions and dreams or avoiding new experiences and adventures, as this book beautifully affirms.

Thank you for providing an eARC of Head of Zeus and Net Galley.

#NetGalley #bookstagram #bookreview #goodreads #generalfictionadult #thesecondchanceholidayclub @kate galley

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Clya2A9owKF/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

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4.5 stars

What a marvellous debut novel! Witty in a delightfully dry way, joyful, touching, this was a pleasure to read. The blossoming friendship between the three older women was perfectly written, subtle yet poignant. The author dealt sympathetically and realistically with issues such as grief, adultery, the revelation of long buried secrets and opening yourself up to new experiences.
As older women facing huge changes in their lives, all three had to ask themselves the question, "who am I?" and decide who they want to be in the future.
A wonderfully life affirming book - being older doesn't mean we need to give up our hopes and dreams or forego new experiences and adventures.

Thank you to Net Galley and Head of Zeus for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This wonderful debut novel by Kate Galley was at times heartbreaking, and at times heartwarming. The three main characters are older women, each at a crossroad in their lives after the death of their spouses. Hoping to get away over the Christmas period, the three end up at a nearly deserted inn on the Isle of Wight, where each woman discovers that there may be a brighter future ahead.

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Evelyn has just been widowed, and on clearing through her husband's belongings she finds a letter addressed to another woman on the Isle of Wight. impulsively she decides not to spend Christmas with her sister, but to go there on a 'turkey and tinsel' trip to hand the letter over in person.

On the coach she meets two very different ladies, and begins to learn a lot about herself and her life, even before she delivers the letter. The result is a very light, upbeat but thought-provoking story of lives wasted, people misunderstood and what real happiness might be. I cried for Evelyn, but was also very heartened by the way she learned to live in her new life. Parts of the story stretched credulity a little, but it makes for a cracking read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for allowing me access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley, Kate Galley and Head of Zeus for the book The Second Chance Holiday Club. This is my personal review.
Evelyn Pringle has decided she will take a holiday, but this is not one she ever imagined she would be taking. Evelyn goes on a trip with new friends but they each have one thing in common – they are widows.
The three women- Evelyn, Cynthia and Joy have found each other and they fit so well together.
I enjoyed reading this book and I know you will too.

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