Our May Front Porch Book Club Pick is 'The Bookshop of Second Chances'

Ashley Leath
·3 min read
Photo credit: Julia Ludham
Photo credit: Julia Ludham

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Pull up a seat as we dive in to one book each month with the Country Living Front Porch Book Club, capping each month with a chat with the authors themselves. Our May 2021 selection is author Jackie Fraser's "The Bookshop of Second Chances"!

The lead character of Jackie Fraser's delightful The Bookshop of Second Chances has, to put it mildly, hit a rough patch. Within the span of three weeks, Thea Mottram has had her position at work dissolved and learned her husband (who she'd been with for almost 20 years) was having an affair—with her friend (or should we say, former friend). Suffice it to say that this isn't the Valentine's Day Thea had envisioned.

But while collecting her things from the home she used to share with her husband (best friend in tow, of course), Thea gets an unexpected piece of news: Her uncle, Andrew, has left her his home, called West Lodge. It's been almost a year since Andrew passed away, but other than a shared affinity for books, the two weren't close, and Thea is surprised by the news. But without a home, a job, or a spouse to keep her rooted to Sussex, Thea decides why not head to the blustery coast of Scotland and see what's what with her sudden inheritance.

After stalking the house on Google Street View a few times (#relatable!), Thea feels prepared for what she'll find: a "shaggy" front yard, tulips and primroses, wisteria hugging a bright red front door. What Thea doesn't expect is to fall head-over-heels for the quaint little cottage and nearby village and bookshop, which comes in handy when she decides to get her uncle's collection of valuable books appraised.

But while the other locals Thea meets in the village of Baldochrie couldn't be more helpful or friendly, the bookshop's owner, Edward Maltravers, is anything but. To make matters complicated, though, Edward's brother, Charles, is a local lord with a keen interest in buying Thea's cottage so he can turn it into a holiday rental. And when Thea decides to stay a few months at West Lodge while she sorts through her family's things and figures out what to do with it all (and herself), she manages to talk Edward into letting her fill the open bookseller position at his shop...landing Thea smack in the middle of a decades-old brotherly feud.

Over the course of the year, Thea will have to learn to navigate small-town life, Edward's standoffishness, and Charles's confusing aristocratic charm (is he really this nice, or does he just want to buy her house?), all while deciding what she wants from this second chance life has given her.

Thea's natural humor lights up the page from the start, and her desire to learn from the past to build the future she deserves is immensely refreshing. Filled with wit, romance, and Scottish countryside charm, The Bookshop of Second Chances is a perfect read to usher in summer.

Tune in to Country Living's Instagram as Jackie answers your questions and chats live with us about The Bookshop of Second Chances on May 27 at 11 a.m. EST.


Selection: The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser (available via local bookstores, Amazon, or Bookshop)
Start reading with us now.
Tune in to
Country Living's Instagram as Jackie answers your questions and chats live with us about The Bookshop of Second Chances on May 27 at 11 a.m. EST.

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