It’s a real pleasure today to be joining the blog tour for Another You by Jane Cable: published by Sapere Books on 26th June, it’s now available for kindle (free via Kindle Unlimited) and in paperback. And you won’t believe how delighted I am to be able to write those words: my review of this lovely book was originally published over two years ago, and it’s so wonderful to see it back in print, with an exciting new publisher, and reaching new readers.
I’m really rather a fan of Jane’s writing – I loved The Cheesemaker’s House with its Yorkshire magic (you’ll find my review here), and perhaps enjoyed The Faerie Tree even more (review and guest post here). It really is the best of news that we’ll be seeing more books from her (thank you, Sapere!) – the next, Winter Skies, will soon be available for preorder.
But let’s take a closer look at Another You…
Sometimes the hardest person to save is yourself…
Marie Johnson fell in love with The Smugglers pub when she first moved to Dorset with her husband, Stephen. But when Stephen’s wandering eye caused the breakdown of their marriage, and the costs of running the pub started to mount, Marie felt her dreams crashing down around her.
With local celebrations planned for the 60th anniversary of D-Day, Marie is hopeful things will turn around. But she could never have predicted the ways her life will soon be changed forever.
A charming American soldier walks into Marie’s life, but it becomes clear nothing is really as it seems…
Why is Marie suddenly plagued by headaches? Is her American soldier everything he seems to be?
Or could the D-Day re-enactments be stirring up something from the past…?
Another You is a moving saga of family life in the 21st century which draws on the horrors of combat, both in modern times and the Second World War. It is a heart-warming tale of one woman’s fight to reclaim her identity and discover what really matters to her.
When I reviewed The Faerie Tree, I mentioned the author’s perfect handling of the emotional content – with this book, her touch is even more assured. Marie’s toxic relationship with her husband really hurts you as you read – every barbed comment, every moment he shows her total disrespect, every spiteful put down, every sign that the love has long gone. By contrast, her relationship with artist son Jude makes your heart glow – and when things between them go a little wrong after a moment of carelessness, that hurts too.
Marie is eminently likeable, even if she (just sometimes) lacks a bit of insight into how others feel – and when she meets Paxton, at first you really hope it might turn into something rather more than a simple fling. But none of the relationships in this book progress smoothly – Paxton has his depths and issues, then there’s the elusiveness of the lovely Corbin, and the misunderstandings behind many of her interactions with Mark. When life’s progress is so dreadfully rocky, it’s no surprise that Marie suffers with crippling migraines – or that the beach hut becomes a welcome refuge.
There was nothing I didn’t like about this book. The setting is vividly drawn – the landscape of Studland Bay (where I could smell the bacon frying in the beach hut, and picture the dunes and vertiginous cliffs…) and the pub itself, a home, a business and something of a prison. I loved the background story of the D-Day exercise – and the touch of magic surrounding it – and was enchanted by the links with the vanishing seahorses, and the mystery around the necklace.
It’s an excellent story, so well told – there’s romance and high drama, and an emotional complexity that makes it a really satisfying read. Every character, no matter how peripheral to the story, is perfectly drawn – and all the dialogue totally authentic and natural. And I even enjoyed the food – the challenges of running a busy pub kitchen, the putting together of a menu, the preparing of the meals, the joy and the bone-crushing tedium. A really superb read… and I must mention too the quite beautiful (new) cover, perfectly capturing the story.
About the author
Although brought up in Cardiff, Jane Cable now lives in Cornwall and is a full time writer. Another You is a moving saga of family life in the 21st century which draws on the horrors of combat, both in modern times and World War Two as down-trodden Marie fights to reclaim her identity and discover what really matters to her. Jane’s next book, Winter Skies, will be available for pre-order from Sapere Books soon.