Anna has been working as a journalist for many years. Born in Warsaw she came to Britain in the 1980s. The stories of the main characters of the novel reflect her own experiences, as well as that of other Poles she has met in Britain. Anna lives in London with her husband and two sons. A Second Chance is her debut novel.
Harrow Times profiles Anna (January 2017)
A Second Chance
In 1997, three Polish immigrants come to London and find themselves sharing a house in Greenford: Maja, an overqualified assistant librarian; Adam, a hard working, hard drinking carpenter; and Kuba, a London cabbie who has shelved his promising physiotherapy career. They all have different reasons for leaving Poland.
They experience the best and the worst of a society in which they are trying to find acceptance. As they struggle to find and keep work in London, they are forced to confront social prejudices and their own demons.
This is a moving tale of young foreigners making their way in London and their personal journey of discovery. They come to realise they can change but stay true to themselves.
What people are saying about A Second Chance
Lovely comment on A Second Chance by Keith Oswin:
This book is addictive! Three chapters in and you’ve met the three main characters – and in my case decided that you actually care what happens to them.
With the current global nervousness about migrants, the release of this book could not have come at a more apposite time.
A cracking debut.
Great book! Once you start reading you really can’t put it down! If you have ever experienced being an immigrant yourself it is like reliving the whole process again. The story has many twists and turns but it doesn’t lose its integrity and characters remain very credible. I really enjoyed reading ‘A Second Chance’
This book, in the context of Brexit, is a timely reminder of why Europeans – in this case mostly Polish – came to the UK to begin with and, in many ways, how they have become an integral part of the country.
The beauty of it is that you really do get involved with the characters and want to know how it all turns out for them. Behind each established immigrant today there is a history of risk and struggle as they build a new life, often having to re-start their former qualifications to work in their own profession. To paint a fuller picture there is also romance and trauma, not overly dramatised but woven into the fabric of the story quite naturally.
This is a great ‘slice of life’ story of a subject that has not had much exposure and is well worth a read.
– A… Fan
A thought provoking tale of people developing as they create opportunities through their own efforts and with the support of valued friends and family. Most of the main characters came from Poland and established themselves in communities around London. They were exposed to the highs and lows of life in the UK as they adapted to their new environment and continued to be themselves through continued respect for the culture they were born into. A great pleasure to read.
– Clive Q
I really enjoyed this story and found it hard to put down. I admired the tenacity of the three characters. I also found it sad in parts “…history will take even less notice of the immigrant underclass…” I would definitely recommend this book.
– A… Customer
A fascinating glimpse into the lives of three engaging but very different characters, each struggling to find their way in a beautifully drawn, yet not always pretty London. A really impressive debut, I hope we get to hear more.