A Second Chance is the ‘cracking’ debut novel by Anna Ryland.
I met Anna at a local writers’ group I was talking to about publishing and over a cup of coffee she told me about her book. I was captivated with the idea. And the manuscript was no disappointment. It’s a tale of new beginnings and survival.
Set in 1980s London before Poland entered into the common European market and Poles could travel and work freely in Britain, A Second Chance recounts the experiences of young immigrants trying to make their way in a foreign city. Any new traveller to London, especially from overseas, will associate with the two friends trying to find each other at Paddington Station, the sense of disorientation and relief at finding someone you know.
Based on some of Anna’s own experiences and those of people she’s met, she encapsulates the fears and challenges of settling into a new city, and how this is exaccerbated when English isn’t your first language. But it’s not all negative and an uphill struggle. Interspersed are uplifting moments – so true to life where people, sometimes completely unexpected help solve a problem and give of themselves.
This is a book about life, in all its rawness.
And don’t just take my word that it’s a must read book, Keith Oswin posted
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.