First Anniversary Blog Blitz: The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye
The Second Cup was originally published on 19 July 2017. The extended edition (includes character interviews) was published on 12 February 2018.
Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester in 1975, to English
Catholic parents. To the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing, until aged nine, when she was diagnosed with depression.
It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision, including the one to write a novel.
Sarah Marie wrote The Second Cup as part of an MA Creative Writing practice as research degree at London South Bank University – where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder.
Sarah Marie was diagnosed with ADHD in November 2017 and published an extended edition of The Second Cup in February 2018 that included character interviews so she could diagnose one of her characters with the same condition.
Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.
Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he's taken his own life.
Faye is left wondering how to move forward - and whether or not Jack's best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack's death ripples through the lives of her friends too.
Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack's death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.
Is Beth about to take her own life too?
I originally read and reviewed this book last year. Since then, the author has added some additional content. I reviewed the new content and want to add some details to my review.
The book remains a lovely example of literary fiction. The story explores how a long-lost friend's suicide disrupts the lives of four current friends. Suicide is a difficult and painful topic that baffles most of us. Ms. Graye adeptly weaves in various known and unknown details to create a 360-degree view on a subject we often prefer to ignore.
The new version has some increased depth which helped to explain the ending. The additional heart and slower pacing helped me to stay engaged clear to the ending. I was quite tearful in the winding-up scenes as I hoped that each person could find a path that leads to contentment.
Overall, this is a spectacular work that both tugs the heart and awakens the mind as it tries to weave a story that awakens empathy for both those who commit suicide and those impacted by this terrible experience, which is becoming more common every day.
Amazon book page: https://getbook.at/SecondCup
Amazon author page: https://author.to/SarahMarieGraye