cover image A Season for Second Chances

A Season for Second Chances

Jenny Bayliss. Putnam, $16 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-593-08541-7

A middle-aged woman reinvents herself after separating from her compulsively unfaithful husband in this inspiring tale of strength, integrity, and self-respect from Bayliss (The Twelve Dates of Christmas). After chef Annie Sharpe catches her husband cheating with their much younger employee, she heads to the shores of Kent, England, to regroup, answering an ad looking for a “winter custodian” for Saltwater Nook, a historic home with an attached, abandoned storefront that once housed a tearoom. She quickly finds she enjoys the slow pace of the village and hatches a plan to reopen the business. She also stumbles onto a loving community in the form of her new book club, the town’s wandering loner, and other local business owners—but it’s her landlord’s irritating but intriguing nephew, architect John Granger, who dominates her thoughts. John hopes to convince his aging aunt to sell Saltwater Nook in order to afford a full-time care-giver, so Annie’s plans don’t sit well with him. But with the town backing her, he soon finds himself outnumbered—and reluctantly charmed by Annie herself. The holiday season provides an enchanting backdrop to this late-coming-of-age tale, as Annie moves out of complacency and rejuvenates a wounded heart while developing lifelong friendships and love. Readers will be enchanted. Agent: Hayley Steed, Madeleine Milburn Literary. (Oct.)