After the One
April 16th is always one of Charley’s worst days of the year.
It’s her husband’s birthday, a painful reminder of his death four years ago.
So naturally, her car breaks down.
She nearly gets run over trying to catch the bus.
And then she’s made redundant.
Her friends see the redundancy as a chance for her to start again and live the life she always wanted, but since being widowed Charley has clung to familiarity and avoided change like the plague. Then, out of the blue, her mother-in-law Pam pitches up in need of a place to stay after walking out on her 40-year marriage.
Together, Charley and Pam find themselves at a crossroad. It’s not easy to move on after The One, but they can’t stand still forever.
After The One is an incredibly moving story that I found impossible to part with.
Charley has a good life, happily married with a job she loves – that is until her life takes a drastic turn for the worst and she becomes widowed far too early on in her life. This turns her whole world upside down, and she eventually ends up losing her job as she struggles to move on with her life.
Following the loss of her job, Charley then faces the threat of losing the flat that she shared with her husband, a place that holds so many memories for her. She soon comes to realise that the only option she has if she wishes to remain in her home is tot take in a lodger, and with little options left to explore, Charley ends up accepting her mother-in-law Pam’s offer to move in with her.
Pam has a lot of wisdom to share with Charley throughout their time living together, and she plays a big role in Charley beginning to take the tentative steps towards moving forward with her life. Charley has had an idea brewing inside of her head, but isn’t sure whether it is feasible. Following some much needed encouragement from her friends she embarks on opening a Prosecco Themed Shop.
Upon the opening of her shop, Charley soon meets Ricky – a neighbouring shop owner. As she gets to know him better as they begin working alongside one another, we are left with the question – will Charley allow herself to move on and open up to the possibility of being happy once again.
I fell in love with the story from the start. Charley is such a likeable character, and you find yourself connected to her from the start. Following her difficult story is incredibly moving and thought provoking, and it is so wonderful following her progression as the story moves forward.
One of the strong themes that runs throughout this book is the strength that can be pulled from friendship. Charley certainly channels a lot of her courage from the friends and they play a pivotal role in showing her that she still has a lot to live for.
The relationship between Pam and Charley is delightful. Pam has many pearls of wisdom that she shares with Charley throughout this book, and they also allow her to move forward once again. I loved the fact that Pam wasn’t portrayed in the way mother-in-laws often are, instead the author shows Pam as a strong, supportive role in Charley’s life which I adored.
The entire story is so wonderfully written you find yourself well and truly invested in the characters and their happiness as the story advances. The fact that the story was told from both Charley and Pam’s perspectives added new layers to the story, and allowed us to see the ways in which these women were in fact guiding one another through an unimaginably hard time.
I adored everything about this book, and will certainly be sharing my love for this story with everyone!.
You can purchase a copy of this book via the following link below: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08TMTM4H5/
About the Author
Cass Lester spent many years at CBBC having a fabulous time making award-winning programmes including Jackanory, Big Kids, Kerching! and the Story of Tracy Beaker. She has published a number of children’s books and is now having a fabulous time writing adult fiction.
Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/TheCasInTheHat