Review: Jeff Dawson’s Love’s True Second Chance
This is a simple story of boy meets girl. She was 16, he was 17. They were both going out with other people as she tried to catch his eye across a crowded band practice and eventually he got the hint and asked her out. All through his senior year they were inseparable and then he went off to college, she was seen with someone else, stuff happened and their lives drifted apart as they both got married, had children, got divorced, all the things that happen in life. But he never forgot his teenage sweetheart, his one true love, and, every few years, he would drop a business card with his phone number into the mailbox of the house where he knew her parents still lived. Thirty years after they broke up, she phoned him. Was this a second chance for them both?
Sounds like a cute romance novel doesn’t it? But this is not a love story, this is a story about love. A true story too, about family, about life and about the heartbreaking loss of a loved one to cancer. It’s not a shock because we are told right at the start of the book that she had died and the book is full of reminiscences about how they got together, parted and found each other again just before it was too late. It reads very much like you’ve sat down with a grieving friend over coffee and just said “tell me about her” as the stories and memories about her pour out and you can see how special she was to him. Beautifully written without ever dipping over into the sickly sweet, the heartwarming minutiae of his every day life with her, like getting a pinball machine for his 18th birthday, or unblocking the sink in a new house or taking her kids out for chocolate milk and to the hardware store, all take on a special meaning as he relates them because his love for her shines through every word. I found myself rooting for them, hoping for the inevitable not to happen, really wishing for the happy ever after that I knew wasn’t going to come and that was heartbreaking. Even more so because, even though he had bonded with her two girls, since he was not a legal guardian, once she died, he lost the whole family as they went to live with their father, leaving three holes in his heart where there should only be one. Devastating.
There is a saying that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. This book proves that. The loss for him is hard, almost impossible to overcome, but the love, while he has it, you know it’s just the best feeling in the world. The thing that this book left me with the most though was a realisation that we need to connect with those we love, every day. We need to live and do stuff and have fun together. We need to make the memories because, some day, that’s all we’ll have and for that thought, Mr Dawson, I thank you.
***** 5 Stars!