‘Please do whatever you can do to live this next half of your life’ I mean LIVE from this moment on – as if life for you begins in the middle’
– On the Bright Side
[ About the Book ]
There’s always time for a second chance…
At least that is what people say. But what if it’s true?
What if you could walk out the door and build a whole new you, a whole new life?
Clare and Jack are about to find out.
He’s a middle-aged barrister, living life as he ‘should’.
She’s a recently divorced dance teacher and mum to a teenage daughter.
Change isn’t easy for either of them.
But it’s not impossible.
If they do something BIG, could the next half of their lives be the best half?
[ My Review ]
On the Bright Side by Nell Carter was published August 5th with Welbeck Fiction and is described as ‘a warm and moving exploration of love in all its different and complicated forms, with themes of romance, loss, troubling relationships and unlikely friendships’.
Jack and Clare are both worn out from life. Jack is a very successful barrister but, while his career is booming, his personal life is stagnant. Jack experienced a catastrophic and life-changing event that left a huge mark on him, both physically and emotionally. Over the years he has buried himself in work but has refused to let love in to his heart. He has had a few relationships but he falters at the final step and moves away from any permanent commitment. On receiving an email, something shifts inside Jack and he decides that now, perhaps, is the time to re-access how he spends his life and consider a few changes. How big these changes will be is very much up to Jack. Can he let go? Can he have a more fulfilling life or in Jack’s mind, does he deserve another chance?
Clare has suffered huge emotional turmoil. With her marriage on the rocks, she makes the brave decision to move away from home with her teenage daughter, Grace. After years in an abusive relationship, Clare needs to step forward and reclaim her life but she can’t do it alone. With assistance she gets new accommodation and, with determination, she looks for work. Clare wants, and needs, a new life for herself and for Grace. Grace has witnessed her parents fractured marriage and seen more than any child should ever have to experience. Clare calls time on this toxic relationship and, with one step forward, she takes a path that will have many obstacles but could provide her with the much-needed peace that she dreams of. Clare has a lot of baggage hanging over from her younger years and now with fresh eyes she makes decisions that will change their lives forever.
On the Bright Side is a book that focuses on love in all its forms. A powerful emotion it can impact us all in many ways providing a much needed boost, a wonderful friendship, a glowing comfort but also it can bring fear, grief, anger. It can be passionate and it can be poisonous. All these varied types of love are incorporated into On the Bright Side as Jack and Clare struggle to deal with the multiple challenges presented. They live quite complicated lives and any decisions they make have a ripple effect on others so they tread carefully. What I found of particular interest is the age profile of Jack and Clare, both in their forties. They are being presented with an opportunity to recalibrate, to reinvest in themselves and start over as if their lives begin in the middle. Isn’t that such a positive outlook to embrace? We are never too old to start over, to fulfil a long-held dream, an ambition pushed to one side.
On the Bright Side is a charming and astute exploration of love filled with absorbing and, at times, frustrating individuals who make choices that you might not always agree with, but who ultimately add a very authentic edge to the tale. Nell Carter brings her characters very much to life, bringing both heart and soul to her words. A delightful, emotional and extremely sincere novel, On the Bright Side is a joy to read from start to finish.
This is not a love story. It’s a story about a thing called love…
[ Bio ]
Nell Carter lives in the South-East with her husband. Their grown-up daughters have flown the coop but, like boomerangs, keep coming home – nowadays with their other halves and their own gorgeous offspring. From a much larger family herself, Nell likes to write about real people – the dust and dirt that layer their relationships, the light and shade that make them laugh and cry.
Twitter ~ @nell_writes