Sometimes the hardest person to save is yourself… Marie Johnson is trapped by her job as a chef in a Dorset pub and by her increasingly poisonous marriage to its landlord. Worn down by his string of affairs she has no self-confidence, no self-respect and the only thing that keeps her going is watching her son, Jude, turn into a talented artist. But the 60th anniversary of a D-Day exercise triggers chance meetings which prove unlikely catalysts for change. First there’s Corbin, the American soldier who she runs into as she’s walking on the cliffs. He is charming and has a quaintness about him, calling her an ‘English rose’. Then there’s George the war veteran, who comes to dine at the pub, and his son Mark. George fascinates Marie with his first-hand accounts of the war, whilst Mark proves helpful in making sense of the pub’s financial situation. And there’s Paxton. Another American soldier with an uncanny resemblance to Corbin. Young, fit and very attractive, Marie finds him hard to resist. But little does she know Paxton is also battling some inner demons. As the heat of the summer intensifies, so do the issues in Marie’s life. But as events unfold, Marie finally realises that she is not trapped, but stuck, and that it is down to her to get her life moving again.
Another You is the third novel from Jane Cable, about Marie Johnson a self-taught chef living in lovely coastal Dorset. Marie owns the pub she works at but with her domineering (and just overall awful husband) - Stephen. With the 60th anniversary commemorations of D-Day rehearsals have them run off their feet; Stephen is pouring the pub’s money into his own personal venture at the expense of the pub; and the stress of it all is plaguing Marie with incapacitating migraines. To take breaks from it all Marie enjoys refreshing walks along the cliff path and the serenity it offers. Marie meets numerous enticing characters here and this orchestrates the events in Another You.
I think Marie was a highly relatable character, she is at a crossroads in her life and is unsure of how to get to the next stage, she is over-worked and financially stressed and to top it all of due to the stress, she suffers from unstoppable migraines that are debilitating. All of these factors just made ‘Another You’ an enjoyable read as you wanted to read more to see if Marie had a happy ending, us as the reader were cheering her on and felt empathy towards her situation.
One aspect of ‘Another You’ that I enjoyed in particular is the slight touch of paranormal that runs through the ending of the novel. It added an interesting element that has still left me with questions long after I finished it, I do keep wondering what was what and what was real so to speak. But that is the joy of reading, as the reader we are left to our own imaginations of what was happening and ‘real’ and actually an ambiguous ending added a twist to the novel that added to the reading experience, it was expertly interwoven. A comment on the paranormal aspect of the novel, it will in no way detract from the other elements of the novel if that isn’t what you normally like to read, pick up ‘Another You’ and see what you think of the ending. It is overall a heart-warming story that will stay with you and have you asking questions long after you close the pages.
‘Another You’ is set in beautiful coastal Dorset. Jane Cable enigmatically portrays the lulling, rolling of the waves at the english coastline and the aromas and feelings of living by the sea, I could easily picture the bar The Smugglers, with its’ low ceilings and homely atmosphere. To maintain this level of detail throughout the entirety of the novel, vividly described, heart-warming and with a main protagonist you can’t help but want to succeed and have a happy ending. Touching on such sensitive issues that were written into the novel with a careful and well-thought out touch, the portrayals of PTSD and domestic abuse were not treated just as plot openers or casually thrown in, they were written in an intuitive and realistic portrayal, which as a reader you need to believe and also think the author treated the issues with respect and care. Moreover, the interwoven historical significance of the location of the novel with World War II added to the atmosphere created by the detailed writing. I would highly recommend Another You for any reader who wants a romance, mystery and some poignant history.
Jane Cable writes romance stories with a strong element of mystery and suspense. Her first novel, The Cheesemaker’s House, was a finalist in The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition and won the Words for the Wounded Independent Book of the Year Award in Although brought up in Cardiff, Jane Cable now lives in Cornwall and is a full time writer. Another You is a moving saga of family life in the 21st century which draws on the horrors of combat, both in modern times and World War Two as down-trodden Marie fights to reclaim her identity and discover what really matters to her. Jane’s next book, Winter Skies, will be available for pre-order from Sapere Books soon.