Reviewed By: Susan Keefe
Susan Keefe reviews novels, poetry and non-fiction books for TheColumbiaReview.com
Second Chances by Theresa Hudson, the third book in the Kayla’s Dream Trilogy, is an incredible story of romance unlike any other I have ever read. It’s hard hitting and ruthless as the storyline exposes the effects of breast cancer and its treatment in all of its brutality, not only for women who suffer with this diagnosis, but also their friends and family.
Hudson’s novel is also very inspiring, with incredibly strong veins of forgiveness and love throughout the novel. That the author is a retired physiotherapist who worked with adults who have cerebral palsy is apparent in her detailed descriptive writing, especially if you, like me, have a wheelchair-bound partner.
The heroine, Kayla Grisholm, is used to coping with challenges in her life, given her diagnosis of cerebral palsy, left-sided paralysis, and a severe speech impediment. Undaunted by the cards life has dealt her, this courageous and beautiful young woman, until recently, had everything she could dream of, including the love of an attentive and caring partner. However, devastation strikes and her world comes crashing down. With a diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer, surgical procedures, and toxic chemo treatment, Kayla is so devastated that she hits a brick wall of despair. Luckily, she has the heart and devotion of her partner Marc, who fell in love with her the moment they met. He will be with her through thick and thin, loving and caring for her unconditionally. Unfortunately, despite Marc’s romantic gestures, protestations of love and incredible care, nothing can allay her deep seated fear for what the future will hold, or alleviate the worry in her heart at the prospect of her oncoming course of chemotherapy. Yet, she is bolstered by the camaraderie and support she finds in the women who attend the hospital’s breast cancer support group. No one knows it, but Kayla’s mind is in turmoil. Her ex-fiancé is appealing for a second chance to be in her life. Should she listen? She loves Marc now, and thinks she wants to spend the rest of her life with him, but does she? As we follow Kayla’s journey, we watch her life spin helter-skelter out of control as she discovers that she is not always in control of her destiny. Others have a say, too…
Having a lead character who not only suffers from a disability, but is also battling cancer makes for a powerful storyline. I applaud the author’s ability to ensure that Kayla’s personality and dreams shine above her disability. Peppered throughout the book are empowering examples of taking second chances and triumphing over adversity. The question is, what will the future hold for Kayla, and will love conquer all?
In Summary: Second Chances by Theresa Hudson is exciting and suspenseful, with plenty of twists and turns—an outstanding romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page. Highly Recommended! – Susan Keefe for TheColumbiaReview.com