New Beginnings – Mary Metcalfe
By – Sheri de Grom
I’ve been defeated more than once in finding successful series women’s fiction. Other genres accomplish series successfully, but until I read New Beginnings, I’d only trusted one other women’s fiction author: MARIE BOSTWICK.
I stumbled onto the works of Marie Bostwick and her COBBLED COURT SERIES by accident. I’d been looking for another author’s latest work when I pulled A Thread Of Truth from the shelf. After reading the novel, I wanted to know more about the characters Marie Bostwick had created and the world in which they lived. I knew the novel I’d read was part of a series and I wanted more. I’d become invested in her characters.
New Beginnings restored my faith in women’s fiction series. Mary Metcalfe brings forward the family of characters I met in WINDS OF CHANGE, her first novel. This foundation of bringing core characters forward is critical to the success of satisfying readers in series women’s fiction.
Of equal importance, the characters at the center of the first in a series may be secondary characters in a subsequent novel. Hopefully the main characters would have completed their character growth arcs. It’s crucial that a secondary character with a critical flaw be placed in a previous novel before her actual story is told. In a subsequent novel, another secondary character will carry the next series novel with her story and so on. The initial primary characters are present, but they are now supporting cast.
New Beginnings is the story of Carol Brock, a workaholic real estate agent with a past history of failed relationships.
The reader is now familiar with Carol. In Winds Of Change, Carol is friends with primary character Jennifer. It’s Jennifer’s fiancé, Ben, a world-renowned war correspondent, who helps law enforcement arrest and convict the art thief Carol innocently allowed to move in with her.
Carol promises herself and the reader that she’ll stay away from men, repair her relationships with her college-age children, and concentrate on her career.
Life might have gone as Carol planned. After all, she’s a master control freak. She tells her friend Jennifer she’s trying to release her desire to always be in control. The reader, along with Jennifer, knows it’ll take growth and patience and maybe love for Carol to change.
Within the first twenty pages of New Beginnings Carol’s life alters forever. Suddenly, being in control is not an option. She’s a savvy woman but she’s ill-prepared to deal with a psychopathic killer.
Mary Metcalfe compels the reader to turn the pages faster.
Carol meets Devin, Boston’s most eligible bachelor. It’s all in innocence, she tells Jennifer. Devin shows up at a Victorian home where Carol is having an open house and immediately places an offer higher than the asking price.
The psychopathic killer is effortlessly added. She happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Carol’s new love interest.
The story moves forward brilliantly and stays entrenched in women’s fiction. Family dinners occur; a Thanksgiving weekend with extended family and friends is successfully executed; mother/child relationships are restored; babies are cuddled; and love prevails.
Mary Metcalfe captures the essence of life, friendship and unconditional love for her characters in New Beginnings.
I had to keep turning the pages. It didn’t matter that the hour was late. I couldn’t put the book down; morning would arrive before I went to bed.
I unconditionally recommend Mary Metcalfe’s second novel, New Beginnings. Warning: do not begin reading until you’ve finished your holiday shopping!