Author: Fiona McCallum
Time Will Tell is the second in The Button Jar series by Fiona McCallum, picking up where Saving Grace left off. Emily Oliphant has left her husband, much to the disappointment of her mother, and is beginning to make a life for herself; finally starting to stand on her own two feet and live life her way.
She is renting a rundown farmhouse, which the elderly owners have offered to sell her in a deal that almost seems too good to be true. There is a lot going on for Emily as she tries to work out how to make the offer of her dreams a reality. She is still not working and knows there is only so much she can make from jams, especially as the fruit is almost gone for the season.
Emily has always been eager to please, she’s found it difficult to stand up for herself and Time Will Tell sees her finally refusing to back down. Living in a small town there is always going to be talk and appearances are extremely important to her mother. It is only now that Emily starts to come into her own and decide that she can live with the talk if she’s pursuing her own happiness.
I really enjoyed Emily’s growth and development but there were still times I wanted to shake her. She’s indecisive and second guesses herself at every turn. She has what she needs right in front of her to do what she wants to do but she can’t commit to a course of action. I understand why but it still grated that she was whining with a solution right there.
Time Will Tell is a piece of Granny’s wisdom, one that Emily often remembers. Sometimes things are outside of your control and only time will tell the outcome, this is something we could all stand to learn at times. The dearly departed Granny remains a major influence in Emily’s life and the stronger she becomes the more she starts to think about Grans wisdoms, gaining a new perspective the more time she spends on her own.
For the first time in her life Emily is on her own, she is growing into herself and loving her independence and her space. She’s learning that being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely, sometimes being in the wrong place with the wrong people can be the loneliest place to be. Her dreams of a B&B are reignited and she knows that will mean sharing her space, often with strangers, but she views that differently than the proposition of the new guy in town to board with her.
Emily has so much going on as she contemplates how to move forward with the purchase of the house, the possibility of turning it into a B&B, her finances and learning to stand up to her overbearing mother. Things start to look up until an unexpected death rocks her world, and it seems it is only the first life changing death to affect Emily. All of this going on and Emily learning to love her newfound solitude and independence mean that the last thing she needs is the complications of a fledgling relationship, but that’s often the exact time that someone will come along that you just can’t ignore.
Saving Grace saw Emily make decisions without seeking legal advice which ended up costing her a lot of money, and jeopardising her dreams. So you would think when it comes to the offer of a lifetime for the property she might recognise the oversight and make sure she does things differently this time round – but she doesn’t. Is this going to be another situation where she has done herself a serious disservice?
Much of Time Will Tell revolves around events that Emily has no hope of controlling, it’s all about how she reacts to them and this is how we can watch her journey of self discovery.
Time Will Tell sees Emily one step further on her journey to believing in herself again, trusting her instincts and rising above the small town mentality that has always seen her making the safe choices. As in life, this is a slow process and I look forward to seeing how it all comes together in the next book.
The Button Jar that the series is named for plays a major part and I look forward to seeing where McCallum takes that one. Emily relies heavily on the memory of her Gran, remembering her words of wisdom any time she’s unsure of herself. I believe Gran is with her throughout if only Emily could see the signs, she is so busy trying to think what Gran would say in these situations that she isn’t recognising just what it is that Gran IS saying; that is something that is probably very open to interpretation and it will depend on your beliefs whether you see that or not I think.
Emily confuses friendly concern for small town gossip and jeopardises the friendships she has been cultivating. In time she recognises the error of her judgement but as is often the case with the fiercely independent she finds it difficult to make the first move to rectify the issue, chance encounters make the first move for her but still this is a lesson for her.
Time Will Tell was an engaging read, with a gorgeous setting. I enjoyed the read and look forward the culmination of the series in the upcoming book.
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