True Colours (Second Chance Series Book 1) by Australian author Bella Paige is a touching, heart-warming, emotional story that will pull you into the pages and keep you wanting more.
Ariel Patterson has all that she could ask for in life; she comes from an affluent upbringing with loving parents, a busy social life with great friends, is a woman of strength, confidence, and a fulfilling career achieving all she can ask for yet she feels detached from life and has a sense something is missing.
Her friend Faith takes her to an abandoned rec centre where five homeless children; Bay the eldest looking after Sam, Chloe, Finn, and Phoebe varying in ages and circumstances are living, they touch at Ariel’s heartstrings, and she wants to do all she can to help them.
She finds an old run-down estate on the market that once was an orphanage built in 1920 for over 100 children run by Mrs. Owen, after her passing her daughter Charlotte continued her legacy until the estate caught fire and closed. When Ariel saw the signage that once hung on the estate’s door “Because every Child Deserves a Second Chance” she knew then and there what her next project was going to be.
Noah Chase has returned home from Afghanistan after being severely injured in the line of duty. Upon each deployment, his daughter Emma was being raised by his father, brother Wade and sister Faith. When Faith was introduced to Ariel by Wade, they formed a close friendship and Ariel helped with Emma’s care. Over the years Ariel exchanged letters with Noah and a special bond was formed.
They finally met when Noah was recovering in hospital and became much closer, upon his discharge Ariel offered him a job to help restore The Second Chance estate. War had taken its toll on Noah, the mental anguish and post-traumatic stress along with healing was emotionally paralysing but with this chance, he had a new focus in life.
True Colours takes you on a journey into a hidden world that exists all around us, exploring homelessness, the trauma of war, love, and grief with insight, sensitivity, and most of all, hope. I knew immediately when I started reading this novel I was hooked, the writing grabbed me from the start and didn’t let me go.
It’s a very character-based story and the plot at first seemed simple but having finished I now see so many things that I didn’t pick up whilst I was reading that the author did to create such an amazing story.
In addition to the excellently well-rounded lead character, we get a selection of side characters that I adored, Faith, Noah, Emma and Bay. So often side characters are pushed aside but they were so well developed with their own identities and backgrounds you were invested in their lives as much as Ariel’s.
Homelessness is a very real situation regardless of age for so many people and is more common than anyone would want to think, I could really relate to this book as I used to volunteer at a homeless shelter and I love that Bella didn’t shy away from any hard to hear topics and problems, it shows the reader the realities of what it’s like to be homeless in an urban city and how kindness can change a life.
Overall, this was a beautiful, but heartbreaking book I would recommend to anyone. I cannot wait to read the next instalment in the Second Chance Series.
Thank you, Beauty and Lace and Shawline Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading True Colours by Bella Paige. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
Copy courtesy of publisher: Shawline Publishing Group
My love of books started at a very young age. My mum has always been a reader and encouraged me to read, buying me endless book from classic fairy tales advancing to the world of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Kathryn Kenny, Carolyn Keene, Francine Pascal. In my adult years the list of authors is endless and every room in my house is filled with books.
One of my favourite novels is Narnia which has always has a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1978 and when I was given this book to read it let me escape to another world where I felt like I was in the book with all the characters, it wasfun and exciting to escape from reality and eased the ups and downs of the disease at such a young age.
In books nothing is impossible and there is endless potential and hundreds of places to explore or being taken to places that are only made up from the authors’ great minds, the past and future to navigate, characters lives you step into taking you on an emotional rollercoaster ride or being scared out of your wits. I can experience things that I can’t in real life because they’re not possible or real. It challenges my perspective and mindset expanding my worldview.
I find joy, comfort and peace with books, many people may not get it, but I know bookworms like me truly understand. Reading makes my heart happy.