The Second Key by Cheryl Holdefer

 Cheryl Holdefer’s, The Second Key made me want a glass of wine and a big, warm dog to snuggle up to. This novel is a wonderful work that pushes the reader to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of their own life and ask, “what am I doing here?” and “what does my life mean?” These questions can be really big and can sometimes have answers that we do not like or understand, but the story that Holdefer tells about Rachel reminds us that while the path in front of us may not be as sweet as we like, it will eventually be as smooth and as balanced as the Cabernet Franc of the Lotus Winery. Rachel, a widowed army wife with two young children, struggles to reconcile the confusing secrets that she learns about her deceased husband as well as the secrets of Michael, the high school crush who manages to steal her heart a second time. Rachel’s journey of self-discovery is both painful and laughable at times, but allows her to create a world that she can not only live in, but enjoy, grow through, and find fresh love in.

The Second Key is a story of rediscovery and of claiming the life that you want to have. The reader comes to love Rachel for her rash decisions and her willingness to open up her heart to the world. While Rachel may, at times, seem to be over the top with her feelings, she also seems like the friend that we all have who just needs a gentle prod in the right direction to get back on track. Holdefer reminds the reader that life is short and precious, and can go in rather unexpected directions just when one thinks she has it sorted out. While parts of The Second Key remind the reader of the impermanence of life, parts of the novel also impress upon the reader of the richness and goodness of life that keep each and every one of us waking up in the morning. Sometimes just having a dance with the person that you love can make the sadness of a life thrown off-track melt into another time. At the end of the day, best friends and family members will not give up and love will not be defined as a charm on a necklace.

To purchase a copy of the book, click here to find it on Amazon.