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The Beginning of Everything

An irresistible novel of resilience, hope and unexpected friendships

About The Book

Beautiful, heartbreaking, often very funny and entirely unforgettable, The Beginning of Everything is the irresistible new novel from the bestselling author of The Bookshop of Second Chances.

'Raw, real and highly relatable, The Beginning of Everything is a keen observation on humanity and the tenuous nature of modern life. Jess and Gethin's gentle, layered friendship is at the wonderful heart of a warm, witty story about courage, kindness and love in all its forms. Uplifting, engaging and extraordinarily insightful!' JULIETTA HENDERSON

'Equal parts hilarious and sobworthy, it's a poignant tale of what it means to rebuild after losing everything' JESSICA RYN

'Hugely enjoyable’ KATIE FFORDE

For fans of The Keeper of Stories, The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes and A Thousand Roads Home, The Beginning of Everything is the story of Jess and Gethin, whose paths cross in the most unexpected way. Jess is running, leaving all she knows and everyone she loves behind her, with just a few treasured belongings in her rucksack. She’s escaping from the pain and trauma of a bad relationship with a bad man, gone very badly wrong. Gethin’s kindness and care takes her breath away. They become friends. But with so much hurt in her past, can Jess learn to love and live again?

'Tender, unexpected and poignant' MY WEEKLY

'The Beginning of Everything is immersive, emotional and makes the world a better place. A story of love and friendship, trust and hope, with characters not easily forgotten' THE PEOPLE'S FRIEND

About The Author


Jackie Fraser is a freelance editor and writer. She's worked for AA Publishing, Watkins, the Good Food Guide, and various self-published writers of fiction, travel and food guides, recipe books and self-help books since 2012. Prior to that, she worked as an editor of food and accommodation guides for the AA, including the B&B Guide, Restaurant Guide, and Pub Guide for nearly twenty years, eventually running the Lifestyle Guides department.
She's interested in all kind of things, particularly history, (and prehistory) art, food, popular culture and music. She reads a lot, (no, really) in multiple genres, and is fascinated by the Bronze Age. She likes vintage clothes, antique fairs, and photography. She used to be a bit of a goth. She likes cats.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (September 28, 2023)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398518988

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Raves and Reviews

'This will make you smile and maybe shed a tear' PRIMA

'This heartwarming middle-age love story is relatable and refreshing, giving hope to all romantics that second chances are possible' HEAT

'A beautiful book that will make you laugh and cry' MY WEEKLY

'A gentle slow-read about trust and the good in humanity. I was entertained by the lively writing, reassured by the decent characters and calmed by all the painting and decorating' DAILY MAIL

'Immersive, emotional and makes the world a better place. It's a story of love and friendship, trust and hope, with characters not easily forgotten' THE PEOPLE'S FRIEND

'A beautiful read' BELLA

‘A gorgeous, grown-up romance, packed with relatable characters and written with Jackie’s hallmark warmth, wit and wisdom’ IONA GREY

'A heartwarming, poignant story of kindness, friendship, hope and love, that will delight every reader. I loved it' PATRICIA SCANLAN

‘A moving, tender and charming grown up love story of healing, humanity and heart’ LAURA KEMP

‘Fraser writes with a deceptively light touch to convey the fragility and convolution of modern life and relationships in a story that is moving, uplifting and witty' SHARON GOSLING

'A tender, absorbing tale about the courage of running away - I laughed, sighed and cheered. Jess and Gethin might just be the perfect couple' HOLLY HEPBURN

'A unique tale of starting over, full of hope, heart and humour with unforgettable characters' EILIDH BEATON

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