Like most Mondays Emma had accepted a lift from Jack, who worked an extra hour
Mondays and Fridays to cover for a longer lunch, when he was allowed to use the gym
in the basement. Now she was enjoying a delicious breakfast at the hotel’s café before starting her shift in an hour. She looked up and saw her own blue eyes looking back at her in the reflection of the glass divider between the booths. A strand of hair had escaped her ponytail, and she secured it with a bobby pin. Thinking of the girl from the other day,
she hoped the girl wouldn’t get teased for her freckles like Emma did. Her mother had always told her, it gave her a mischievous look, yet in her twenties, she’d prefer to look attractive.
Emma turned and looked into Nadine’s beautiful eyes. “Good morning, Nadine. It was Nadine, wasn’t it?”
The girl’s face lit up. “Yes, but Mum always called me Naddie.”
“May I call you Naddie?”
Emma filled her glass with more orange juice, all the while studying the little girl out of the corner of her eye. Nadine held on to an oversized doll, which seemed to be dressed in the same outfit as Nadine—pink T-shirt imprinted with My beautiful princess, a denim skirt with a princess on it surrounded by lots of pink hearts in all sizes, and pink shiny sandals. Her brown hair had been done up in a ponytail.
“Where are your grandparents, Naddie?”
“Still in the room. Talking on the phone. Grandmother is always on the phone,” Nadine added.
“Do you think you’re allowed to have a bit of breakfast with me?”
With excitement spreading across Nadine’s face, she nodded her head eagerly and sat down opposite Emma.
“Do they know where you are?”
The little head moved up and down again and with her eyes wide open she said, “Told Grandpa.”
“I like your outfit,” Emma said while she took another glass and filled it with juice.
Nadine took one of the rolls. “Mum’s friend gave it to me for my birthday.”
“I take it you like princesses.”
“Yes!” And that was literally the keyword to get Nadine started. She was bubbling with information about her doll collection and which dolls she had at home, which one she would like to have, and all the princess movies. A kind of dizziness spread through Emma’s head overwhelmed by all the details, but she enjoyed listening to her new friend.
Yet, all of a sudden, a firm voice interrupted them.
The young girl’s face instantly lost its spark.
Becoming a parent can be daunting at the best of times, but for Flynn, a business lawyer in Melbourne, it almost pulls the feet from right underneath him. He’s become a father to six-year-old Nadine literally overnight! He had no idea about her existence, and the news throws him into chaos, even more so when he is asked to take over custody. With the help of Emma, an employee at the hotel where Nadine and her grandparents are staying, and his parents, Flynn tries to do the right thing. Yet, the right thing in his eyes differs from his parents’, and Emma is voicing her opinion as well. And right in the middle is little Nadine, still grieving the loss of her mother and finding a wonderful friend in Emma. There’s no doubt she’s afraid where and with whom she will settle. But in the end, it’s a letter Flynn receives that helps him figuring out what to do.
4 stars – NEW BEGINNINGS is a very emotional read, one that is heartwarming as well as heart wrenching. It gives you hope in the act of human kindness and that good things do happen to good people. I highly recommend this book.