Radio 2 Book Club: The Second Child

Large the second child 250

The Second Child by Caroline Bond will be featured on the Radio 2 Book Club on Monday 9 April.

We have the chance for you to win 10 copies of this brilliant family drama for your reading group! Please enter by Friday 13 April.

Not yet a member of Reading Groups for Everyone? Sign up now.

We also have an exclusive extract available for you to read.

The Second Child

Why do you love your child? Is it because they’re funny, kind or creative? Or is it simply because they’re yours?

Sarah and Phil love both their children. The couple have the same hopes and aspirations as any parent. But their expectations are shattered when they discover that their beloved Lauren has been born with a tiny genetic glitch that will shape her future, and theirs, irrevocably.

Over time the family adapt and even thrive. Then one day a blood test result changes everything. Lauren is not Phil’s child. Suddenly, their precious family is on the brink of destruction.

But the truth they face is far more complex than infidelity. It tests their capacity to love, each other and their children, and it challenges the very idea of what makes – and what breaks – a family.

Selection panel review

The book was selected with the help of a panel made up of Reading Agency and library staff from across the UK.

The panel loved The Second Child – here are some of their comments:

“This is a wonderful book I was rooting for Sarah and Phil all the way through. What should they do? It looks at what makes a child your child – nurture or nature – a truly thought provoking book that needs a wide audience.”

“I found this book gripping from the very beginning. After a few pages I was already hooked to a point of no return after they received the shocking news. I found it extremely easy to read and therefore read the book very fast. I was always eager to know what would happen next and where the story would go. It was brutally honest from all points of view. I also liked the fact that the book had many twists and turns but all of these were realistic. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to everyone.”

“From the very tense situation in the waiting room of the Genetics department of a hospital at the beginning of the book, the tension rises and the problem becomes more complicated and heart rending. The author deals with a highly emotional and moving situation and how it affects the main characters without becoming too sentimental. Throughout , I wondered how it could all end, and I think the ending is just as it should be!”

About the author

Small caroline bond

Caroline Bond was born in Scarborough and studied English at Oxford University before working as a market researcher for 25 years. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University and lives in Leeds with her husband and three children. The Second Child is her first novel.

A word from Caroline

“I grew up in the household that very rarely bought books, but my sister and I were lucky; throughout our childhood we were told, read and had access to stories. Our Saturday mornings were dominated by trips to Scarborough Library, where I graduated from the scratchy carpet and the picture books of the children’s section to the bewildering, exciting, varied stacks of adult fiction. My regular library visits formed a lifelong habit of reading, that became an aspiration to write, which culminated, this year, in the publication of my first novel, The Second Child.

Books matter in ways that you simply cannot predict, nor measure in footfall.

I’m excited and delighted that The Reading Agency and The Radio 2 Book Club have selected The Second Child for discussion. As a debut writer it’s a genuine thrill to hear that there is interest in my story. I firmly believe that reading improves lives. It’s an activity that encourages empathy, allows us to escape and helps us to broaden our horizons. Thank you for finding the story of Sarah and Phil rewarding and engaging enough to be included in the impressive list of previous Book Club selections.”

Get involved

Tune in to Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show on Monday 9 April to hear a live interview with Caroline.

Have you read The Second Child? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #TheSecondChild, or follow author Caroline Bond

You can also see what other readers thought or add the book to your group’s reading list.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the Radio 2 Book Club Twitter feed or find out more on the Radio 2 Book Club website.


Log in or Sign up to add a comment


Keeping your reading group active while social distancing

Are you wondering how your reading group can continue to meet, even while you’re social distancing? With many people at home with family, flatmates or on their own, we know that books are so important to provide comfort, solace and escapism. Staying socially connected, and keeping your regular reading group meetings in your diary, is going to be very important in keeping up morale and supporting everyone’s mental health as we adjust to a new way of living.

Medium screenshot 2020 03 27 at 12.24.50

How to start a reading group

Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started.

Thumb reading between the wines with books  2

Hive and The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

Medium hive