mercoledì 13 settembre 2017

"This is Your Life, Harriet Chance!"

“You can't remember getting old. You can't remember when exactly you started carrying umbrellas just in case, when you started scheduling your weekly hair washings, over salting your food, or reusing zipper-lock bags. It happened gradually.”

There was this Talk show on American TV called “This is your Life” that narrated interesting and embarrassing moments of someone’s life for entertaining. Now we have Facebook for that.

Harriet Chance doesn’t use Facebook, she barely knows what a computer is.

In her late 70 she finds herself talking to her late husband as he was right there with her instead of in his grave.

When she finds out Bernard entered a drawing for an Alaskan cruise Harriet sees this as a chance to scatter his ashes and paraphs forgives him for the dull life he gave her “as steady and predictable as the tides”.

The story told by the narrator jumps from year to year in Harriet’s life , from the cruising where she finds herself to various turning points in her history most of which seem like missed opportunities and fonts of future regrets. ( nomen homen?)

Yes, all in all, things could be a lot worse. You could be divorced. You could be a widow. Gallo could stop selling wine by the jug. And where would that leave you, Harriet? Bored and sober.

And sober she should have been when the bombshell from Bernard’s past is reveal on a letter to be read only after the ship had sailed and for good reason.

“You could probably take this thing apart piece by piece and understand it,” the narrator informs her, “but that is something you’re not ready for or are unwilling to do. Ahem. Moving on.”

But Harriet is not one that self-reflect too much and is absolutely unprepared at questioning everything she has held dear for the past 50 years.

Much clarity comes to the reader chapter by chapter on Harriet life and how she, too, isn’t blameless on how her dream didn’t came true as she had hoped.

This is a book about choices, regret, redemption and love, and the author is honest, very straight forward, compassionate but never condescending.

The heroine can be, for once a 79 year old widow on an Alaskan Cruise.

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