This is a fun book, where all of the chapters hop around from Harriett's birth, to death, to all the different stages in between, but completely out of order. Her husband even keeps popping up in separate chapters - even though he's dead and getting his hand smacked around in purgatory for continuing to interfere.
There is sadness in the chapters revealing her children not in any good light - children hoping to take advantage of a senior citizen mother.
There are dark secrets that come busting into the light, secrets shared out of anger and frustration.
This is a good novel in that it reminds the reader that the little old lady, quietly napping on the bus next to you is not just an inanimate object, but someone who has probably led a hale and hearty - and perhaps somewhat saucy - life herself once upon a time.
Click HERE for Author Essay
Click HERE for Excerpt
September 8, 2015
With Bernard, her husband of fifty-five years, now in the grave,
seventy-eight-year-old Harriet Chance impulsively sets sail on an
ill-conceived Alaskan cruise that her late husband had planned. But what
she hoped would be a voyage leading to a new lease on life becomes a
surprising and revelatory journey into Harriet’s past.
There, amid the overwhelming buffets and the incessant lounge
singers, between the imagined appearances of her late husband and the
very real arrival of her estranged daughter midway through the cruise,
Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about
pivotal events that changed the course of her life. And in the process
she discovers that she’s been living the better part of that life under
entirely false assumptions.
In This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! Jonathan Evison has
crafted a bighearted novel with an endearing heroine at the helm.
Through Harriet, he paints a bittersweet portrait of a postmodern
everywoman, her story told with great warmth, humanity, and humor. Part
dysfunctional love story, part poignant exploration of the
mother-daughter relationship, nothing is what it seems in this tale of
acceptance, reexamination, and forgiveness.