Book Review | This is Your Life, Harriet Chance!

indexAfter the death of her husband Bernard, Harriet embarks on a cruise to Alaska. She is supposed to be accompanied by her best friend Mildred, but instead she is accompanied by a letter from Mildred explaining an affair between the best friend and Harriet’s late husband. This letter would be disturbing in its own right, but it is accompanied by appearances from Bernard’s ghost. While this seems light and off-hand, the pieces of Harriet’s life that are revealed form a serious story of depth with reflection.

Evison has created an engaging read with This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! Harriet isn’t the most likable character, but it is interesting to hear about specific important events that happened during her 78 year long fictitious life. As a daughter, I found myself relating to certain passages where Harriet and her middle aged daughter are trying to get along despite issues from their shared past. I cannot rave about this book and say it’s one of the best I’ve read, but it did pass the time and the story was clear and without too much introduction. Perhaps one of my favorite things about the book was the format. Short chapters revealing various, non-chronological episodes from Harriet’s life made for very quick reading. This book would likely be of interest to retirees cruising to Alaska, comfortable widows, or people interested in the challenges of aging. Check if out from a library near you.

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About amy de simone
Amy is an active volunteer, traveler and photographer. She is interested in art, libraries, museums and nonprofits. She holds an M.A. in Library & Information Studies and a B.A. in Italian Language & Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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