Thursday, 31 March 2016

This is Your Life Harriet Chance by Jonathon Evison

Her husband Bernard has been dead for two years when Harriet receives a call from a travel agent about the cruise to Alaska that he had won.  Having no other obligations, she decides to take the cruise and spend the time pondering what else Bernard failed to share with her during their long marriage. Aided by his ghost and revelations from her best friend Mildred, it isn't long before Harriet starts to wonder whether she really knew him at all.

I was taken in by this story right from the opening pages.  I enjoyed the 50's game show style of the narrator.  It gave the tale a friendly inviting feeling.  With the story jumping around through Harriet's life, the narrator helped keep me on track when  I didn't pay attention to the dates at the beginning of the chapters.

Harriet seems to have led a full life: career, a solid marriage and children, but when we take a closer look, we notice that all is not shiny and perfect, there are chips along the edges and scratches in the finish.  Was she unaware or did she chose to view her life through rose coloured glassed to hide the imperfections.

In a crowd of people, I don't think I would have noticed Harriet.  She is a competent women, but not outstanding.  Friendly but not the life of the party.  She'd be a comfortable person to hang around with but not one I would seek out.  That being said, author Jonathan Evison made her more interesting by slowly revealing her life and the twists and secrets of which it is composed.  I look forward to reading more of his works.

Cover image courtesy Algonquin Books.

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