A Lifetime of Impossible Days
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication date: 4th June 2019
Format Read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Beauty & Lace book club
On one impossible day in 1965, eight-year-old Willa Waters receives a mysterious box containing a jar of water and the instruction: 'One ocean: plant in the backyard.' So she does - and somehow creates an extraordinary time-slip that allows her to visit her future selves.
On one impossible day in 1990, Willa is 33 and a mother-of-two when her childhood self magically appears in her backyard. But she's also a woman haunted by memories of her dark past - and is on the brink of a decision that will have tragic repercussions . . .
On one impossible day in 2050, Willa is a silver-haired, gumboot-loving 93-year-old whose memory is fading fast. Yet she knows there's something she has to remember, a warning she must give her past selves about a terrible event in 1990 . . . If only she could recall what it was.
Can the three Willas come together, to heal their past and save their future . . . before it's too late?
Willa age 8 is a gumboot wearing, storytelling ball of energy. She is also the protector of her little sister Lottie
Willa age 33 is broken, a mother of two small boys, she scrubs and cleans until her home is spotless but still she feels worthless, a failure.
Willa age 93 is a gumboot wearing old lady full of sass and cheek. She is in the throes of dementia and keeps a notebook listing all the important things she must remember; like staying out of the nursing home.
A Lifetime of Impossible Days is the most heart-wrenching emotional read I have read in a long time. If you loved The Lost Girls (Review here) by Jennifer Spence or Before I Let You Go (Review here) by Kelly Rimmer this book will resonate with you.
Super Gumboots Willa is a young girl who has spent her life feeling responsible for her sister and all her mistakes. Silver Willa is an old lady who is starting to lose her memory but she knows that there are things in her past that must be mended and only Middle Willa can do that.
This book is filled with heart-breaking moments and magical realism as the three Willas meet via a time shifting garden that is planted in their backyard. They come together to try desperately to heal the past and mend what is irreparably damaged.
Willa is 93 she needs to go back in time and stop herself from doing something that will change her life forever the only problem is she has dementia and she can’t remember what that thing is.
The story isn’t all heavy there are lots of laugh out loud moments with Willa’s dementia causing funny situations, she has quite some sass and is very cheeky.
Willa’s husband, Sam, and grandmother, Grammy, are the most wonderful supporting characters giving Willa unconditional love and support.
Allusions to child abuse, domestic violence and drug use.
My rating 5/5
This review first appeared on the Beauty & Lace book club.
and is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge.
and book #26 in the Australian Women Writers challenge.