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PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD
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A Lifetime of Impossible Days Kindle Edition
|Length: 389 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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About the Author
From the Publisher
Praise for A Lifetime of Impossible Days
The magical three Willas at the heart of this story cast a spell over readers ... This is a courageous and magical debut novel that reminds us that while we can’t change events from our past, we do have the power to change the story we tell ourselves about them. - Sally Piper, author of The Geography of Friendship
Every so often a book comes along that reaffirms the glory and beauty of life. Tabitha Bird has gifted us this wonder. - Cass Moriarty
A wonderful debut . . . An uplifting story about the power of forgiveness, the ability to heal and the magical idea of being able to travel back in time to fix a broken future. - Good Reading
Bird weaves her stories with skill, scattering memories like shells across the pages. This is a tale about listening to your inner child to save your grown-up soul. - Sunday Times, Perth
- ASIN : B07LFQ2M3Q
- Publisher : Penguin eBooks (4 June 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 7273 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 389 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 29,500 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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I loved Willa from the very start. I love her at 93 when she is trying to live the wild and quirky life she wants, but she also is struggling with losing her memory and generally being old. From early on Bird gives us a great insight to who she is with her thoughts and language and how she interacts with those around her.
Willa’s forgetfulness weaves into the writing quite well and you have to pay attention because it shifts so suddenly it feels real. One moment knowledge is there, the next it has drifted away. When you see it happening it is quite sad, but that is also what makes this story work, it keeps the reader in the dark for later secrets to come out and it plays into whether Willa is reliable, dreaming, making up stories, or all three. Something which helps understand those around her as well.
I also loved young Willa and middle Willa for their own reasons. Eight year old Willa is strong and fierce, she is a devoted sister and seeing her trying to do her best but be stuck in the body of a child breaks your heart, but it makes you love her more as she takes on the responsibility and burden of saving her family and herself.
As the story progresses you see the changes in each of the Willas; not just because of events that have happened or haven’t happened, but seeing them grow. There is a clear tone difference in how Bird write them which is wonderful. You can clearly see the different ages and life experiences coming through.
There is no chance of confusing the three different life stages as Bird separates each perspective with the date and age of Willa with each alternating chapter. But even when they are together they seamlessly interact and each has a descriptive name which helps identify them. There are also beautiful pen decorations throughout which are not only beautiful, but help keep track of where and when they story takes place. Gorgeous title pages also break up the different months to help understand the events are happening at the same time but over different years and lives.
One this Bird does remarkably well is managing the overlapping nature of the story. The things we’ve seen come back again and the present day is also the past. We’re teased with snippets of information, uncertain memories and information about characters and history that are in the past but also in the future. It was an excellent exercise of the mind because you keep these three people in your head, each their own character, own person with own lives, but they are also one in the same.
I adore the imagination that Bird has explored in this story. It has magic and it has heart and love, but there are also serious issues happening. The way Bird has approached these issue is with restraint but doesn’t shy away from the realities either.
The synopsis covers this book perfectly and the alternating chapters of the three Willa’s: Super Gumboots Willa age 8, Middle Willa age 33, and Silver Willa age 90, work seamlessly together.
At first I wondered where the story was going and how it would work but about a third of the way through something clicked. I imagined layer upon layer of story, with each chapter revealing a new snippet, so at the end we have the whole picture. A few times I felt myself become a little emotional as I went on the Willas’ journey.
Go into this story with an open mind, be ready to suspend belief but yet believe....because it’s okay to believe in impossible things!
I also must mention the lovely cover and many times when I came to the start of a chapter I wanted to take my colouring pencils to the wonderful line drawings and of course for the Jam Drop recipe in the back.
Thank you to the author for giving me a copy to read, it was a wonderful experience.
A Lifetime of Impossible Days is, at its core, a heartbreaking love letter to therapy after childhood trauma.
I adored the writing, I miss the characters already and I wholeheartedly endorse the argument that you can't change your past. But if you focus on healing yourself in the present you just might manage to change your future.
Super Gumboots Willa is 8 years old. She lives with her violent father, selfish mother and tells her little sister stories about babies with wings to distract her and protect her.
Middle Willa is 33 years old. She keeps her husband at arm's length and prowls the house at night, cleaning and cleaning, while her two small sons are sleeping, to avoid facing her past.
Silver Willa is 93 years old. On 1 June 2050 she posts two soggy cardboard boxes to her 8 year old and 33 year old selves. Inside the box is an ocean which must be planted in the garden under the mango tree.
The magical ocean forms a bridge between the Willas so they can visit with each other. All the Willas are in a race against time, although only Silver Willa knows what the stakes are. But Silver Willa is fighting dementia and must gather together the tangled threads of her thoughts for long enough to do what needs to be done.
This is an absolutely incredible story - impossibly funny, heartwarming and wonderful to be immersed in. Yet heartbreaking and traumatic. I wanted to reach through time and reality to pull Super Gumboots Willa out of her life and bring her somewhere safe.
I also want to be as lively as Silver Willa when I'm 93 - insisting on wearing bright yellow gumboots down the main street while shuffling along on my walking frame.
Top reviews from other countries
The story tells the life of Willa, now 93 years old, beginning to be very forgetful and facing a most unwanted move to a nursing home. Her children - well there is a lot of confusion about them including where they are and even how many there are. Willa is definitely an unreliable narrator. However she has a notebook where she writes things which are facts and using this and her intermittent flashes of memory she visits and is visited by herself, at eight (Super Gumboots Willa) and in her thirties (Middle Willa).
Are you confused yet? I was, but it did not matter at all. The whole book is an enchanting chaotic piece of whimsy, and when the pressure is on for the younger Willas to change history I was reading so fast I kept missing bits and having to go back and read them again.
I loved it. Highly recommended!
The book starts with an interesting premise, and mysteries that aren’t that hard to work out but still require the characters to ‘get there’. The middle seemed a little slow but I think it was because I just wanted to know and I couldn’t read fast enough. The end - it built up like a train gathering speed and I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. It was satisfying, it was emotional and it was a fantastic read that I recommend to everyone.