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This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


‘As sweet as it is inventive, profound as it is hilarious, unflinching as it is big-hearted.’
Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Harriet Chance has spent the last seventy-eight years following the rules…

Career girl (brief)
Wife (fifty-five years)
Mother of two (ongoing)

Now widowed, Harriet discovers that her late husband had been planning an Alaskan cruise. Ignoring the advice of her children and wanting to make the most of the opportunity, she decides to set sail.

There, amid the buffets and lounge singers, between the imagined appearances of Bernard and the very real arrival of her daughter, Harriet is forced to take a long look back, confronting the truth about pivotal events that changed the course of her life.

What she will discover is that she has lived the best part of her life under entirely false assumptions. Confronted with the notion that her past could have been different, will she take a second chance at life?

From Publishers Weekly

27 July 2015 – Harriet Chance, a 78-year-old Seattle native, gets an unexpected phone call informing her that her husband, Bernard, now dead, had won a trip on an Alaskan cruise at a charity auction and failed to pick up his winnings. With the voucher set to expire, Harriet decides to go out of her comfort zone and bring a friend on the trip. The trip causes Harriet to question everything she thought she knew about her past and her relationships. Evison (The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving) chooses a second-person narrative to delve into the mind-set of Harriet, a woman who seems estranged from not only her close family (including favored but distant son Skip and her troubled recovering addict daughter Caroline) but from herself. The time line skips back in forth: from her wedding day at 22 as a pregnant bride, to her attempts to cast off her domestic duties and reenter the work force ("Look at you, Harriet Chance, so diligent, so fastidious in your attention to detail!"). Evison's voice is buoyant and cheeky as he unveils the deep traumas that form Harriet's sense of herself, but there are missteps namely, a secondary narrative in which Bernard Chance risks being barred from a sketchily described afterlife to try to communicate with Harriet. Still, Evison succeeds in crafting a believable and gut-wrenching story, particularly Harriet's relationship with her daughter and their efforts to accept and love one another.
This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!
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  • £3.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Family
  • Published: 10 September 2015
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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