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This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!

A Novel

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

Description

“Insightful, richly entertaining . . . Evison writes humanely and with good humor of his characters, who, like the rest of us, muddle through, too often without giving ourselves much of a break. A lovely, forgiving character study that’s a pleasure to read.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 

With Bernard, her husband of fifty-five years, now in the grave, seventy-eight-year-old Harriet Chance impulsively sets sail on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise that her late husband had planned. But what she hoped would be a voyage leading to a new lease on life becomes a surprising and revelatory journey into Harriet’s past. 

Jonathan Evison has crafted a bighearted novel with an endearing heroine at the helm. Part dysfunctional love story, part poignant exploration of the mother-daughter relationship, nothing is what it seems in this tale of acceptance, reexamination, and forgiveness.
 
“A terrific novel, funny and moving, wistful and wise. Jonathan Evison’s writing crackles on the page.” —Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
 
This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! is as sweet as it is inventive, profound as it is hilarious, unflinching as it is bighearted.” —Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette
 
[An] irresistible, inventive novel full of important ideas about how we live our lives as parents, children, partners, and human beings . . . Evison is a ridiculously gifted storyteller.” —Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins
 
“A generous and wise tale, told with Evison’s trademark verve and charisma, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! is a deeply felt and deeply comforting novel.” —Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers
 
This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! has all the wonderful snap and sizzle we’ve come to expect from Jonathan Evison’s work, and as much heart as any novel I’ve read in recent years.” —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

“Both uplifting and melancholy, funny and thought-provoking, this entertaining read speaks directly to the importance of acceptance and healing.” —Booklist

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 27, 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.

Customer Reviews

This is you life Harriet Chance

Endearing account of Harriet's life shared through a later I life perspective of it is what it is. I could see her reflections of the past viewed with wisdom and spunk. Grasping forgiveness and understanding of loved ones give to you but not chosen by you, and forever friends who ultimately are not forever. Evinson has captured the aging of each of us or our mothers and aunts with a keen observation of a young man who observed us with love and compassion.

This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Sep 08, 2015
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 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.

Customer Ratings