Review of ‘A Lifetime of Impossible Days’ by Tabitha Bird

The sign of a great book for me is when I can’t wait to read how it finishes, but when I do I want to continue reading and stay in the story; stay with the characters that have come to life, come into my life. When seeing ‘the end’ makes me feel both sad and good inside.

That is exactly how I felt reading and finishing A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird. One of the better books I have read lately; a book that will stay with me for a long time.

It’s a beautifully written story about the Willas, one female character during three stages of her life; eight, thirty-three and ninety-three. Each character with their own distinct voice yet linked together expertly. It’s a story of life, healing and acceptance woven into a wonderful concept of time travel and being able to meet your younger and older self.

Some of my favourite lines in the book were:

‘Fabulous wrinkles from talking and laughing and crying. Living and wrinkles, they go together’

‘Because it’s good to share ourselves. That’s what happens over bikkies and a good cuppa’

I could go on but I will let you read the book and find your own little gems.

I can highly recommend this book. It’s sad and uplifting, and totally draws you into the world of the Willas.

In the back of the book there is a list of book club questions.

This one intrigued me:

If you could time travel back in time, what would you tell your younger self?

For me it would be ‘ Don’t stress about what you can’t control or change. Most challenges are not life threatening and work themselves out with time’

What would you tell your younger self?

Love to hear your answers, or feedback if you have already read this great book.

The Lost Hour

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The pavement rushed towards Angie’s face like an overnight intercity train. Last sound she heard was when her skull cracked; last thing she remembered was seeing three colours, red, blue and green. It was also what her facial bruising looked like over the next couple of weeks. First blood red, then the bluish tint and finally greenish. Not at all flattering.

Angie could live with the unflattering look, but hated her lost hour before stacking it and waking up in the hospital bed, dressed in white cotton; a stark contrast to her blood-stained face.

‘Good to see you are back with us, Angie’ the nurse approached her, exhausted eyes belying a face showing teeth from ear to ear.

‘Where am I?’  Angie whispered, her throat full of sandpaper.

‘You are in Merryvale Hospital. You fell and hit your head on the pavement. I believe a waiter from the Windsor cafe tended to you and organised the ambulance,’

‘I remember nothing,’ voice cracking with panic. What had she been doing in Windsor? Knew no one there other than an ex boyfriend; a real pain in the arse, in fact borderline stalker material.

‘It’s normal Angie. Your memory will come back in time. Relax and rest up now,’ the nurse assured her.

Her head spun sending nauseous waves up her whole body. The nurse passed a bowl just seconds before Angie’s stomach broke. It was lighter after. The bowl was not.

After a few days of bland hospital food and noisy cleaning machines waking everyone up at 5am, she eagerly returned home. Non the wiser as to her lost hour, she rummaged her handbag for clues. Receipts, train tickets. All pointed to her trip to Windsor. But why? She emptied her bag, but it still felt heavy. Something in the inside zippered pocket. ‘WTF!’ Angie slumped on the bed staring at the small black gun in her hand.

Angie’s memory never returned. Neither did her ex boyfriend.

Maybe a lost hour is best staying lost.

The Locked Door

Their gaze met across the busy pub. He was dressed in blue jeans, t-shirt and a trendy jacket. He had a broody air about him, but it was his intense dark amber eyes that got her attention.

Janice was ready to flirt with a man again for the first time since the incident. With a new sense of braveness she lifted her wineglass with a smile waiting for his response. It was slow at first, just the corners of his lips moving up ever so slowly. He brought up his glass in return and nodded his head.

Janice returned her attention to her girlfriends, but couldn’t stop thinking about the stranger across the room. She deliberately didn’t turn her face, but his stare burnt into her back.

‘Where are you Janice?’ her friend Sue asked.

“Oh, I was just daydreaming” Janice tried to deflect.

“No you’re not. You have that air about you. Good to see you showing an interest again. So who is he?” Sue kept pressing her eyes full of mischief and too much wine.

“You are such a stickybeak Sue. But ok, tell me if the guy in the opposite corner, blue jeans white t-shirt, is looking in my direction?” Janice asked her group of friends.

The whole group of girls turned to gawk at the same time much to Janice’s embarrassment. She laughed nervously.

“You are so obvious. You might as well just go and ask him’

“He is definitely looking your way Janice.” Sue exclaimed and with her usual determination and spontaneity got up and walked to the man’s table, returning a minute later with the guy in tow.

“This is Dan. He is by himself, so I invited him across to join us,” Sue said giving Janice a cheeky smile.

Sue did the introductions leaving Janice to last and motioned Dan to sit next to her.

Janice wondered if they had met before, but couldn’t pin point where. His eyes drew her in and made her anxious at the same time. But Janice enjoyed the sense of being alive again, ignored the warning signs and decided tonight she would take the next step.

When the pub closed up Janice accepted to head back to Dan’s place only a few blocks away. The rest of the girls said their goodbyes with lots of winks and smiles.

Dan’s apartment was roomy and neat. It felt familiar. Her heart started pounding as she watched Dan come across the room with a glass of wine. His eyes looked intense. Like burning amber. He brought his arms around her. She was pinned by his embrace. It was forceful and hard. In that moment Janice remembered. The attacker, the body against her, the pain. The same intense fire in Dan’s eyes. Just like the night 2 years ago.

Janice panicked and ran through the apartment to escape. The door was locked.