Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hindsight by Sarah Belle

HindsightThis story surprised me. It skillfully address so many issues in a woman's life...it made me laugh and cry and nod and just experience every emotion a woman can feel.

I didn't like it at first--well, I didn't like the heroine. I'm all for women being in positions of power and wholeheartedly agree we shouldn't have to give our lives up just because we have the vaginas...but if you're not going to pay any attention at all to your children--don't have them. This lady has two kids, never sees them, and doesn't know how to change a diaper.

But...therein lies a moral and I discovered it as I kept reading. A woman doesn't have to give up her life...she just has to have different priorities for a while. And some folks have a hard time managing that. But what really drives us to succeed? As with Juliette, is there an underlying issue?

Juliette's current life...she's all work, no play and one could say just leaves everything up to her husband as far as childrearing. It's rather ironic really when she travels back to 1961 when all that was considered "woman's work" and she finds the roles drastically reversed. She realizes how much she's taken for granted and how much she's missed.

I'm not going to recap the entire blurb. It's Australia, time travel back to 1961, motherhood, and marriage. Suffice to say, this is a novel, but I read it in a day--not because it's short, it's just that good. I was on the edge of my seat. I felt as though I was learning things along with the heroine--changing cloth nappies, using a clothing wringer. I fell in love with her 1961 family, friends, and children. I sorta wanted her to stay there, but then that would have left the modern day story unresolved and it would have made it seem like the heroine had time traveled away from her problems.

I burst out laughing so often I'm glad I read this at home. I'm sure someone would have put me in the psych ward that Juliette feared so much.

"As if the undies weren't bad enough, I trip and stagger in the tiny bathroom, trying to outrun the small, furry creature that has crawled onto my lap and decide to live there...Holy mother of God! There's so much pubic hair that it could be braided into dreadlocks. I could shear it like a sheep and make a jumper out of it."

I bit my nails. I honestly wasn't sure things were going to be set right in modern time--after all she'd left behind a husband who'd kicked her out with a "replacement" woman waiting in the sidelines. How was she going to get out of that mess?

The story is incredibly well written. I was shocked to discover (at least I think) that this is her first book. I know authors who have been writing for two years or more (hell, I'm one of them!) who haven't quite achieved this amazing level of storytelling. You may be picking up a digital book, but this is NOT 5th-grade writing.

Beautiful, well done, thought evoking. It made me not only appreciate mothers more--after all, they give up so much, but it made me sit here and think about the differences in our generations and why things have changed so much. As unfeminist as this will sound--sometimes I wonder if eliminating that line between men and women was such a grand idea.

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