This Is your Life, Harriet Chance!

This Is your Life, Harriet Chance!

A Novel

Book - 2015
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Embarking on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise, septuagenarian Harriet reunites with her estranged daughter and confronts pivotal events from her life surrounding the true character of her husband, who died two years earlier.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781616202613
Branch Call Number: Fiction Evison
Characteristics: 296 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Sad tale told in the style of the old show "This is Your Life!"

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Jul 25, 2018

A dark -with occasional sparks of humor- look at the compromises women make in their lives, trading off career for family, giving up personal dreams for others expectations and a me-too moment. Narrative structure is clever, jumping back & forth in time. My major gripe is with the audio book: place name pronunciation. The book is set in the Pac NW. The narrator manages to pronounce ‘Juneau” & ‘Tlingit” correctly (although her pronunciation of the name of the cruise ship “Zuiderdam” is suspect) but “Sequim’, the setting of at least 50% of the book’s action, a town whose name is repeated at least a dozen times, is consistently mispronounced as “See-kwim.” The author (who is from WA), a simple Google search or checking a gazetteer would have given them correct info. But apparently, no one bothered. Thst’s just sloppiness on the production team’s part.

May 14, 2018

If you want to be suicidally depressed, this is the book for you. Harriet's husband, best friend, and children betray her. These are not small betrayals; they are the sort that would cause any person to believe her entire life was a fraud.

Dec 07, 2016

Such a sad story. Poor Harriet was betrayed by so many people.

Nov 19, 2016

This was a sad story on so many levels. First, Harriet was cheated on by her husband and now her children are after her money - all of this she discovers while on an Alaskan cruise. It was depressing.

Aug 26, 2016

I liked this book!!! The author states it best in his line "Life is not linear". How very true! That's the story in a nutshell. I am 65 and quite active---I find myself reflecting on my life's decisions, mistakes, regrets, blessings.....AND-- looking forward to adventures I still want to have. Reading the author's "acknowledgements" at the end also gave the book perspective. Some people may want to read those first. I found this story to be easy reading and enjoyable.

May 16, 2016

I finished this book only because I kept thinking Harriet's life had to get better. Such a sad story. Somehow the review I read before choosing this book made her cruise experience seem humorous. I read the book while on a Holland America cruise and am having a much happier time than she did.

coroboreefarm May 07, 2016

An elderly widow embarks on an Alaskan voyage to scatter her husband's ashes. This sometimes humorous, sometimes sad book chronicles the life of Harriet Chance through flashbacks and present day narrative. Told in part by an unknown narrator, this is a charming tale of life's triumphs and failures, and ultimately the power of redemption. Life held together "..inexplicably, miraculously, really, by memory and association."
Quirky and charming, this little book will tug at your heartstrings.

JCLHelenH Apr 06, 2016

I didn't love it as much as "The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving". But I really loved TRFG, so that makes Harriet still a pretty good read.

Jan 18, 2016

A rather tragic story, full of pathos, told ironically in the voice of a cheerful omniscient narrator. I found it sad.

Jan 15, 2016

Each of Jonathan Evison's novels has been very different, but his talent shines through in all. I thoroughly enjoyed this story about a woman forced to look into her past and reconcile the choices she made then with her life in the present.

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Oct 13, 2015

1_Great_Book thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 50 and 99


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