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A Lifetime of Impossible Days

A Lifetime of Impossible Days 2

by Tabitha Bird

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 04/06/2019

5/5 Rating 2 Reviews
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Tabitha Bird's stunning debut is a magical, life-affirming novel about heartbreak, healing and learning to forgive yourself.

Meet Willa Waters, aged 8...33...and 93.

On one impossible day in 1965, eight-year-old Willa receives a mysterious box containing a jar of water and the instruction: 'One ocean: plant in the backyard.' So she does - and somehow creates an extraordinary time-slip that allows her to visit her future selves.

On one impossible day in 1990, Willa is 33 and a mother-of-two when her childhood self magically appears in her backyard. But she’s also a woman haunted by memories of her dark past – and is on the brink of a decision that will have tragic repercussions...

On one impossible day in 2050, Willa is a silver-haired, gumboot-loving 93-year-old whose memory is fading fast. Yet she knows there’s something she has to remember, a warning she must give her past selves about a terrible event in 1990. If only she could recall what it was.

Can the three Willas come together, to heal their past and save their future, before it’s too late?

ISBN:
9780143792260
9780143792260
Category:
Contemporary fiction
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
04-06-2019
Publisher:
PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
416
Dimensions (mm):
233x155x31mm
Weight:
0.55kg
Tabitha Bird

Tabitha Bird is a writer and poet who lives and works in the rural township of Boonah, Queensland. By day Tabitha may be found painting, working on her next book or with her husband, three beautiful boys and Chihuahua.

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  • A marvellous debut novel from a talented author.

    by on

    “I'm trying to think of something snarky to say to you, Katie. But at my age it might take a while and I haven't the time. Think of it yourself and pretend I said it.”

    A Lifetime of Impossible Days is the first novel of Australian author, Tabitha Ann Bird. Impossible things keep happening to Willa Grace Waters. They are happening in 1965 to eight-year-old Willa in an ugly, leaky-roofed tin shack In Boonah where she lives with Mummy and Daddy and her little sister, Lottie.

    They are happening in 1990 to thirty-three-year-old Willa in the brick house in north Brisbane where she is wife to wonderful Sam and mother of Eli and Sebastian.

    And they are happening in 2050 to ninety-three-year-old Willa in the lovely old Queenslander in Boonah, from which several people seem intent on moving her. Willa is resisting: her memory may not be so good, but her notebook (Things I Am Sure of) tells her “stay out of the nursing home”.

    The impossible things all seem to have something to do with an old strawberry jam jar with a dribble of greyish water in the bottom. It came through the Post in a soggy cardboard box with a card: “One ocean: plant in the backyard.”

    What happens when (eight-year-old) Super Gumboots Willa plants the ocean under the mango tree (impossible, surely?) makes her believe there’s a way to save Lottie and Mummy from Daddy: not the Daddy who stands looking up at the stars, but the angry Daddy who shouts and hits and hurts.

    In 1990 and 2050, each Willa is also planting an ocean in the backyard. A voice from the past means Middle Willa finally accepts the need to find her younger self; Silver Willa feels an urgency (she’s on borrowed time and can’t buy any more) to find Middle Willa and save her. That ocean in the backyard has a way of bringing the Willas together.

    Bird’s portrayal of senile dementia is an insightful and sensitive one: Silver Willa’s thought processes and the utterances that ensue show just how poor memory, distraction, confusion and occasionally flawed logic can lead to seemingly meaningless sentences. Often, Silver Willa is simply, dementedly delightful:
    “In my notebook I write:
    13. Find something
    14. Find something
    15. Find something
    16. Find something
    17. Find something
    She reads over my shoulder. ‘You've written “Find something” five or six times already.’
    ‘Fifty-six times? It must be important, then. Where would you go if you were a lost thing?’”
    And to anyone who has filled the role of carer for an elderly, semi-demented loved one, Eden's reactions, her exasperation born of love and frustration, will seem entirely natural.

    There’s so much magic in this book, so much fun: brightly-coloured gumboots, midnight teas, timeslips, scare-conquering stories, Chihuahuas with silly names, Viking forts under beds and jam drops (recipe provided!); there’s lots of laughter, but also tears and sadness; much bravery, kindness and love; many wise words.

    This is a heart-warming story that asks: Can we change the past? If not, can we change how we handle it? If you could, what would you tell your younger self? What would you ask your older self? A marvellous debut novel from a talented author.

  • Author welcome!

    by on

    Well, I am the author so of course I've read it and can't wait for you to read it too!

    I sincerely hope that readers embrace the Willas. They can't wait to meet you! They are very nervous, all three of them, but I have had a good talk to them all and we are mostly calm and ready to go. Oh, who are we kidding? We are all a ball of gumboot-tapping nervous energy, but so very keen to meet the readers none the less.

    Eight-year-old Super gumboots Willa is especially excited. She's got her bravest red gumboots all shined up especially for the occasion. She's told everyone she knows including the milkman, the baker, the lady crossing the street, her little sister and especially her chihuahua that she HAS A BOOK!

    Thirty-three-year-old Middle Willa is a bit anxious. She would be though. It's a big moment when you're telling such a vulnerable tale. She's bought three pairs of gumboots just to make sure she is extra brave and standing strong now the book is released.

    Ninety-three-year-old Silver Willa is hoping you bought jam drops and will stay for at least one cup of tea. She might forget your name and drive you slightly batty, but she's hoping you'll have a bit of a giggle and settle in for a story. Boy has she got one to tell you! And at the end of it all maybe she's hoping you'll go find your own little boy or girl and see if they have anything they want to tell you. You know? That child you once were? Silver Willa thinks they might have the odd story themselves. The odd dream or fear or sadness or just a gentle reminder that perhaps you stopped playing somewhere along the way.

    All the Willas wish you the very best and hope you'll come journey with them. Happy reading!