Time of My Life: A Novel by Allison Winn Scotch (Broadway, $14.00, 304 pages)
A young woman isn’t sure she’s made the best choices in her life and wishes she could return to a certain point in her life; if only she had a second chance at her past. Does this sound like the premise of Peggy Sue Got Married? Yes, and it is also the premise for this story of a 34-year-old woman – married with husband Henry and a toddler – who gets to return to the age of 27. Can Jillian Westfield make better use of these 7 years with the so-called benefit of 20-20 hindsight?
One of Jillian’s key conflicts consists of having to choose between her former Orlando Bloomish boyfriend Jack (romantic and impulsive but a frustrated writer with virtually no ambition) or the once-chosen-to-be-her-husband Henry. Henry is calm, steady, mathematical, logical and doggedly ambitious. Knowing what she’s learned the first time around will Jillian choose instant gratification or long term reward? Sparks or a steady flame?
This is another book that is not the “hilarious read” promised on the back book cover. But Allison Winn Scotch is indeed a fluent writer: “…as the lights of the city glow in the window behind us, we all look much the same: mothers who sit in wonder and wait for the children who will inevitably change their lives.” Scotch also has the ability to remind us of things that should be obvious, such as the fact that in romantic relationships, “One person is always changing too much and the other not enough.”
The joys and tribulations of motherhood are another key theme of Time of My Life. Children inevitably change the lives of parents and family members in ways both foreseen and those that are completely unexpected.
The author’s greatest gift is in teaching the reader how to accept, enjoy and celebrate life without needing to blow things out of proportion. Marriages, births, deaths: “…it was just life, nothing glorious, nothing shabby…”.
A glorious read, nothing shabby about it. Highly recommended.
This book was purchased by the reviewer.