I’ve read all of Douglas Kennedy’s books and loved them. Until the last one “Women in the Fifth” set in Paris. It was part fantasy not my genre and quite honestly too much sex. So although I bought this book on my kindle when there was a deal. I haven’t hurried to read it. But I then read a review about it which was favourable. And it’s set in Maine which clearly he loves as his best books are set there. So I decided to read on holiday.
I really enjoyed this book. I’m glad I read it in the first week of the holiday. It struck a chord. It’s about living your life now and not getting stuck in a rut. And believing you can’t get out of that rut. It’s about doing things now and not putting them off to one day in the future. It’s about ordinary people.
It struck a chord why? Well as I said I’m at the end of the first week of my holiday. I spent the first couple of days still agitating about things that I’d left behind. About work. About home. By Monday the beauty of the Hebrides was working it’s magic. I started to feel uncluttered. I started to think about more than the stresses of every day life. I started to see the beauty of this special island. I started to finally relax. Then I read this book and it made me realise we have one life and we have to live it. My dream isn’t ambitious or dramatic. It used to be. I wanted to be the very top of my game in my 20’s and 30’s. Hit the top. Then I had kids and I realised there was far more to life than work. Now I want the very best for my children. And that’s not consumer goods. It’s the best childhood we can give them that allows them to live really live. And me? I’ve reverted to my dream of my teens. A cottage by the sea on an Island. Just me. My husband and the dog. No work just the freedom to use our brains creatively and see where that takes us. Maybe not forever but to try it.
Today my husband is off to make a dream of his come true. He’s off to St Kilda as he says on the edge of the world. We are now visiting Harris and Lewis for the third time. On the previous two occasions we’ve talked about going but it was so expensive to take us all. But as my daughter said repeatedly over the winter. Dad wanted to go. And we thought why not make his dream come true? He can go on his own. We hopefully will come back here often. But what if we don’t for whatever reason? And you’re left with that the regret of being so close but not seizing the moment.
In this book there are two characters. One seizes the moment. One doesn’t. Both outcomes make you think. You have one life. Seize it.