In what was not an intentional move, I’ve just finished another novel (“The Great Indoors” by Sabine Durrant) that included a main character looking back on her life and wondering about “the one who got away.” Much like in the last book, Martha gets another shot at the failed relationship (though in this one, there is a second past relationship that she also considers pursuing). This book also brings forth the dreaded reunion scenario, and while seemingly devoid of 80s music (unlike the last book), it does also reveal conflicting perceptions– how the main character perceived herself versus how she was perceived by others.
The pattern that I’m seeing with these books, besides the obvious, is that the characters are getting a fairytale ending, of a sort, while realizing that ending was for the person they used to be and that there were very good reasons that things didn’t work out the first time. I think it’s a realization many of us come to even when we fantasize about what we’d do differently if we could get a chance to go back in time.
This book was particularly intriguing to me because you got to see Martha change within the confines of this story, and not just recognize the change from flashbacks, or what we are told. This character is growing, becoming more independent, less rigid and more self-aware. All her relationships change by the end of the book, but none more so than the relationship she has with herself.
And on a purely superficial note, I now want to run an antique shop in England. I’m guessing that urge will pass eventually.