BOOK CLUB: A Lifetime of Impossible Days

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Author: Tabitha Bird
RRP: $32.99
Publication Date: 4 June 2019
Publisher: Penguin RandomHouse
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Sometimes a book comes along that gives you all the feels and you connect to it on such an emotional level as I did with “A Lifetime of Impossible Days” debut novel for Tabitha Bird. There were tears, moments I held my breath, times I just stopped and paused and bouts of sadness for the Willa’s. This book is truly a gift, one that weaves a unique storyline that you just get caught up in, as you enter a magical world with a time slip.

We are introduced to Silver Willa first from the year 2050 a gumboot loving 93 year old, who is starting to lose her memory so keeps a notebook to remember what she needs to do. She is determined to stay out of the nursing home she keeps hearing about. Next is Super Gumboots Willa 8 years old from 1965, fierce and determined, protector of her sister Lottie and owner of Frog Dog. Middle Age Willa is 33 years old in 1990 a mother of two trying to deal with her past hurts. It is through a magical time slip that Super Gum Boots Willa is able to visit her future selves. Silver Willa knows there is something she needs to warn the others but will she remember what she needs to tell them?

In each year of impossible days when the story is being told – 1965, 1990 and 2050 you connect with each of the Willa’s, you feel for them but you know they are one and it is their story they are telling.

When you first start it takes a moment to let your imagination go and be swept up into a tale with a jar of water and instructions to plant an ocean in the backyard but once you do you end up staying up until 1am to finish it. You need to know what the outcome for the Willa’s will be – can they all work together to heal their past hurts to save their futures.

This novel may trigger some as it does deal with childhood trauma but it is told in a way that is sensitive but realistic it shares how trauma can affect people and the impact on their lives. There were times my heart was breaking but I feel it is a story that had to be told, I have more of an understanding now of how these hurts can impact lives and futures.

The novel is dedicated to Tabitha’s Grandmother and as I had recently said goodbye to my last remaining Grandparent my Nanny, I loved these words from the book as I was the eldest grandchild. “She stares off into the night, her eyes misty, and I snuggle her hand. Imagines of my Grammy as a young girl stay with me. She was someone’s daughter. Her name was Grace. Only she never was that, not to me. She’s always been my Grammy. I’m the oldest grandchild so I performed the magic of making her a grandmother, and it has been a most special enchantment between us.”

A lifetime of Impossible Days is released on the 4th of June, I highly recommend you getting your hands on a copy. Thank you to Tabitha and Penguin Random House for the advanced copy of this book. I had been highly anticipating it since I came across Tabitha’s Facebook page many months ago.

This guest review was submitted by Jode, the Beauty and Lace Club member who brought this book to our attention. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Jode.

You can follow Tabitha Bird on Facebook and her Website.

A Lifetime of Impossible Days is available now through Penguin RandomHouse and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Penguin RandomHouse 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading A Lifetime of Impossible Days so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

13 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: A Lifetime of Impossible Days

  1. I read a short view of this book somewhere else and was intrigued with the storyline and now to read your view on it, I am so glad I am receiving this to read. I can’t wait.

    1. Thank you Mandy it is a very unique book. I was lucky enough to meet Tabitha on the weekend. Thank you Veronica yes lots of tears.

  2. A Lifetime of impossible days. By Tabitha Bird

    Willa Waters is a silver haired 93 year old lady who collects and wears different coloured gumboots.
    Willa Waters is an 8 year old Super gumboots kid looking out for her sister Lottie.
    Willa Waters is a 33 year old mum caring for her husband, 2 small boys, and a home.
    The years are 2050, 1965, and 1990
    Each Willa is the same person, and through this wonderful story, they meet themselves on a lifetime of impossible days.

    93 year old Willa carries a notebook to write down important things, as her memory is fading. She is a loveable eccentric gumboot wearing feisty lady. She has a carer who calls in on her each day. There is talk of a nursing home, but Willa knows she can’t go there until she has done “something”, but what?

    Each chapter follows a different time line of Willa. I love the wit of 93 year old Willa such as – 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’ . Such lines delight the reader throughout the book. But we also see the vulnerable side of Willa, and are shown the way and the reason she gets muddled: how things in her mind make sense, but to the family and Carers they seen nonsense. This is heart wrenching, and shows why we need to be more patient with elderly folk.

    Young Super gumboots Willa has problems, middle Willa is mixed up and doesn’t know what to do, and old Willa knows she has to help them all. Why and how they meet and try to sort out the past, which may heal the future, is such an interesting and well written storyline that I could not put this book down.

    This is Tabitha Bird’s debut novel, and I will be on the look out for her next one.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club, and to Penguin Viking Books for the chance to immerse myself in this magical thought provoking escape.

  3. Firstly this is a debut book by Tabitha Bird and certainly an author to look out for in the future.

    Such a beautiful cover and throughout the pages, on each dates there are drawings of flowers and shells that just give a special touch to the pages as you read. On each chapter there is also a drawing of a crab or gumboots and other items.

    On starting this book, I do have to say I did get a bit confused as you would start in the year of 2050 then jump to 1965 then back to 1990 and this happens throughout the book. I would say to readers to persevere and read this as a magical book. It feels as you read that they are different characters but as you read more you then realise they are the same person.

    The storyline is centered around a place called Boonah in the state of Queensland.

    In the year of 2050 we learn of Silver Willa who is a very warm hearted 93 year old lady that loves to wear her many gumboots. It is sad getting to know Silver Willa as she is starting to lose her memory so she has a notebook and jots down important things she needs to do. Her children are preparing to put her in a nursing home and she certainly is not wanting to go there quite yet. I loved learning about Silver and my heart went out to her whenever her chapter came up to read.

    In the year of 1965 we meet Super Gumboots Willa aged 8 years. I loved this character as this age and learning more of her life was challenging. She has a younger sister called Lottie who she just wants to always protect and there is a delightful dog named Frog Dog that is just adorable. There were times when reading about this young Willa where I wanted to protect her from events.

    In the year of 1990 we meet middle aged Willa aged 33 years old. She has two children, a husband that loves her but she has lots of deep, hurtful memories that she can’t get past.

    There were times I thought I knew where the book was heading but you never quite put your finger on it.

    You really do have to let your imagination become alive in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the jar of water that when used would plant an ocean in the backyard.

    In the book there is a song that is made up by Super Gumboots Willa. It is a much loved nursery rhyme but different words and I found myself actually singing while I read it and it did bring a smile to me.

    There are a lot of Jam Drops eaten in the storylines and how perfect that Tabitha has put the recipe in at the end of the book. I know that whenever I see a Jam Drop I will forever relate them to this storyline.

    The whole storyline revolves around the three aged Willas and there were times I cringed or felt helpless as there are traumatic events happening throughout the book. It certainly opened my eyes out to what others may be going through. There were tears as well in some chapters.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Penguin Books for the opportunity of reading this beautiful book. To Tabitha Bird, I know your books to come will be interesting to read. I know that whenever we drive over the Boonah Bridge, my thoughts will be thinking of the book. I am also thinking I need to get a jar and get some water in it too.

  4. The first thing I have to say is that I love the cover of this book! The shine on the waves is beautiful. Luckily what’s inside this book is beautiful too!

    The book is about Willa Waters. What makes it so unique is that you meet Willa at the age of 8, 33 and 93. 8 year old Willa receives a box with the instructions “One ocean: plant in the backyard” So starts a time slip where she is able to visit herself at the age of 33 and 93. The book is written from the point of view of each Willa.. 8 year old Willa has a very hard upbringing which leaves 33 year old Willa broken. 93 year Willa is losing her memory but she knows that there is something that she has to tell her 33 year old self before something bad happens.

    This is an emotional book that draws you in to the character of Willa and her life. It makes you treasure life – the good, the bad and the ugly. This book was happy, sad, hopeful and magical. A beautiful story that will remain with me for a long time!

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book and to Penguin Viking Books for the chance to read this “amaze-a-loo” book.

  5. What a beautiful read! Definitely the best book I’ve read this year hands down. A Lifetime of Impossible Days is a charming, emotional and magical novel very well written by Tabitha Bird. This is a story about a character called Willa Waters. She receives a box containing a jar of water and instructions to plant an ocean in her backyard which then takes us, the readers on a magical adventure throughout her life at age 8, 33 and 93. Super Gumboots Willa is age 8 and the year is 1965. Middle Willa is age 33 and the year is 1990 and Silver Willa is age 93 and the year is 2050. I must admit, I was a little confused at the beginning as Tabitha switched between the Willas so frequently, so I found it a little difficult to understand the story. But, sure enough, it became really clear and easy to follow.

    Tabitha did a wonderful job delving into a different dimension and it was such an imaginative idea.
    This novel really took me on a rollercoaster of emotions, but I can say that it was a real page turner and I was quickly hooked. The ending was beautiful and not what I was expecting while I was halfway through, which was a pleasant surprise – I don’t want to give anything away!

    Thank you Beauty and Lace Book and Penguin Viking Books for this wonderful story. It is one I will remember for a long time and proudly display it on my bookshelf.

  6. Firstly I must say from the moment I saw A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird the cover art made me feel as though I was holding something special and unique. I found that I initially had difficulties engrosing myself in the storyline but as more events, memories and layers of current and past experiences for the 3 Willa’s were described I was hooked. I also found that I was unable to read large chunks at a time as I felt that it was a book you could learn life lessons from and emotionally reflect on the events and so I did not want to rush the journey that the Willa’s were sharing with us. Thank you Beauty and Lace, Penguin Random House Publishers for the opportunity to read A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird. Congratulations Tabitha on a wonderful debut novel I look forward to experiencing and reading more of your books in the future.

  7. A beautiful story which is heartfelt and heart wrenching with a whole heap of quirkiness thrown in. Lots of home truths, life lessons and reality mixed in with magic and impossibilities.
    I enjoyed reading this book as much as it was confronting at times, but I was pleased with the ending.

  8. Tabitha Bird’s A Lifetime of Impossible Days is such a beautiful book both in presentation and content. It deals with heavy, emotional topics with sensitivity, empathy and hope. At times close to tears for the trauma experienced by the Willas and not sure if I could continue, I was relieved to read the bittersweet ending. Childhood imagination and the magical bond between grandparent and grandchild are joyfully and skillfully portrayed. The characters are wonderfully realized. This is a fabulous debut novel and I look forward to reading more from Tabitha Bird. I would highly recommend A Lifetime of Impossible Days, potentially with a trigger warning. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Penguin Random House for introducing me to this beauty.

  9. A Lifetime of Impossible Days is the most heart-wrenching emotional read I have read in a long time. If you loved The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence or Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer this book will resonate with you. Super Gumboots Willa is a young girl who has spent her life feeling responsible for her sister and all her mistakes. Silver Willa is also an old lady who is starting to lose her memory but she knows that there are things in her past that must be mended and only Middle Willa can do that. This book is filled with heart-breaking moments and magical realism as the three Willas meet via a time shifting garden that is planted in their backyard. They come together to try desperately to heal the past and mend what is irreparably damaged.
    Willa is 93 she needs to go back in time and stop herself from doing something that will change her life forever the only problem is she has dementia and she can’t remember what that thing is..
    The story isn’t all heavy there are lots of laugh out loud moments with Willa’s dementia causing funny situations, she has quite some sass and is very cheeky.
    Allusions to child abuse, domestic violence and drug use.

  10. Oh my goodness , I had trouble uploading my last review and thought I should check this one uploaded…. it didnt….sorry it is now so late.
    THANKYOU for the opportunity to read this fabulous book.
    A Life Time Of Impossible Days is an incredibly interesting read. The concept of confronting your personal history, your past and future self and the struggles and issues you have provides a very thought provoking reading experience.
    TB creates super gumboots Willa, middle Willa and Silver Willa as the main characters for the novel.
    Super gumboots willa wants to fix her broken family, sister, dog and 8 year old self. As a child she faced so many experiences which shaped Willa into the woman she is as middle willa, aged 33 and silver willa, aged 93.
    Willa has no understanding of what a normal childhood is like, instead she is fighting to remain carefree, out of reach of her father, picking up the pieces of her mother and sister and hiding out in the backyard mango tree with her frog dog.
    Silver willa is grappling with life, dementia, following the rules of her notebook and trying to come to terms with the young willas she feels she has neglected and letdown in her past.
    At times I felt the story lines become blurred but overall the story was a beautiful time warp though life, personal neglect and experiences and learning to forgive ourselves.

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