A hundred pieces of meby Lucy Dillon will be described, no doubt, as chick lit, or women’s fiction. Because it’s about women’s things. Lives, illnesses, love, death. It’s also about men, and relationships, and a dog. It’s about careers, and houses, and work.
It’s glorious, and moving, and heart breaking, and even, amazingly, life changing.
Yes, I actually mean that. Physically, literally, life changing. I read it. And then a day or two later I found myself in the kitchen, hauling all the mugs out of the three cupboards they were spread across, and downsizing our motley collection. I put this squarely down to the effects of reading this book.
Which *is* about decluttering. Sort of. It’s about recognising what is important, and what isn’t, and having a life where you can’t quite turn around in your kitchen for all the things that don’t fit into your cupboards because they’re stuffed with mugs you never use is not quite how I saw my life. So, time to change.
(It’s not just about decluttering things. It’s about decluttering your mind, emotions, memories. But if I go into too much detail, I’ll blow the whole plot.)
Try the blurb.
As heart wrenching and life-affirming as One Day or Me Before You, A Hundred Pieces of Me is a story about what it means to finally live life to the full. Letters from the only man she’s ever loved. A keepsake of the father she never knew. Or just a beautiful glass vase that catches the light, even on a grey day. If you had the chance to make a fresh start, what would you keep from your old life? What would you give away? Gina Bellamy is starting again, after a difficult few years she’d rather forget. But the belongings she’s treasured for so long just don’t seem to fit who she is now. So Gina makes a resolution. She’ll keep just a hundred special items – the rest can go. But that means coming to terms with her past and learning to embrace the future, whatever it might bring
The story is cleverly told. Present life interweaves with object inspired flashbacks as Gina moves on from the end of a relationship, and works her way through the backlog of her life, now stored in (lots of) boxes. There are past climaxes and present ones, if that makes any sense as significant events from her history, still influencing the present are gradually unfolded before us.
It’s emotional, but never mawkish, and the strands come back together to a finely balanced but highly charged ending.
I can see me recommending this book to people left right and centre. And pressing it into people’s hands. Particularly anyone who hoards.
Now, I wonder which wall I can cover with a list?
I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading this week. Feel free to stick it in the linky, and grab the badge if you’d like.