“I’m beginning to realise that to really live your life you have to sometimes step out of your comfort zone.” If ever there was a line to remember, it is this, from Sue Watson’s latest release, We’ll Always Have Paris. The prolific English writer (hence the spelling of realise, among others strewn about the book), Watson has written a breath of fresh air kind of book. A beach read for any season, but not for every age.
While there are plenty of offerings for the YA market (young adult), and Sci-Fi, anime, Harlequin Romance, horror, suspense and the like, here we have a story of new love on the other side of mid-life. Rosie Jackson is losing her husband to cancer, and it is apparent that there is great love between them as she frantically tries to provide him with some of his last wishes. Watson is able to get into her head as Rosie races through shops in search of the exact flavor of yogurt he’s requested, and although looking a mess with unbrushed hair, “it doesn’t matter..in the great scheme of things lipstick is nothing.”
We read about Rosie and Mike’s great love, their plans for his post-retirement years, both feeling renewed and excited. And then the lump. How many times have we heard this, about family members, or friends we love. Watson builds up the connection of these two, who have a lot of shared history, and two adult daughters. More wisdom comes as Rosie comes to terms with her loss, “Grief isn’t a linear journey, it’s not a wound that heals….the process is jagged and unpredictable.”
Of course, we know what’s to come. But, how could Rosie ever love again? But then there’s Peter, who shared an art class with Rosie in high school, and when they meet up again, and their eyes meet, and the years melt away. Rosie returns into the 17-year-old, love-struck girl she was all those years ago.
Readers may be familiar with the story, but it never gets old. Especially for a new crop of baby boomers who may be in the same predicament, wondering if love can ever make us feel like WE were teenagers again. Pick up We’ll Always Have Paris and find out.
We’ll Always Have Paris