Review: ‘The Time of Their Lives’… The time of mine?

The Time of Their Lives, well, it’s not as exciting as it sounds, as life often ends up being. So, if that is the mark of a good book, representing life as it is rather than as a Hollywood fairytale, then, job done Maeve Haran.

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The Time of Their Lives follows the lives of four women in, let’s say, the latter half of their lives. Characterful ladies Ella, Claudia, Sal and Laura have both a wonderful and terrible time in the book’s life span. These close friends deal with issues perhaps common to women of their age; retirement, illness, parental responsibility (of their parents as well as the responsibility for their own grown up children), moving out of lively London and into the countryside and dealing with the husband or lack thereof. 

I may not have been the book’s prime target audience, but I still found it enjoyable. It did not, however, either give me the time of my life or make me feel as though they were having the time of their lives. The title brings certain associations and expectations which really are not quite fulfilled in the novel. Although, that did not negate the enjoyment of the story which was lively, fast paced and heart warming.

On a different note, I found that one of the draw backs to having four main characters was that occasionally the narrative, which was divvied up between the four women, sped through one perspective to dash to another character who had something more exciting going on at that point. Therefore, at times I felt estranged from certain characters, as though I were only dipping into their story when others were indulged. 

Growing older may be a frightening prospect for many people, being 23, I have uncertainties about what lies upon my horizon if I am so lucky to get there. But what these ladies prove, coming from their similarly aged author, is that ageing is inevitable, but being ‘old’ is not. One’s spirit may never age if you have friends to keep you young… age is but a number… young at heart… you see what we’re getting at. 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds OK but – like you – I’m not perhaps at the best age to truly appreciate a book about the ups and downs of retirement etc, maybe in another ten years (how narrow minded of me!) I think it’s interesting how we see certain books as ‘not for me’, I’m certainly guilty of that and hoping to try to break the habit my reading more widely – so well done you for giving something outside your usual field of interest a try, and quite enjoying it too. I was recently inspired by this article http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/aug/16/phyllis-rose-the-shelf-library-book about a woman reading every book of a shelf in a library to explore how libraries offer us a unique reading opportunity not available on-line or through book shops. I might try that (and will promise not to skip any books I think look dull because they are about ‘old ladies’!)

    Zoe

    1. fayelucinda8 says:

      That’s a great idea, I’ll have a read of that, thank you. I tend to do something similar in charity shops, pick and choose a good selection and build up my home library. Thanks for dropping in with some lovely comments!

      Faye

  2. Hmmm…I don’t know if I agree with the statement you make about the title of this book bearing certain expectations. I am thinking perhaps that taken in context of the review you’ve written, it just means it’s describing a snippet of time in their lives and not necessarily what you were thinking…..some hilarity or grand event. Your review, though, does make me actually want to read this book. So thank you for the sneak peek!

    1. fayelucinda8 says:

      I see what you mean! I suppose I have just heard the phrase used in certain contexts and it brings memories from outside the text. It is a good read so do catch it if you see it.

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