* Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani (2008)

It took me a bit to get into this book because it takes some time to understand what it’s really about.  The plot is simple: Georgie, an 80 year old woman, is driving to the airport for lunch with the Queen of England (because they share the same birthday), but en route, she drives her car off the road into a ravine and lies there thinking about her life.  This is all apparent from the getgo.  The story meanders through her life–it’s really a series of stories as she recounts the relationships and events of her 80 some years that have shaped her.  It’s subtle.  I had to remind myself to leave behind the “find out what happens” reading mindset, and simply enjoy each story from her life as she recalls it.  Through her stories, we learn about her daughter the theater owner, her husband who was on his own by age 7, her mother and grandmother whose wisdom and common sense helped Georgie through so much, her grandfather whose Gray’s Anatomy book became a childhood friend, her grade school teacher who taught 8 grades at once, and various other people who had played a prominant role in her life.  Really, Georgie is trying to answer the question, “what has my life meant?  What has it been worth?”  As we read and enjoy her stories, we cannot help but wonder what our own reflections and stories might be.  If I ended up at the bottom of a ravine tonight and no one knew to look for me, what would I think about?  What would I celebrate?  What would I regret?  Who would I recall most as the people who have shaped me?    It leaves us much to think about.  (fiction)

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