I normally steer clear of romance, but this story is gripping. I was quickly drawn into some tangled relationships, and worried if the character would get out of her misery, or a kind of passive existence, and if her adventure and dreams would be short-lived.
This novel goes beyond romance and provokes you to dig into mixed emotions such as love, loss, shame and guilt.
There was a twist in the story, which was integral to the sense of loss and longing. It was uncomfortable to read, yet it was possibly essential for explaining the complexity of a relationship breakdown.
The story confronts your fear and triggers you to face your deep-seated secrets and your raw emotion. It shows beautifully the interconnectedness of the life of the people around us.
As the story is set in Eastleigh, it brings alive the senses and smells that we're used to from the South of England. Though I have never been to a Bingo hall, the atmosphere and the people in the Bingo community in the book were convincing. So they also have a big dream like Natalie does?
I'm touched by the pursuits of the characters in the story. If love is transient, are you brave enough to break away from the norm and embrace the unknown? Are you worthy of happiness?
The story is rich in conversations and you hear different voices from the characters.
Interestingly the philosopher Confucius considers reaching the age of 40, one should be established and have no delusion. One should be free from doubt and perplexities in life. Yet in the story, at 40, the character Natalie is trying to unravel her life. She examines her inner voices and faces up to her doubts in her life. She examines her inner voices and faces up to her doubts in her imperfect life. It takes courage to even attempt to unsettle an established lifestyle.
I think a novel that gives you pleasure, while challenging your status quo and disturbing you at the same time, is a success.
Marriage a Journey and a Dog is worth your time. I'd read it again.
by Janet Williams