“We sat under clouds and talked until the skies turned shades of lemonade.”– pg. 51 A Lifetime of Impossible Days, Tabitha Bird
I received a copy of A Lifetime of Impossible Days from the author @birdtabitha in exchange for my review.
This story follows Willa during three different and pivital moments in her life. She has tasked herself with the responsibility of figuring out what exactly happened in her past and healing the hurt she has been left with as a result of these events.
TW: If you are interested in reading this story, please know that it does discuss self harm, suicidal ideation, domestic violence, sexual assault and drug use.
This book was filled with whimsical and quirky imagery, I had a little bit of trouble following the plot as it jumped between three very different versions of Willa. But I quickly found my rhythm and finished the book in two sittings.
Bird uses some incredible symbolism throughout this story, I loved how simplistic and effective it was. In the beginning of the book it was clear to me that certain imagery was used by Super Gumboots Willa as an indicator that she was dreaming of being free from her current life, and safe from those that threatened her.
“Her delicate soul was like a dragonfly’s wings, waiting to be let loose in all the skies she would ever see.”– pg. 111 A Lifetime of Impossible Days, Tabitha Bird
This symbolism of freedom followed Willa through her life and I really enjoyed reading about how not only Willa developed and healed, but also how the symbolism changed to reflect this.
I loved that all three versions of Willa worked with her selves to learn to accept and forgive herself. She was the only character that had a fully fleshed character arc and as a result I was fully invested in her wellbeing.
I would have loved to hear more about Lottie and what her life was like during the times where she wasn’t in Willa’s story. In fact I think that the story would have benefited if some of the world building/ filler was replaced with brief glimpses of what Lottie was up to.
Overall I think that A Lifetime of Impossible Days was delicate and heartbreaking, I felt a strong sense of nostalgia reading from Silver Willa and Middle Willa’s POV as they recalled their pasts. I felt a very strong connection to the story when imagery of the ocean and skies were used to set the mood and tone of the scene. I think the story, while discussing truly traumatic topics, did so in such a thoughtful and profound way, I was connected to Willa and invested in her life. I love that she taught herself everything she needed to move on. I would recommend this story to those that like to read about a person’s life, there isn’t an action-packed plot, but it is an explorative sort of slice of life story that somehow also expands decades, with a touch of magical realism in all the right places.