My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lucy Dillon's stories always have a dog and therefore are love stories. Not romance, but "women's fiction," so-called because it deals with the messy details of life like relationships, home, and life and death. This particular book is good for Green Valley folks, since most of us have either recently had to sort through our "stuff”, or will soon have to. The main character has just been through a divorce after being clear of breast cancer for two years; she's a project manager/designer for homebuilders and renovators, and in the face of having to rebuild her life she's taking the opportunity to downsize and reframe. She decides that out of all the knick-knacks, party frills, enhancers-but-not-necessities, she will keep only 100 items that will suit her life now and what she hopes it will be. There are great descriptions of the inner process of appreciation, memory, and letting go that certain items trigger, and Gina's story is told a lot in flashbacks that were confusing sometimes but interesting always. I've loved all of Dillon's books, and this one is very special, not only for the greyhound, and the insights into letting go, but for being a lot like life. Gina doesn't find a happy-ever-after; she finds the grace and strength to grab and build on love and happiness in the now. There are themes of youthful folly, love and regret, and some humor, too. A truly satisfying read for all Brit lit fans.
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