Synopses & Reviews
“Insightful, richly entertaining . . . Evison writes humanely and with good humor of his characters, who, like the rest of us, muddle through, too often without giving ourselves much of a break. A lovely, forgiving character study that’s a pleasure to read.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
With Bernard, her husband of fifty-five years, now in the grave, seventy-eight-year-old Harriet Chance impulsively sets sail on an ill-conceived Alaskan cruise that her late husband had planned. But what she hoped would be a voyage leading to a new lease on life becomes a surprising and revelatory journey into Harriet’s past.
Jonathan Evison has crafted a bighearted novel with an endearing heroine at the helm. Part dysfunctional love story, part poignant exploration of the mother-daughter relationship, nothing is what it seems in this tale of acceptance, reexamination, and forgiveness.
"A terrific novel, funny and moving, wistful and wise. Jonathan Evison’s writing crackles on the page." Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
"This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! is as sweet as it is inventive, profound as it is hilarious, unflinching as it is bighearted." Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette
"[An] irresistible, inventive novel full of important ideas about how we live our lives as parents, children, partners, and human beings...Evison is a ridiculously gifted storyteller." Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins
"A generous and wise tale, told with Evison’s trademark verve and charisma, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! is a deeply felt and deeply comforting novel." Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers
"This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! has all the wonderful snap and sizzle we’ve come to expect from Jonathan Evison’s work, and as much heart as any novel I’ve read in recent years." Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
"Both uplifting and melancholy, funny and thought-provoking, this entertaining read speaks directly to the importance of acceptance and healing." Booklist
About the Author
Jonathan Evison is the author of four novels, including The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, West of Here, and All About Lulu. He lives on the coast of Washington State with his wife and two children.