A Hundred Pieces of Me By Lucy Dillon ISBN# 9780425276730 Author’s Website: https://www.facebook.com/LucyDillonBooks/timeline?ref=page_internal
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Daniele
Reeling from her recent divorce, Gina Bellamy suddenly finds herself figuring out how to live on her own. Determined to make a fresh start—with her beloved rescue greyhound by her side—Gina knows drastic measures are in order.
First up: throwing away all her possessions except for the one hundred things that mean the most to her. But what items are worth saving? Letters from the only man she’s ever loved? A keepsake of the father she never knew? Or a blue glass vase that perfectly captures the light?
As she lets go of the past, Gina begins to come to terms with what has happened in her life and discovers that seizing the day is sometimes the only thing to do. And when one decides to do just that…magic happens.
Gina finds herself on her own when her marriage ends after her battle with breast cancer. Her life with her husband Stuart centered on renovating their Victorian home and filling it with carefully selected things. When she moves to her new flat, she finds she has way too much stuff, stuff that is attached to her old life, and decides to therapeutically and ruthlessly dwindle her possessions down to the bare essentials. Through memory flashbacks associated with her special items, the reader learns about Gina’s illness, relationships with her best friend, mother, step-father, and husband, and her first love and the life changing tragedy that separated them. These flashbacks alternate with the present, where Gina tries to put her past behind her and live for today. She makes new friends, works on her dream house, develops a crush on the home’s owner Nick, and becomes the owner of an abused greyhound.
The premise of this book, evaluating your life and possessions to keep only the very most important items, was so promising. The idea of it really made me contemplate my own things and situation. However, the anticipation proved more than the actual story here. Ms. Dillon is a gifted story teller, but this tale is just too real, sad and depressing overall. I did not care for the Gina of the past or her mother, but I enjoyed Naomi and Buzz the dog. I especially loved Nick and would like to have him as my friend. I hoped to walk away from this book feeling optimistic and inspired but instead felt deflated.
The writing here is worth more than three stars, but the slow start and the heavy feeling I had after reading detract a bit. I would definitely not hesitate to read other works by Ms. Dillon and recommend A Hundred Pieces of Me to readers who are not deterred by serious life struggles. Gina’s story is bittersweet.