Juliette is married to a wonderful husband and has two lovely children. She lives a good life with a successful career, a nice home, a nanny, a housekeeper, a keen fashion sense and fake boobs. What else could a woman ask for? The problem is that she is a workaholic and tends to put her family in second place to her work. When there are important family events, she is usually late if she even decides to show up at all. Her husband supports her career but is fed up with her absence so he tells her she has to leave before she hurts their children even more. On top of that, there’s another woman in the neighborhood after her husband! Sad and upset, Juliette drowns her sorrows in alcohol, faints, bangs her head and wakes up in 1961.
In 1961, she’s a housewife to the same husband and kids (plus an additional surprise). There are no luxuries of cell phones, microwaves, washer and dryers, etc. Her family is no longer in the upper class and she quickly learns that there are many unjust social/economic issues that her family faces. With all this, I loved how Juliette overcame her new environment with humor. It’s not easy transitioning from modern times to using a toilet in her backyard. She also has no car, no job, takes public transportation, has to learn to clean, wash clothes, cook, prepare lunches and basically take care of her family in ways that she didn’t in present time.
When I first started reading this book, I didn’t really like Juliette because she starts off as a very shallow & materialistic person. Her time warp transforms her. She learns to slow down and really enjoy the moment. She had some issues with her parents that she avoided in present time but in 1961 she learns to deal with them. She also learns to trust people as well as make friends and reconnect with her family.
“After less than a week, I’ve really connected with these people, my family. They are honest, warm, funny people who take joy in the simple things of life – good company and lots of laughter. There’s nothing fancy here tonight – no complicated meals or expense bottles of wine, no pretensions, no quasi-intellectual of conversations, no fighting, no egos. It’s a welcoming back to the real world for me. I like it.”
I loved reading the process of Juliette rediscovering herself and appreciating what’s really important in her life.
“…my life takes on a new calmness. There is no urgent need to achieve, to please…
…the entire situation isn’t so scary and for the first time ever, I am learning to enjoy the moment, to have fun again, to laugh and love and truly live in the present.”
This might sound cliché but Hindsight really does remind us to enjoy the simple things in life and remember to “stop and smell the roses.” This book had me reflecting on my own life balance of a professional career, a husband and two young children. I will remember to set down my electronical devices more often (even my Nook) and spend some extra time with my family. Overall, I really enjoyed this debut novel by Sarah Belle. I hope there will be plenty more books by her in the future.
*ARC provided by Escape Publishing – Harlequin Enterprises Australia via Netgalley
*This review's also posted at Readers Confession.