Beyond FICTION: SOUVENIR by Therese Fowler
Anyhoo, I’ve been reading like mad lately and finished Therese Fowler’s debut novel Souvenir over a week ago. Therese is a fellow author/blogger/mom (or should that read mom/author/blogger?) based in North Carolina. Over the past year or so she’s kindly shared the ups and downs of the publishing process in her blog, Making It Up; more recently she’s written about signings and other authorly appearances in her neck of the woods. She’s a joy to read and a joy to “know”—virtually or in person.
I’m hesitant to write too much about this book since so much of its enjoyment depends on the discovery of answers to its suspenseful story questions. While the main character, Meg, struggles with a variety of mid-life quandaries (including a couple that are anything but typical and tug relentlessly at the heartstrings), a very serious development forces her to reassess her approach, her priorities, even her values as she grows more and more determined to live her life as she sees fit. What struck me most was the manner in which Meg chooses to reach out to those she loves, to make sure what she needs to say is said in a very clear way, to guarantee that the love she harbors for those most near and dear to her is recorded. Having learned a simple strategy from her own mother, Meg refuses to give up on her quest to make this dream of hers come true despite increasingly debilitating circumstances.
A few powerful messages ring clear through Therese’s story; Carpe Diem is just one. Look around with open eyes, set your priorities, and don’t surrender a single moment to regret or self-doubt, Meg instructs through her actions and words. Live today as though it’s your last, because life really is too damn short. Kudos, Therese, for a terrific story that packs such an important punch, and for giving Meg the courage to do (more than once) what she knows in her heart she must do. This reader, for one, will never forget her.