“Gina clicked the shutter in her mind. Forget about what came before, or what’s going to come. Focus on this exact moment, when you’ve got everything you need: this is living. Now. Now. And now.”
Gina is in her thirties and suddenly finds herself in a small flat with white walls. Perfect for a new start. If only there wouldn’t be all these boxes covering the taintless walls and the empty rooms. Wanting to get it right this time, Gina starts sorting through all her boxes, giving away all the things she no longer needs and letting go of all the memories and regrets that have haunted her all her life. At least that’s what she intends to do. Giving away everything but the hundred pieces that she holds dearest. However, she soon figures out that it is easier said than done. Sorting through your stuff means sorting through your memories and past. And it means embracing what has happened and coming to terms with it. It means accepting that the past is the past and focusing on the here and now.
It is hard for me to say what I loved most about the book. a hundred pieces of me isn’t your usual romantic novel. It isn’t about posh London girls with no money and a bad taste in men. This book goes deeper. The love story is just the side effect of Gina’s journey through her past. Every chapter reveals a new aspect of her and her life and the more you read the more layers of her character you get to see. At the beginning Gina is just this woman who is having relationship problems, but with every flashback you get to know another side of her. And other thing that happened to her in the past and made her the person she is today. There’s something “familiar” about the problems she is facing when it comes to her past. At least it sounds familiar to me.
Much like Gina, I love collecting stuff; postcards, brochures from holiday trips, souvenirs someone has given to me, calendars, gifts I’ve never really used… The items just stand somewhere in my room and whenever it gets to cleaning everything, I’m annoyed at how much dust they seem to attract. I tell myself that I’ll sort through my stuff. But I never get around to actually doing it. It would be like throwing away a part of me, wouldn’t it? It would be like getting rid of your memories, getting rid of your past. Each item has a story, something it symbolizes and stands for. Whether it is a useful item, or not. It doesn’t matter because there is meaning attached to it. But that’s just bullocks, right? Your memories aren’t attached to items. They are attached to moments. Moments that you store somewhere in your brain. It’s the scents, fabrics and sounds that remind you of these moments. Not a vase you bought, or a souvenir you got. They’re just objects. They’re not you.
So maybe that’s the reason why I loved the book so much. Because it reminded me of the fact that it is okay to let go of the past sometimes. It is okay to forget the things that have happened ages ago and to just concentrate on what’s happening right now. In this very moment. The birds singing outside your window or the sun setting. There is no point in holding on to your regrets and spending your days wondering what if. There aren’t any what ifs. The only thing you’ve got is this moment just now. Close your eyes and let it sink in. This moment right now. This is your life.
Lately, I’ve been telling my friends that I really wish I would find a book that would make me emotional again. A book that would make me think. That would make my eyes watery and leave me with that lump in my throat and that feeling in my heart that I still can’t really describe. I’ve been looking for that book for a long time, and today I found it. a hundred pieces of me is an absolutely brilliant book. It is emotional, inspiring, deep, heavy, but not too heavy. It is long (some 500 hundred pages), but it doesn’t feel long because once you pick it up you just don’t want to put it down again. Lucy Dillon poured so much love into her characters and Buzz, the dog… So much that they seem real. You get lost in their worlds and in their stories, which makes it a great book to escape into someone else’s life for a while. Only to come out of it with a sense of happiness. A sense of content happiness.
There are a million more things to be said about this book, but I don’t want to spoil your fun. Just make sure to go to your local book store and pick it up. It should be easy to find because it has an absolutely beautiful cover. A melancholy, yet happy cover. A cover that makes the book even more worth reading!
“I need to be aware of every single moment, she thought fiercely. I need this to be part of me. I need to be here.”