four years

I’m writing this on the eve of September 13th; four years ago today I came back from a three week vacation in Canada. Bestfriendboy picked me up from the airport, I went home and then to see mom in the palliative facility she was at. I stayed for a while until my jet lag finally caught up with me. I sang to her (and me) to fill the silence while I was there because I didn’t know what else to do. Gran settled in to stay with her for the night.

I was asleep when the call came that she had passed. Gran asked me if I wanted to come see her one last time but I didn’t want to. I still stand by that decision. I got up, made some frozen pizza that was already past expiration date but it was all my freezer had to offer and watched Rizzoli and Isles in the middle of the night.

Four years ago I lost the person who brought me into this world.

Septemer 14th has been different to me every year since then. This year, I had mostly forgotten about that day. I wasn’t feeling anxious about it approaching.

I guess you can call that progress. It may be a sign my life feels actually pretty decent these days and it actually does get better with time. Sure, I have bad days where I question everything about myself and just crumble into a pile of tears but in general, this year felt better than 2015. Last summer I was on the border of depression. I still don’t really know why but I can report that this year was better. Summer was actually pretty amazing.

Overall, life is good and I can only hope it looks the same from wherever she is.

Part of me can’t believe it’s been four years.


1,461 days.

This feels really weird.

Time passes so fast.

And it does help.

‘Clancy of the Undertow’ by Christopher Currie

So my friend Kirsti reviewed ‘Clancy of the Undertow’ a while ago but said, it was fairly Australian and she wasn’t sure how that would fare outside of Australia. I was still very curious about the book but filed it away for later. Imagine my surprise when I browsed Netgalley to find a “read this now without having to jump through a millionty hoops” button so I clicked it and excitedly began to read my ARC.

Source: Goodreads
Source: Goodreads

Clancy is a unique character, she lives in this deadbeat town with her parents, one older and one younger brother. Then her father is involved in a roadside accident and the whole town thinks it’s his fault so they start treating the entire family like criminals and murderers. And in the midst of all of that, Clancy has a ginormous crush on the town’s pretty girl.

I couldn’t put the story down because it was written so well and because there actually was story. Multiple threads of story to be precise. There’s quite a lot going on which is good and it made this book not be one about being gay. Clancy happens to be gay but that’s not the premise of the book and I want more books like that.

Clancy’s parents aren’t that well off and struggle through life which felt rather familiar to me. She doesn’t live the great lifestyle which just made this story feel more authentic in my opinion. It’s not all roses and sunshine all the time but, guess what, so is real life.

I really enjoyed getting to know Nancy and her mother and part of me wished, the two had been in the story more. Especially Nancy, I wanted to know more about her background and why she was bullied back at her old school.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will definitely go into my rotation of recommendations. Part of that is because it’s Australian and just like with everything else, the literary market is so full of American books, it’s great to promote those from other countries, especially when they’re as well written as this one. Plus, the cover and title are just gorgeous. Seriously, can you have a crush on a book title because I think I do. Also, also, as a German reader, I may not have gotten every reference but I don’t get them all in American books either so I didn’t even register that. Maybe this is more of an issue for Americans who are used to reading mostly books set in their own country. That’s not the case for me though.

At the end, I sat on my bed after finishing the book, hugging my kindle because I needed to keep the book close to my heart for just a little while longer.

‘Points of Departure’ by Emily O’Beirne

This book found me at the right time. I read ‘Points of Departure’ by Emily O’Beirne while being on vacation and I actually read most of it while sitting at the airport in Trondheim, Norway, because I got their stupidly early. But it was very fitting since this is a travel story of five Australian women right out of high school.

Source: Goodreads

Originally the five girls had planned to go on a Europe trip together after graduation and the group was supposed to be held together by Kit, their common denominator. Only, Kit ends up not being able to come on the trip and so the other four have to make due. And it’s awkward at first because they want different things out of this trip; things that don’t always go hand in hand. And then two of the girls start hooking up with one another which doesn’t make anything easier.

I’ve done a version of this trip in the way that I went to Canada in 2012 with one friend and another friend of hers. Of course I knew my friend since we met studying abroad but I had only met her friend once but nevertheless we embarked upon our 8 hour flight and became fast friends. Four years later we still dream about going on vacation together again. It was one of my most favourite travel experiences. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I could relate to this story so much. It made me nostalgic to the point I messaged my former travelbuddyfriends immediately after finishing the book to tell them how much I missed our adventures together.

Another bonus of this book, it is mostly set in Europe and while I’ve been to some of their destinations, I haven’t been to them all but they still felt more familiar than most stories set in North America feel.

I did have my problems with the writing style at times. The story is told in alternating points of view and then in third person. It felt a bit odd to me and I can’t quite explain why. Also, I would have liked if the story would have focussed a bit more on the actual traveling. It is a heavily character driven story and not so much about the adventure/travel.

Of course my favourite character was Liza. She’s a runner who wants to quit competing and who recently came out to her parents. I felt right at home with Liza and Olivia’s characters.

All in all though, I enjoyed this book immensely even if it wasn’t as Australian as I’m used to through the Every series by Ellie Marney. I’m not sure if O’Beirne toned down the Aussie-isms for the mass market or not but I kind of missed it. What I forgot to mention is the diversity, at least two of the main characters have mixed raced parents and then of course there is the whole lesbianing thing which is how I got to this book in the first place.