Sweet Misfortune was our recent book club selection. Ponder the idea of defining moments in our lives. How much do they define us? How great is their influence?
In the case of Sophie Jones, the answer is “quite a bit.”
A birthday, a fortune cookie, and a devastating car crash for which she blamed herself. These are the events that set things in motion.
Few of us will ever experience anything as cataclysmic as this, but I still found myself getting impatient with Sophie at the beginning. She is grown now, owner of a successful business, even loved by those in her inner circle, but she is bitter. The accident of her childhood did not leave her physically impaired, but it has scarred her emotionally. She is cynical, mistrusting, and fatalistic.
As I said, I have little patience with bitter and negative people, because I do feel that we all have the power to make our lives better. Perhaps this shows lack of compassion on my part, but too often I have seen people use their past as an excuse to be rude or act entitled. Sophie does not subscribe to this way of thinking. My only hope as I continued reading was that her life, and therefore, her mood, would improve.
In her case, the key was closure. Several people were involved in that multi-car accident when she was a child. Others died besides her family. It affected many for the long term, forcing them to make the same life decision–how much would they let that night define them? Would they take power over the event, or let it take power over them?
As the story unfolds, and of course I don’t want to add any major spoilers, Sophie takes a journey back in time to piece together what happened that night and what has become of the other families. Some things are slightly predictable, some are surprising, all lead her to new conclusions about her life, her future, and who she is going to keep close.
I would recommend this book. It is light reading and, happily, without any offensive language or scenes. The idea of “Happiness” and its meaning is a recurring theme, which makes the reader start to think, “How would I define Happiness?” “By events? Feelings? Faith? Relationships?”
A quick read with a good message.