BY CATHERINE MAVEN – I can’t believe I actually DOWNLOADED this book onto my Kindle – it looks like the kind of romantic claptrap that I’m ALLERGIC to. So you might be surprised to find out that right after I finished reading it, I BOUGHT the hardcover book! (And this, despite the fact that I have downsized my library until I only own about twenty books.)
The thing is, the main story is NOT why I LOVE this book! Wait. Let me back up. MfB is about a young woman (Marnie MacGraw) who gets married and then separates two weeks later, is distraught and disillusioned, and then finds out that a woman she only met once – the great aunt of her so-recently-ex husband – has left her her house in her will. There are lots of quirky, interesting characters, including a child and a dog! – and even the possibility of another love.
Not bad, an easy read, and not totally predictable. But what I LOVE about this book is the great aunt who passes away in the course of the book – Blix. Blix is an AMAZING character – a role model for how *I* want to be when I get old(er)!
Blix loves life – and has opened her house to people who need her (whether they know it or not!) She is a “matchmaker” – she sees auras around people that tell her when two people should be together. Honestly, I could do without this part. But the LOVE Blix brings to her world, her acceptance of the crazy, chaotic nature of reality, and the FAITH she has in the people around her – are inspiring. Blix is what you’d get if your Fairy Godmother grew up in New York. She’s down to earth, funny, and loving without being soppy-sentimental.
One of the things I love about Blix is she never stops loving life. Once she knows she’s dying, she decides to throw herself an Irish WAKE – a “Blix Out”. She says, “I want us all to hold each other’s hands and dance in a conga line. It’s been too long since I had a conga line.” She names her cancer “Cassandra” so she can make peace with her and not fear her. When someone expresses sympathy for her having cancer, she says, “We’re all broken … And we still have to dance.”
Starting to feel my age, I can imagine a time when my own days are growing shorter – when my autumn is turning to winter – when my own heart is winding down until it can’t be started again. I hope I can face the end with the same JOIE DE VIVRE – and the same GENEROSITY of spirit – as Blix.
I bought this book to remind me of who I want to be – every day, for the rest of my life. As she’s being helped up the stairs, as she’s dying, Blix says, “I stop when I need to, which is about a million times, because this may be my last look at this beautiful scene, at my life here that I have loved with all my heart.”
I am Blixed-out by this novel!