The Time Of Her Life
Robb Forman Dew
Back Bay, 2003 (1984)
Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai
on't get me wrong, I did, on some level, enjoy reading
The Time Of Her Life
, despite finding it utterly sad. We are introduced to the Parks family - Claudia and Avery, who were childhood sweethearts, and their daughter, Jane, a sad eleven-year-old. Jane is a lonely child; she doesn't really fit in with her age group, although she does have one good friend, Diana, who lives across the meadow behind her house (Diana's family is very much more stable than Jane's, although Diana's mother Maggie has some
issues of her own.
or all their good intentions, neither Claudia nor Avery has a realistic relationship with their daughter - they both treat her as another adult in the household, and are unable to give her the parental support she craves. Jane is the constant witness to her parent's tantrums and fights, to her father leaving for days at a time, or to fleeing briefly with her mother while her father sleeps off his alcoholic stupor. Claudia and Avery's friends are concerned about their tumultuous relationship and its effect on young Jane.
very finally decides that he needs to remedy his destructive relationship with Claudia. He rents an apartment and moves out. Claudia is completely lost and goes into a kind of hibernation, not truly believing that Avery has gone. Jane at first seeks refuge with her friend, but gradually falls in on herself, becoming her mother's anchor during the crisis - but who is there for Jane? Neither parent seems to understand Jane's needs; she is a gifted violinist and finds her only solace in the music that she creates.
ven though all the characters in Robb Forman Dew's novel love each other, they are incapable of giving each other the emotional support necessary to thrive as a family unit, and each is scarred for life as a result.
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