Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Age of Hope

Born in 1930 in a small town outside Winnipeg, beautiful Hope Koop appears destined to have a conventional life. Church, marriage to a steady young man, children-her fortunes are already laid out for her, as are the shiny modern appliances in her new home. All she has to do is stay with Roy, who loves her. But as the decades unfold, what seems to be a safe, predictable existence overwhelms Hope. Where-among the demands of her children, the expectations of her husband and the challenges of her best friend, Emily, who has just read The Feminine Mystique-is there room for her? And just who is she anyway? A wife, a mother, a woman whose life is somehow unrealized? This beautifully crafted and perceptive work of fiction spans some fifty years of Hope Koop's life in the second half of the 20th century, from traditionalism to feminism and beyond. David Bergen has created an indelible portrait of a seemingly ordinary woman who struggles to accept herself as she is, and in so doing becomes unique.
Hope is a woman living through years of the Women's Liberation movement in Manitoba.  She questions herself, as a woman, a daughter, wife and a mother.  She wonders if there's more to life than what she experiences everyday. She loves her children, even though at times she doesn't recognize them (especially during the teenage years), she loves her husband, but is that enough.

I was pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoyed this book.  For some reason I was expecting something darker.  Yes, there are turmoils in Hope's life, depression, there's a breakdown that leaves her hospitalized, a bankruptcy and a run in with a religious cult. I found it understandable her envious feelings towards her teenage daughters, the freedom they had in comparison to her...she just couldn't pick up and leave.  I found those emotions believable and real.  I guess you can call this book, a real life novel. I enjoyed how well the book flowed, it didn't have any plot hiccups in my opinion.

I'm looking forward to reading more books by David Bergen. 

The Age of Hope by David Bergen (4/5) General Fiction; Published: Phyllis Bruce Book (2012); New Author; Canada Reads 2013 (3); Library; Books 2013 (3) 

No comments: