Suddenly – Bonnie Burnard

suddenlyHave you ever had those types of women group type relationships that have gone on for 20-30 years where you have shared everything?  This book is one of those types of books.

Three women friends have been best friends for the last 30 years, along with their husbands who just followed the status quo.

Dinner dates out together, summers on the beach at the cottage.  Going through all of life’s events as they come and go with time; – children, affairs, the differences of opinion along the way.  You and your girlfriends share everything even a catastrophic illness.

Through the entire book, which recounts many of the past and thoughts as she lay in her hospital bed dying through her journals she has kept over the many years are cathartic in a way.  She wonders if any of her children will read them and understand; or if more questions will be asked.

Through the entire book, as she recounts the many memories and the history of their relationships, what she did wrong, what happened the good times and bad, wanted me to be in the group as well.

It is or was for me a glimpse into a strong woman’s life, her friends, their spouses, and the trials and tribulations that came along with sharing, cajoling, and laughing their way through the years.

Will they survive after she is gone? Will they be able to move past their grief and begin to live again without her? Will her best friends want to read the journals before or after her children has taken the chance to read them?

I really liked this book.  With the autonomy, but yet the togetherness of the set of characters is one aspect that sets it apart.  The grief, the coming to terms with, the illness itself, that one overcame and beat but makes her succumb from all of the characters made them all take a look back on themselves and the events they all were together for, which sometimes wasn’t all great, but gave you time of thought and personal reflection that is not only relevant, but also worthy of discussion.

The author Bonnie Burnard was the Scotiabank Giller Prize winner for her bestselling book The Good House in 1999, and has won many other awards for her work.


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One thought on “Suddenly – Bonnie Burnard

  1. I didn’t love this one, unfortunately. It failed to “grab” me at any point- it was just such a sad story with and the author had such a “quiet” writing style. Not for me, but I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

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