For two traumatic days, Livvy Higgs is besieged by a series of small heart attacks while the ghost of her younger self leads her back through a past devastated by lies and secrets.
The story opens in Halifax in 2009, travels back to the French Shore of Newfoundland during the mid-thirties and the heyday of the Maritime shipping industry, makes its way to wartorn Halifax during the battle of the Atlantic in World War II, then leaps ahead to the bedside of the elder Livvy.
Caught between a troubled past, and her present and worsening living conditions, Livvy is forced to pick apart the lies and secrets told by her greedy, prideful father, Durwin Higgs, who judges her a failure, and her formidable Grandmother Creed, who has mysteriously aligned herself with Livvy’s father, despite their mutual hatred.
Tending to Livvy during her illness is her young next-door neighbour, Gen, a single mother, social-work student, and part-time drug dealer. Overnight, a violent scene embroils the two in each other’s lives in a manner that will entwine them forever. In The Deception of Livvy Higgs, the inimitable Morrissey has written a powerful tale, the Stone Angel of the East Coast. – Publishers Website
What a book ! Not sure what to expect at first when I received the email about this particular book. I actually had to stop and start a few times, just because of the nature of the book. I had to get my head right so to speak so that I could delve into Livvy’s mind and her past bringing together past and present into this fantastic piece of literary fiction.
Livvy is having dreams, but in actuality she is having mini heart attacks. She’s forgetting to go to the grocery store, feeding her cats, among other household chores. Her younger neighbour who is a student and single mother helps her from time to time, but Livvy doesn’t want to depend on her all the time. The dreams she is having have to do with her past – as a girl growing up in an upper class family where her father owns the general store – who decides if you are good enough for credit or not through the harsh winter months. As the past reaches into the present, Livvy and Gen her neighbour come to blows about an incident that happens. Will Livvy come to terms with her past, deal with it and live a calm existence in her last days? Or will Gen’s drama splinter that fragile relationship they have and drive them both on a path they aren’t meant to be on.
As both women go back and forth, it is almost a mirror image of the two in different times. Both have made mistakes in their younger years, Both have made sacrifices for the good and bad. Both have done things they aren’t proud of, but in the moment they did what they had to do to survive. As we all go through life, I know in my own there are things that I have done that I am not proud of because of circumstances, and things that have happened I didn’t wish on anyone, but I learned from them and the mistakes I have made. I cannot change any of it, but yet, if I could I don’t think I would. It gave me things to think about, situations that have made me a better person, and strengthened my reserve to make me a stronger person. In Livvy’s case, I believe that she needed to make amends for what she did so that she could finally let it go instead of hanging on to it for so long. In Gen’s case, I think she learns from Livvy and her mistakes in a way that she can avoid them in the future if that makes any sense. Both women are teaching and learning from one another, in different times if course, but the outcome and the lessons are still the same. Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?
Anger, Resentment, and hanging onto feelings for years or even decades isn’t good for you, come clean and be lifted of that weight to be able to be happy and free. Donna has written a fantastic piece of Literary Fiction that will become a Canadian Classic!
For more reviews and commentary, check out the others on tour with Donna’s book!
September 18 Luanne – http://luanne-abookwormsworld.blogspot.com/
September 19 Marci – http://serendipitous-readings.com/
September 20 Aislynn – http://www.stitchreadcook.com/
September 21 Nicole – http://www.nicoleabouttown.com/
September 24 Allison – http://bibliomama2.blogspot.com/