Eugenia Panisporchi, a thirty-three-year-old Chaucer professor who remembers all her past lives, is desperate to change her future. Born this time around into an Italian-American family so traditional that neither she nor any of her adult siblings have escaped their mother s tiny South Philly row home, Eugenia lives a simple life no love connection, no controversy, no complications. Her hope is that the Blessed Virgin Mary (who oversees her soul’s progress) will grant her heart’s desire, the option to choose the circumstances of her next life. But when a student reveals he shares her ability, Eugenia suddenly finds herself setting up a Facebook page and sponsoring a support group for others like her, an oddball odyssey, during which she discovers she must confront her current shortcomings before she can break the cycle and finally live the life of her dreams. A layered contemporary fable, Hindsight reminds us to live this life like it’s the only one we ll have.
As most of you know, I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the BookSparks 2016 Fall Reading Challenge. Today’s post is one of the December books on the list. The “Course Title” for this book is “Contemporary Fables”, and the Department is “Magical Realism”.
So with that description I’m sure you want to know what’s the book all about? Glad you asked.
The protagonist to this “fable” is Eugenia Panisporchi. She’s a 33-year old Chaucer professor and she isn’t quite like the rest of the world – she remembers all of her past lives and that makes her desperate to change her future. Once she realizes that she’s not the only person in the world with this ability, she begins to connect with others and then learns that she must address her current life shortcomings before she can ever stop the cycle of her repeated lives and live the life of her dreams.
Hindsight’s story is very face paced – in fact, I had to re-read the beginning to remember the characters because there were so many, so fast. Tarquini describes how the characters are and how they used to be. As a reader, I felt like I almost had to make a chart to keep track of the characters so that I’d remember which ones went with which life and story. (Of course, I also suffer from short term memory loss.)
The story is well written and the transitions between this world and past worlds are written very smoothly. In fact, it seems so effortlessly blended together that you almost miss it, so be careful when you’re reading this story. Once you realize how it’s written, Hindsight becomes a very enjoyable read. The story is also an important lesson in not expecting something in exchange for nothing. The author has done a great job leading us through the topic of reincarnation. I liked the book enough to look forward to Ms. Tarquini’s next book!
Raised by traditional people in a modern world, Mindy Tarquini is a second-generation Italian American who grew up believing dreams are prophecy, the devil steals lost objects, and an awkward glance can invite the evil eye.
She’s served as assistant editor with the Lascaux Review, also Spinetingler Magazine, and is a member of the Perley Station Writers’ Colony. Her work has won recognition from the Philadelphia City Paper, the Maui Writer’s Conference, and the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation.
A native Philadelphian, Ms. Tarquini packed up her pizza stone and westward-ho’d. She now resides in Phoenix, where she divides her time between writing and wrestling with her pasta maker.
She does not have hindsight.
I received a complimentary paperback copy of this book from the publishers and BookSparks as part of the Fall Reading Challenge 2016 (#FRC2016) in exchange for this post.