Hattie: A Novel
Anna Bozena Bowen
Small Batch Books (2012)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (11/12)
If you are looking for a cheerful holiday book, you might want to pass over Anna Bozena Bowen’s “Hattie.” Actually, in that case you definitely should. On the other hand, if you are looking for a book that will make you think, cry, and feel completely, and incredibly alive, you owe it to yourself to pick this one up. And you better make sure that you have an ample supply of Kleenex ready, as well as a big pot of whatever your favorite warm beverage happens to be. Curl up in your most loved reading spot and get ready to meet Hattie. And also get ready for her staying in your life long after you turn that last page.
“Hattie” is the story of one woman’s long struggle for... well, everything. Starting with the end, namely the end of her life, Hattie reveals her innermost self to the reader. If you ever wondered how one could go on living after something really bad happens, Hattie just might have the answer for you. She will teach you how to be brave, how to be vulnerable, how to learn to trust again, and how to cope with loss - again and again. She will show you what really matters, and how true love does change things in the most profound way. She will also teach you that life is not fair, never was, and never will be. And yes, bad things do happen to good people. All that we truly have is the choice of how we deal with that, and whether we will forgive others – and ourselves.
Beautifully written, with a very strong and individual voice, “Hattie” by Anna Bozena Bowen is an unusually heartfelt book. It is sparse, but not cold. Achingly painful, incredibly courageous, at times nearly mystical, and decidedly spiritual, this is one narrative that you will not soon forget.