I do not exactly know what I expected, but this was not it. I expected way too much from this story. The story focuses on the lives of two elderly women from different worlds who happen to be neighbours that are not particularly fond with each other.
Marion was an architect who married a man who made questionable financial decisions that eventually led to him leaving her with the inheritance of bankruptcy. She is also the mother of 4 children of which none of them seem taken with her, and a grandmother of two. Her closest friend arguably is a dog.
Hortensia, who also happens to be my favourite character was a designer who made bank with her art. She also happens to have a feisty personality and never misses a chance to throw a good comeback at whoever is within her space; a shady queen of comebacks. She invades and takes up spaces where she might otherwise not be welcome and she makes it a point to excel in those spaces.
It is important to note that Marion is a white woman and Hortensia black, as the author addresses race dynamics through the interactions of the two women, their house helps and a special shout to Marion’s grandchild who didn’t miss a beat in pointing out her grandmother’s racist tendencies. Needless to say, Marion was one of those racists that thought, “hey if I don’t acknowledge the racism it magically seizes to exist.”
I love that both these women were successful in their respective careers and the author also in their history, outlines that the partner you chose inevitably alters your life. For instance, Marion’s marriage regardless of how successful she had been in her career led to her being a bankrupt pensioner. Hortensia on the other hand was more selfish where her career was concerned which she believes caused tension in her marriage as her partner did not fully understand her passion, and she ended up loathing her marriage. She loved her partner but hated the marriage.
Life has a funny way of bringing us together, and so it was that life brought these two women together.