by Sarah Belle
Summary: The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead...
Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in the year 1961.
Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.
As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.
Source: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
It has been ages since I’ve read any chick lit, but I’m reminded after reading Hindsight how much I enjoy it every once in a while. It seems I’m always reading British chick lit, and the lingo was much the same in Hindsight with it being set in Australia and from an Australian publisher, which was comfortable to me. I enjoyed the book quite a bit, though it had a slow start for me.
Juliette was a career woman completely focused on her job and her image and prancing around in heels that she can barely function in. I hated her. I thought she was shallow, petty, and completely oblivious to the world around her. At the same time, I felt bad for her because her life was falling apart due to her selfish decisions, but she had no idea how to stop making them.
After a particularly horrifying night, she drowned her misery in vodka and woke up with the worst hangover… until she opened her eyes and realized she wasn’t hung over at all. She was in 1961. She was married to the same man and had the same family, though with some slight changes. She was a 1960’s housewife. Unfortunately, Juliette didn’t arrive in her new life with the same set of skills, so she was diagnosed with amnesia after a fall and monitored closely by doctors, friends, and family. She needed help figuring out who unfamiliar people were, how to cook, clean, and function overall in the new environment without the luxury of technology or money, both of which ruled her life in the present.
Thought Juliette was horrible in her modern life, I enjoyed her humor after she woke up in 1961. Her language and terrible housekeeping skills were unfit for the times and she had a ton of things to adjust to. If she didn’t watch her language, she knew there was a strong possibility of being sent to the asylum, so she kept a lot of hilarious thoughts to herself and attempted to adjust. It was quite funny. She was still petty and ridiculous, but as she started to realize how hard it was to just be a housewife and mother, she gained a lot of respect for herself and others and stopped being petty and shallow.
I loved seeing Juliette’s transformation in the book. I wasn’t sure I was really connecting with her, but her and her story wormed their way into my heart and I ended up loving the book. The overall message to stop, pay attention to the people around you, and learn to love yourself and your family was amazing and well executed through Juliette’s adventure.
The entire time she was adjusting to life in 1961, she wondered what was happening with her modern life. Did time stop the minute she left or was it going on without her? How long would she be stuck in 1961? Was she really stuck at all or was this her place all along? I wondered if she’d get to go back and make things right and how on earth she would manage to do that if given the chance. I loved how the ending worked out.
One thing I appreciated about the story was the way it handled the issue of being a mom and a working woman. I was afraid of the messages it would convey and wondered if it would be pushing any kind of anti-feminist or feminist message or anything like that due to the fact that she ended up a time period where women really couldn’t do much else besides stay at home. Instead of making the reader choose between the two lifestyles, the message wasn’t about how staying home instead of working is the right thing to do always, but that it was the right thing to do for Juliette in her current situation, even temporarily, and there were very specific reasons for that.
I also love how the book dealt with self worth. Juliette was overcompensating in her modern life by overworking in an attempt to find self worth. In 1961, that wasn’t an option and she was forced to learn how to love herself and find value in the things she did. I think all women, and everyone else for that matter, struggle with that. While the expectations for men and women are different this day and age, there are expectations nonetheless and we struggle with whether or not we are doing what we are supposed to, how are we being defined, and how what we do defines us in ways we may not want.
I definitely recommend Hindsight to those who love chick lit or find themselves in the mood for a heartwarming story that’s also humorous. It was a great read and I will definitely read more from the author in the future!
Hindsight is currently only $1.99 for Kindle. It's a great summer/beach read, so grab a copy!