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A Lifetime of Impossible Days

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  445 ratings  ·  146 reviews
‘Every so often a book comes along that reaffirms the glory and beauty of life. Tabitha Bird has gifted us this wonder’ Cass Moriarty

Meet Willa Waters, aged 8 . . . 33 . . . and 93.

On one impossible day in 1965, eight-year-old Willa receives a mysterious box containing a jar of water and the instruction: ‘One ocean: plant in the backyard.’ So she does - and somehow creates
Kindle Edition, 390 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Penguin eBooks
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Rikki Hill They visited Seb's grave.
Lottie survived but still had issues to deal with.

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Average rating 4.24  · 
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Veronica ⭐️
5 heart-wrenching stars
This book grabbed my heart and squeezed until I couldn't breathe

Willa age 8 is a gumboot wearing, storytelling ball of energy. She is also the protector of her little sister Lottie

Willa age 33 is broken, a mother of two small boys, she scrubs and cleans until her home is spotless but still she feels worthless, a failure.

Willa age 93 is a gumboot wearing old lady full of sass and cheek. She is in the throes of dementia and keeps a notebook listing all the important things

After reading a review for this book I really liked the sound of it, although it’s not a genre that I enjoy reading. So I must confess when the author so kindly mailed me a copy of this book I was really worried and in fact I’d convinced myself I was not going to like it as I just can’t get into fantasy or magical realism stories. And then I put off reading this book for many weeks after receiving it, but I knew I needed to get it read so I could review it for the author and for other
Firstly, I have to say what a beautiful cover this book has! And how utterly enchanting the story is

In 1965 Willa Waters was a precocious eight-year-old, trying to keep her four-year-old sister Lottie safe. In 1990 Willa Waters was a thirty-three-year-old mother of two with a loving husband – but this Willa couldn’t let go of the past that continued to hold her in its memories. And in 2050 Willa Waters was a ninety-three-year-old woman who was being taken over by dementia; didn’t want to go
Tabitha Bird
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
Well, I am the author so of course I've read it and can't wait for you to read it too!

I sincerely hope that readers embrace the Willas. They can't wait to meet you! They are very nervous, all three of them, but I have had a good talk to them all and we are mostly calm and ready to go. Oh, who are we kidding? We are all a ball of gumboot-tapping nervous energy, but so very keen to meet the readers none the less.

Eight-year-old Super gumboots Willa is especially excited. She's got her bravest red
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Jam drops, gumboots, a mango tree and a magic box containing a jar of water are just some of the objects that play an integral role in the Tabitha Bird’s debut novel, A Lifetime of Impossible Days. A book about life, love, family, memories, choices and chances, this magical novel will enchant you from beginning to end, as you come to embrace the three beautiful souls who define the very being of this novel.

Beginning in the year 1965, with an eight year old
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

**4.5 stars**

A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird. (2019).

Willa is 8 in 1965 when she receives a mysterious box containing a jar of water and instructions: "one ocean: plant in the backyard". When she does, she creates a time slip to meet her future selves...
Willa is 33 in 1990 and a mother-of-two when her childhood self appears in her backyard. She's haunted by her dark past and on the brink of tragic decision...
Willa is 93
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
“I'm trying to think of something snarky to say to you, Katie. But at my age it might take a while and I haven't the time. Think of it yourself and pretend I said it.”

A Lifetime of Impossible Days is the first novel of Australian author, Tabitha Ann Bird. Impossible things keep happening to Willa Grace Waters. They are happening in 1965 to eight-year-old Willa in an ugly, leaky-roofed tin shack In Boonah where she lives with Mummy and Daddy and her little sister, Lottie.

They are happening in
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My goodness this is such is beautiful book full of hope, redemption and learning to love yourself.

The synopsis covers this book perfectly and the alternating chapters of the three Willa’s: Super Gumboots Willa age 8, Middle Willa age 33, and Silver Willa age 90, work seamlessly together.
At first I wondered where the story was going and how it would work but about a third of the way through something clicked. I imagined layer upon layer of story, with each chapter revealing a new snippet, so at
Theresa Smith
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
‘We are all the ages we have ever been. We carry around our trauma. And if we have unfinished business at one of those ages we can’t move on to have a healthy adult life.’

A Lifetime of Impossible Days is a novel that has been popping up in my social media feeds with five stars ever since its release last week. It’s a story about childhood trauma, its lingering effects, and the possibility of healing. However, it tells this story in a very different and somewhat strangely wonderful manner. A
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
A Lifetime of Impossible Days is an impossibly enchanting debut from Tabitha Bird.

Silver Willa is 93 when she insists that her carer takes her into town on the first of June 2050 to post two Very Important Boxes.
Middle Willa is 33 years old when she receives a collection slip from the post office that she has every intention of ignoring.
Super Gumboots Willa is 8 years old when she finds a battered box, inside is a jar of water, accompanied by a note that says: 'One ocean: plant in the
I have just finished a story that has touched my heart and soul so deeply. I cried bucket loads for nearly half the book, and I can't stop crying. It's not all sad crying, there's healing in these tears, healing, happiness and hope. I moved from one emotion to the next, on to the next, and found I couldn't and didn't want to put the book down.

"Grammy doesn't wipe my face, but she moves her chair closer. She says you shouldn't wipe people's tears away because they have the right to cry them.
Stephen Kerwin
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
I’ve been waiting for A Lifetime Of Impossible Days to be released ever since I first heard about it. I know the author, Tabitha Bird, as we both live in the same town the book is set in. In the past, I’ve visited Tabitha’s web page and read her blog. It was through this blog that I got a sense of her talent in putting words together and through these words, I felt the abuse and trauma that have visited her during her lifetime, but also the love she has for her family and the strength of ...more
Cass Moriarty
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every so often, a book comes along that reaffirms the glory and beauty of life. Tabitha Bird has gifted us this wonder in the pages of her debut novel, A Lifetime of Impossible Days (Penguin Random House 2019). This story is a fantastical mix of literary fiction and magical realism. As readers, we are asked to suspend our disbelief from the very first pages as we embark on a journey that is both deeply rooted in trauma but also firmly attached to the healing power of love, truth and ...more
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On all my bookclub feeds lately, Lifetime of Impossible Days is popping up everywhere! So I didn’t even look to see what it was about really. Started reading and was a tad confused until I read the blurb on the back and saw it is a time slip book. That then made a bit more sense to me! Willa time -travels between 3 stages of her life, 8 year old Super Gumboots Willa, Middle Willa and Silver Willa. It’s a story about childhood trauma and healing. Cups of tea and jam drops. The writing is so ...more
Tracey (Life and Literature)
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love when you get to the end of a book and you ended up getting so much more than what you expected when you first started reading. What a beautifully written book.

A Lifetime of Impossible Days is such a magical read. 8 year old Willa receives a mysterious box in the post with the instructions to plant the contained jar of water in the backyard. By doing so Willa creates the ability to slip into the future to visit herself at the ages of 33 and 93.

And that's where things went beyond the
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gifted, first-reads
A Lifetime of Impossible Days is a beautiful, deeply moving, heart-twanging debut, depicting a woman at three crucial stages of life and she grapples with past trauma and deep-rooted guilt. It's the sort of story that tears you open, and leaves you crying the right kind of tears. A dose of whimsy and magic makes the difficult core something readers can access, but it is still a confronting read at times. Readers should note triggers for child sexual abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence, ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A poignant, clever, and amaze-a-loo debut about family, trauma and resilience sprinkled with moments of hope. So many ways to interpret Willa's intersecting timelines and each is handled with care.

Highly recommended as a book club read - we chose it for ours and had so much to chat about.
Jodie (Sunshinejode) W
Sometimes a book comes along that gives you all the feels and you connect to it on such an emotional level as I did with “A Lifetime of Impossible Days” debut novel for Tabitha Bird. There were tears, moments I held my breath, times I just stopped and paused and bouts of sadness for the Willa’s. This book is truly a gift, one that weaves a unique storyline that you just get caught up in, as you enter a magical world with a time slip.
We are introduced to Silver Willa first from the year 2050 a
Tracey Anderson
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The cover is what drew me to this wonderfully enchanting book. I've never read anything quite like it before, and I doubt I will read anything like it again. That this could be a debut novel is amazing. From 1965 to 2050 I loved all three stages of Willa. They all broke my heart at various stages, but silver Willa and Super Gumboots Willa were the ones who stood out. It would take all three of them to fix what was broken. You can't change the past but maybe you can fix the future. Amaze-a-loo.
I wanted to love this as I love the cover and my brother has a house in Boonah, but I didn't really get it.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was definitely one to be read slowly and savoured and not a book to be rushed through. It tells the story of Willa at three stages of her life (8, 33 and 93). Each of these three Willas is able to visit the other using a jam jar that creates a magic ocean in the garden.

I wasn't sure when I started reading whether the book would really be about time travel or whether it was about mental illness and one Willa was imagining the other two. I found the book a bit slow when the
Chapter Ichi
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever picked up a novel that is completely different to what you expected?

This novel delivers raw emotion and explores confronting themes, along with issues experienced in everyday human life.

The story follows Willa. It follows Willa at age 8, 33 and 93. My favourite Willa is 93 year old Willa, who provides comedic relief at times when 33 year old Willa is faced with the darkest memories of her past. This gumboots collecting Willa had me laughing and wishing I could sit and have tea and
Emily Maree
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
'A courageous and magical debut novel that reminds us that while we can’t change events from our past, we do have the power to change the story we tell ourselves about them.'

I just finished this story and I already miss the Willas.

The way Tabitha has wrote this book is so clever and beautiful. She changes her writing style to fit the age of the Willa who is currently telling the story and to me I just think that is so clever and it really gave you a better view on the personalities of 'each'
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ARC provided by Penguin Random House Australia via Harry Hartog Booksellers for an honest review.

9/10 My favourite homegrown read of the year, and my is she amaze-a-loo! This debut novel whisked my heart away by complete surprise, and I’m so delighted to have had a glimpse into the whimsical lives of Willa. Tabitha Bird sensitively navigates family trauma through the unravelling of a quirky tale of a woman trying to understand herself and her history of abuse. With a setting that often reminded
Hannah p
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A courageous and magical story. Took me a little longer to get through this book although it is certainly one to take in slowly.
Not my favourite of the year, regardless the ‘three Willas’ are characters who you become quickly attached to.
Jenny (Bookbookowl)
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of A Lifetime of Impossible Days for review!

Willa Waters is 93 years old and her memory isn’t what it used to be. But she’s been writing down Things She Knows For Sure in a notebook, so she knows she must post two very important parcels on a specific date, and stay out of the nursing home. Because note one and two tell her so.

Willa is 8 years old and desperately trying to protect her sister and herself, in a household where she never knows
Veronica Strachan
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully crafted and poignant tale of loss, betrayal, healing and redemption.
The job of a good story is to make you feel, and Bird has most certainly done that with her tale of Willa Waters. I love how seamlessly magic slips into the words so that the focus stays on the three Willa's as they discover and rediscover what's important in their life.
And it's always lovely to see an Australia that I know on the page - sadly without the magic.
This is a fabulous read, highly recommend it.
Natalie Murray
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so wonderful, and unlike anything I've ever read. It's a brilliantly executed time-slippy work of literary fiction, and writing it must have felt like a lifetime of impossible days at times! The end result of what was surely a slippery puzzle to master is a seamless journey through, to, and from the life of one woman, as told through her 8, 33 and 93 year-old selves who get to meet each other and hang out (how cool is that!). It's full of gorgeous and succinct observations such as: ...more
Amber B
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heartwarming and heartbreaking story about Willa Waters told through her eyes at ages 8, 33 and 93. Tabitha Bird’s debut novel is stunning both on the outside as well as the inside. It’s a story of new beginnings, lessons in trust, healing and most importantly learning to love yourself. Life is feeling pretty lonely now without the Willa’s keeping me company. Ow I’m off to buy a mango tree, bake some jam drops, go shopping online for gumboots and planting an ocean. Do yourself a favour and ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful, exquisite and emotionally evocative story. Tabitha Bird cleverly entangles us with her powerful imagery, delightful words and humour. You can't help but embrace and love the Willas. A MUST read. I loved and adored this book!!
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In a bayside suburb of Queensland, Australia, Tabitha Bird grew up in a garden. It wasn’t much of a garden, but she told stories to ferns and weeds alike and gave herself something to hope in that was bigger than she was. Eventually, she had to leave the garden and do responsible things like grow up. When her own children came along she read stories with gumption and wild joy and got to thinking ...more