Title: 100 Years of Ermintrude
Author: Tom Evans
Format: ebook from publisher for review
Rating: 3/5 stars
A woman's entire life told in one book consisting of 33 stanzas, Tom Evans' 100 Years of Ermintude tries to be the touching and heart-felt life story of Ermintrude. The idea, however, just doesn't come off quite as well as I think the author intends it to.
Ermintrude's life story is told backwards, from her 100th birthday going back. Each major life happening (her husband's death, her daughter's breast cancer, her gay son's wedding) is told through a stanza. While this seems like it could be a unique way in telling a life story, and it is, I think it's due to the forced nature of some of the rhymes that the story looses it's strength; the story doesn't flow as naturally as it should. It's a strong story told through a medium that just doesn't seem to hit it's stride.
Flaws aside, 100 Years of Ermintrude is still an interesting character study. Ermintrude comes across as a feisty, determined person, the type whom old age has snuck up on and they aren't ready for it. Throughout her life, she seems to have stood strong and accepted what life has handed her and moved forward. That is a point that I must emphasize. Even though Evans tells Ermintrude's story in reverse, you can still see how she has moved forward in her life. The story telling process creates an interesting contrast in seeing how Ermintrude's life has progressed while we are watching her grow younger.