Deja Vu by Susan Fraser is the story of an Australian woman who lives and loves France. As an Australian, I usually love reading Australian authors because of the familiarity of the setting, and the joy of authors expressing their love for Australia and Australians. This is probably a little bit of showing off to the rest of the world – look at us, aren’t we great, how lucky are we to be Australian, etc. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to skite (I don’t know the French word for showing off, but ‘skite’ is the Australian version).
I didn’t get to experience this sense of pride in my country with Deja Vu, because the heroine, Annie, is a Francophile. Annie loves Australia too, but this is the story of an Australian woman who is married to a French man and living in France.
Regardless of my expectations not being met in the setting of this book, I did enjoy the story. The plot is quite clever. To summarise, Annie and her husbanc Marc, who have just decided to separate, are killed in a car crash leaving their son Charlie an orphan.
You would expect that to be the end of Annie and Marc’s story, but if you thought that you would be wrong. So, what do you think happens when you die?
Heaven? Not in this story.
Hell or limbo? No. not even close.
Dead, done, finished? No.
When they die, Annie and Marc find themselves transported back in time fifteen years to their first meeting, with all of their memories of the fifteen years they have already lived together intact.
To further complicate their lives, things are different on their first meeting. This time around, Annie learns that Marc was (is?) still living with his old girlfriend when they met, something she never knew. Annie then learns that Marc had an affair with someone in their future, which hasn’t actually happened yet. Not surprisingly, Annie finds it every hard to forgive Marc for his future sins. Annie had secrets of her own, and Marc didn’t like them much better than Annie liked his secrets.
I won’t give away how this novel ends, but can recommend Deja Vu as a light, enjoyable read.
The plot got me thinking about what I would change in my own life if I could go back in time. Without going into too much personal detail, some of my stupidest mistakes have worked out quite well. Some of my mistakes have been completely life changing and how I dealt with the fall out have made me who I am today.
So, would I change any of these mistakes?
I would change little stuff though. If I could go back 15 years I would stay out of the sun, and wear a hat and sun cream every time I went outside. I would take better care of some friendships which have fallen by the wayside. I would ignore things that I know now are unimportant (stuff like cleaning the house and worrying about what other people think). I would spend more time having fun with family and friends.
I would buy shares in Australian banks and know my financial future was taken care of.