If, at the end of your life, you got to pick one day to relive, what day would you pick?
Walter Zawislak wants none of it. Not a day to relive, not a trip down memory lane through a life he wasted. His wife, Rosie, died twenty years ago, and without her he hasn’t done much living. So if it’s lights out for him, then just turn them off already and let him get some peace and quiet.
But Peter, the mysterious young man in charge of Walter’s afterlife, isn’t listening to Walter. In Peter’s eyes there is beauty in every day, even the bad ones. Even the really bad ones. Of which Water has had more than a few. But there are also days of bravery and heroism. Selflessness and grace.
And Rosie…there are lots of days of Rosie.
Before it’s too late for both of them, Peter has to remind Walter that there’s more to life than dying.
I still can’t believe that this book was as short as it was, because OMG there was so much emotion packed into those pages! Walter and Peter (his guide? handler? manager?) take readers on one heck of a ride here as Peter tries to prod Walter into picking his one day. The problem? Walter’s convinced he doesn’t deserve a day. In fact, he’s sure that all of the “suggested” days that Peter has in Walt’s file are busts–they’re not what they appear to be on the surface. And to an extent, he’s right.
Take an easy example: according to Peter, a lot of decorated war heroes choose the day they earned their honors as their day to relive. But for Walter that was a day of agony and confusion with absolutely nothing he wanted to experience again (and we do relive a bit of it with him–it’s just about as horrible as you think). Every day that Peter tries to nudge Walter toward seems to have bad connotations for Walter.
Or do they?
With Peter’s help, Walter’s able to see aspects of his days, his relationships, and his life that he wasn’t aware of before. Soon he’s seeing things with new eyes.
But is it enough to change Walter’s perception of himself and of his life? What day will be pick, and what will that experience mean for him going forward?
What “forward” is there for Walter?
To find out, you’re going to have to read Walter’s (and, eventually–Rosie’s!) story for yourself. Just make sure you have A LOT of tissues handy, because you’re going to need them. 🙂
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.