An Invitation to Die (Paperback)
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Jovanka's comfortable life comes to an abrupt end as her husband of twenty-five years casually suggests a marital breakup. The ensuing crisis is intensified by the fact that she is an older woman in her late fifties-hence doubly affected by a divorce. To her, this is her husband's "invitation to die." Thus begins the painful account of Jovanka's life and her struggle to survive as she attempts to put her life together. She seeks consolation in friends but finds only indifference, visits a prayer group meeting and finds the experience less than uplifting, attends a series of group encounters, and experiences a short-lived camaraderie. She checks herself into a mental institution to escape the pressures of the real world but finds that there is no cure for what ails her. She leaves town temporarily and even attempts to learn new marketable skills. She contacts old friends but finds only disappointment and rejection. Finally, she decides to break away, not via an institution or a temporary flight, but by leaving the familiar surroundings that had become a hostile ground. Only by burning her bridges behind her can she hope to rebuild her shattered life. The author's incisive portrayal of the characters makes them real as life, while the role of women in our society is being scrutinized-from the self-effacing housewife to the egocentric lesbian. The book reaches an unexpected climax as Jovanka defines her life in straightforward terms. With extraordinary skill, Ms. Brumlik has created characters as vivid and real as life itself. The dialogue is sharp, and every reader will be fascinated with the spellbinding drama of a life in turmoil.