She Could Not Be Her Without You

I have found that I enjoy Alexandra Potter as an author.

I love Jane Austen books. For Christmas this past year my mother gave me Me and Mr. Darcy simply because of the title character. This was a very enjoyable read, so when I saw a new Alexandra Potter book sitting on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, I had to have it. The book was The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather.

In the two books that I have read by her, Potter likes to leave certain decisions up to the reader. She presents evidence that could support two eventualities and leaves the reader to decide what really occurred. (I must admit, I do not always opt for the more logical explanation.)

In The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather, Charlotte Merryweather encounters herself…from ten years ago. She has always thought of things she would change if she had the chance and her best friend, Vanessa, even has her two cents to add about what she would tell a younger version of herself if that kind of thing were possible.

Charlotte attempts to make the most of this opportunity even though she cannot understand why it is occurring. Her main goal, she believes, is to stop her younger self, Lottie – as she went by then, from getting her heart broken by some slimy English man in leather pants. Charlotte later learns that what she believed to be a success was not really. Even though she thought she had foiled the hook-up, Lottie had gone back later and gone through with the interlude anyway.

Watching herself cry after suffering heartbreak at the hands of the rocker, she realizes that she was not actually trying to save herself from this heartbreak. The actions of that night had led her on a slow, downward spiral toward what she is today. Subconsciously, she was trying to avoid this because she was not happy with who she had become.

It is only after this realization that she comes to change herself and become the heroine the readers knew she could become. So herein lies the question. Even if it were possible to interact with and warn a younger version of yourself as to what the older, wiser version of yourself knew as true, would it do any good? Would you listen to yourself? Would you think that you were crazy? Even if you tried to change, would it make a difference?

Charlotte tried to change her past, but her younger self was too headstrong and stubborn. Or was that really the case? Maybe everything that happens to a person, good or bad, is meant to happen in order to create the person they are supposed to be.

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