Friday, April 27, 2012

Chance, Fate, Destiny, etc.

Our NI2 class recently read David Hill's novel Matter of Chance which tells of an English couple, Paul and Jacqui, who leave their homeland to settle in Como, northern Italy. They have no sooner begun their new life in this quaint little town, when Jacqui is killed by a roof tile which comes loose and falls, hitting her in the head. She died instantly, Paul tells us, but he lives on unable to overcome the loss. In fact, you could say the book is about loss and recovery, mourning and moving on.
Many students criticized Paul's decision to take up a new relationship with Sandra, his Italian workmate, only four months after losing his wife. The relationship leads Paul into a world of intrigue and deceit from which he almost cannot escape.
I enjoyed all the students essays about Italian life and also the imaginary letters to Paul. In terms of favorite characters, many chose Sandra as a strong, independent woman. Others felt that Paul was the true hero who could endure such loss and soldier on. 
Josefina chose the roof tile as her favorite character because "a simple thing can chance people's fate forever." 

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