I have just finished reading the novel Vintage Red by Michael Judge.
The introductory blurb says : “Racy, blackly comic; laced with wit, both dry and expansive; wicked ear for dialogue; cuts through to the bone, exposing venality of church and state – just a sample of the praise that greeted the arrival of this impressive first novel.” and “An original new voice and a breathtaking achievement”.
The story tells the story of a property magnate who finds after his wife’s death that she lead a disturbing life that he knew nothing about. Throughout the book we read about this other life and also about the husband’s domestic failings, his public amorality and his personal hypocrisy.
We learn how the wife meets a shy school teacher one afternoon and her life changes dramatically. But because of her upbringing and Catholic religion, she will not leave her husband even though she has found a man to give her the love and affection withheld from her by her husband.
In many ways this is a story that has been told so many times already and there are no great surprises in it.
I am not sure that I would recommend it. At times it dragged and I found the long passages that concentrated on the husband’s shoddy dealings both personally and professionally rather boring.
BUT the point of this blog is to say that this first novel was published when the author was eighty-three years old. Since then he has had two further novels published to great acclaim.
We know that it is never too late to achieve what we want, and doesn’t this prove it? So what would you really like to do that you have said ‘Oh well, it’s too late now” or “I’m far too old for that”.
spoken about drawn your attention to people in their 80s and 90s achieving great feats of physical endurance; those elders who have achieved university degrees; those who have taken off to live in a different culture away from friends and family.
What have you been putting off because you thought you were too old? Today really is the first day of the rest of our lives. And we don’t know how many more we will have. This was brought home to me when my husband died suddenly.
So start that novel, write your poem, your life story or whatever; book that parachute jump or deep-sea dive, call the travel agent and go and explore that different country.
Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.