A musician’s instrument is broken. He walks to the shop to buy a new one, but each one he tries sounds wrong. He travels across the country to buy another one, but when he comes home it still does not sound right. So he decides to die.
Chicken with plums takes place in the eight days were he is waiting to die. He stays in bed thinking over his life, as his children, wife and family visit him to try to talk to him. Nothing tastes right anymore. Even his favorite dish, chicken with plums, is like chalk in his mouth. In those eight days we look back across his life and slowly we begin to uncover the pieces that made the man, and unmade him as well.
Still Chicken with Plums is a beautiful little story about how we create our own lives. The choices we make in life matter and our reacts to events matter. Having a core narrative in life can make us stronger, but it can also break us.
Chicken with Plums is not a happy book – still, it gives us enough sweetness, enough extra details that even though it concludes with a man breaking, it still left me with hope that one need not necessarily break, we can react to that brokenness and make new stories to build our lives on. Life can be more than one love and we can decide to alway appreciate someone serving us chicken with plums – even if they never make it exactly like your mother made it. It can still be enough.