Pleat’s debut memoir is a love story and tribute to her faith, prayer and God.
Everyone has a story to tell. Pleat chronicles meeting her “soul mate” when she was 55, marrying him seven months later. To her surprise, her future husband and she worked at the same school on Long Island for years but had nothing more than a formal relationship until Irv Pleat asked her to accompany him to the school’s senior prom. “[H]e was a gentleman; I respected him. I can’t explain or give any rational reason as to why I responded to Mr. Pleat as I did; I can only report what I did, not why I did it,” she writes. And therein is the problem with this section and many others. The author often doesn’t achieve the all-important balance between showing the reader her feelings and simply recounting them or not explaining them at all. When Irv suffers a subdural hematoma and, after brain surgery, remains in a coma for 10 days before a long but eventual recovery, Pleat recounts her life pre-marriage; she’d always had faith that God would one day lead her to lasting love: “God’s time and answer weren’t under my control. That’s what makes the Lord’s miracles so overwhelmingly beautiful.” The author reminisces about her previous boyfriends, her role as director of school plays and the full life she led as a single woman. During summer vacations, Pleat and her mother had traveled in Europe. The litany of these experiences reads not like an engaging travelogue but rather a series of trips that leaves the reader wanting more details and feelings. During a three-day pilgrimage to Lough Derg, the sanctuary of St. Patrick, Pleat and the others ate little food, didn’t talk and had little sleep. What was it like? Pleat doesn’t explain, and as a result, readers may lose interest.
An unusual life told rather than reimagined.