Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book: We all want impossible things (February 2023) – Athenaeum Book Club 2023

By Catherine Newman

February 28, 2023

Edi wants an obscure Italian lemon cake.

Ash wants hot sex in a cupboard.

Edi wants to see the stars.

They both want the woman down the hallway to stop singing Fiddler on the Roof.

Edi wants time to go backwards.

And Ash?
Ash just wants a miracle…

Edi and Ash have been best friends for over forty years.  Since childhood they have seen each other through life’s milestones: stealing vodka from their parents, the Madonna phase, REM concerts, unexpected wakes, marriage, children, break-ups and breakdowns.  As Ash notes, ‘Edi’s memory is like the back-up hard drive for mine.’

So when Edi is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Ash’s world reshapes around the rhythms of Edi’s care, from chipped ice and watermelon cubes to weird music therapy; from snack smuggling to impromptu excursions into the frozen winter night.  Because life is about squeezing the joy out of every moment, about building a powerhouse of memories, about learning when to hold on, and when to let go.


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