Author Interview: Elora Canne

  1. How did you come up with the title for your book?

En Route suggests moving towards a destination, and the subtitle, The Best Is Yet To Be, indicates that better things are to come. It is a line from the poem by Robert Browning, and the line that stopped me in my tracks goes like this, Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be. It’s about never giving up and about getting through the hard times, for better times ahead.

  • Why did you choose to write your memoir?

In the writing of En Route, I gave my all. On some days I had to go for long walks after writing certain passages just to calm my high emotions. For this reason I can truthfully say, I wrote my memoir so that others like me, people-pleasers, reserved personalities and conformists could find their voice and the courage to speak up, speak out and speak their truth.

  • How did you feel about the ending? 

As the narrator of the unfolding events, the story became about as much as my personal growth as it did about building my relationships. Not only my marriage but with family and friends who joined us on our trip as well. The ending indicates the arrival of ‘finding self’ amidst the clamor of life and all its demands.

  • What scene would you point out as the pivotal moment in the narrative? How did it make you feel?

This was my pivotal moment in our Gap Year of insight and marital understanding: We had literally ascended a trail after a strenuous and stressful hike. I had berated myself for not being more astute about our surroundings in case of an emergency and James had voiced his irritation with my constant questioning for reassurance; are you ok, how do you feel, watch your step etc – nothing annoying about that right?

As we reached the top of Bright Angel Trail we truly felt better aligned as a couple, and I as an individual with a healthier understanding of what it means to be a wife vs a carer.

  • What scene resonated with you most on a personal level? (Why? How did it make you feel?)

Let me start by saying, ouch, the fact that this photograph ended up being the cover of my memoir is beyond ironic! I had read a memoir about the Montepulciano region in Italy and really wanted to visit the area, alas we couldn’t get there and visited San Gimignano instead. So to begin with, we weren’t even meant to be there and that ended up being my book cover.

Secondly!!! Secondly, my husband and I both took a sunset photo through the same arch at the same time and I wholeheartedly bragged that my photo was better. (It was, despite being off-centre!) Nevertheless, once we were home I had the photograph enlarged and framed and hung it on our wall. Not only as a brag, but because I truly loved it. It fell off the wall and smashed. And smashed. And smashed. Yip, you read that right. My picture fell and smashed three times! 

Karma is a mirror you see. I had bragged so brazenly about my photo that it had to become scratched and marked for me to understand that casting myself as a better photographer did not mean a thing in the larger picture of life. Humble pie anyone?

  • If the book were made into a movie, who would you want to play you?

My younger self would be Emma Watson and the 40+ version of me would be Julia Roberts.

  • What were the power dynamics between you and your companions, and how did that affect your interactions?

The people-pleaser in me drove the majority of the story, but as my personal growth unfolds through my observations of my other companions and how they interacted with each other, so my personal power started to establish itself. Self-empowerment helped me find my voice. 

  • What solutions does your memoir propose? Are they concrete, sensible, doable? 

The entire last chapter is a journey within, offering lifestyle and relationship solutions that worked for me. So yes, I’d say they are sensible, doable and concrete, but you’ll have to read the book to know what they are.

  •  What have you learned after writing this book? Has it broadened your perspective about a difficult issue—personal or societal? 

The critical thinking style that both my sons adopted through their studies definitely broadened my perspective on societal issues. The actual Gap Year itself is what pivoted my view on my relationship with my husband and my friends and family who travelled with us.

  1.  Do the issues affect your life? How so—directly, on a daily basis, or more generally? Now or sometime in the future?

My near-40-year marriage has thrived/is thriving as a result of the take aways from our trip. Learning and seeing new sides to each other that would otherwise never have been exposed in the daily humdrum of life helped us tremendously.


EN ROUTE The Best Is Yet To Be by Elora Canne

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