Book Review: The Memoirs of I. Yolanda De Iuliis.

The Memoirs of I is a book written in diary format, beginning on the 9th of december 2014 and finishing on the 9th of November 2015. During this time author Yolanda De Iuliis experiences many people, sights and emotions. It is self deprecating. I think the author and I may get along as we have attributes in common, such as feeling at odds in our families, sharing opinions on religion, are unable to rest without feeling like we should be doing something, being thinkers and so forth. The criticisms that I did have for this marvellous book have been addressed, as if she read my mind, in the writing itself.
The introduction has some of the best lines in the book and tells you straight away how the rest of the book is going to be.
This is a philosophical book, with plenty of questions being asked. Beware that this is a book with few answers. The Memoirs of I became tiring within the first hundred pages or so.  But with an entry for the 16th of April Yolanda somehow rescues this book by writing ‘it is getting harder to be inspired in the morning to write.  I do not know if you have noticed and I hope I am not slacking but I do stress that this is a difficult process that I am undertaking’ The book hits its stride after this entry.
In fact it happens on a few occasions that Yolanda becomes aware of how she might be perceived and of the quality of her writing and thoughts. She always managed to keep me hooked on reading.
This is ambiguous, Yolanda does not name the places she visits or the people she meets. There is a person that she writes to in some of the diary entries, an old love and are perhaps the weaker parts as the reader is not able to gauge exactly who is being spoken to and in what respect. This does still remain personal and The Memoirs of I has a warmth to it. I think, of course, her thoughts personalise this and her forthright manner of addressing more controversial subjects, such as euthanasia.
I do feel at times that the writer may feel superior to others because of her obvious intellect. She mentions frequently the 9 to 5 life and people not thinking for themselves, or at all, and I can agree with this but at the same time it can come across as cruel, demeaning even, to others.
I do feel that this is a book that will inspire anybody who reads it. This book could be dangerous, for it encourages people to look out for others, to think for themselves, and, how I interpreted it, to be bold. Yolanda seems like an amazing woman and her adventurous spirit is infectious and could encourage anybody to go out and pursue their own dreams. Despite this becoming heavy, subject matter wise, and feeling it was triggering for me into a depressive state myself, it is only the truth that I think is triggering for me because, of course, the idea that we can do and think for ourselves, to be told we can do that, by another person is liberating. I finished this book with an enormous sense of euphoria.
The Memoirs of I is a remarkable book and shows us what can happen when we sit down and form the habit of writing honestly to ourselves each day.

Buy a copy from Amazon,  direct from Lumphanan Press or through the Yolanda De Iuliis website.

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Author: Idontwearahat.

Katie is a published poet, reader and reviewer.

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