Hey there, bookworms. Happy Wednesday! Our week is almost over, which I’m absolutely fine welcoming with open arms. It’s been a rough week and I’m anxiously counting down my vacation time in three weeks. In the meantime, I have a decent handful of book reviews, cover reveals, and release blitzes coming your way. Just hang in there because my inbox is rather full and I’m trying to find the time to get everything on the site in a timely manner, but it’ll be here, I promise!
Tonight, I’m bringing you another review, and this time, it’s for a memoir. This is a genre I don’t often get to read because while I’m pretty nosy and interested in the lives and perspectives of others, I’m also slightly picky as to which lives I get to know. I’m someone who needs a kick in the butt or a fire lit under me from time-to-time in order to function in life, so when I read about others, I like to read insightful and motivational experiences. When Mr. Freese contacted me about reading his book, And Then I Am Gone: A Walk with Thoreau, I was excited to read about someone’s personal experience through life’s crazy adventure mixed with a splash of transcendentalism. In all my year’s studying literature in its various forms, the segment of the transcendental movement in American Literature spoke to my heart. I judged a book by its cover and got suckered in by the name “Thoreau”. This was the first I had read of Mathias Freese and it was an interesting journey.
Freese moves from the fast-paced way of being in New York to the quiet solitude of Alabama. His days consist of reflections, advice, and general pondering about not only his life, but society in general.
While I enjoyed his elegant writing style and agreed with people as a whole, and our abilities to triumph or fall, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of a disconnect with this story. I think if I were a little older and at a different point in my life, I would have related to the author and his experiences more. Instead, I felt like I was listening to my father talk about a good or bad day, or what ailment was bothering him and how he was coping at the particular moment. While not quite on the same page as the author, I respected Freese’s experience and admired his accomplishments. It made me feel like I was listening to the advice of a relative or family friend for how to mold my future.
As much as I appreciated those factors of the story, I missed some of the more transcendental factors sprinkled throughout the book. I read these pages as guidelines and the dos and donts of life rather than reflection and clarity that comes from tranquility and nature. I think if this memoir had ore of those elements added into the pages, I probably could’ve meditated more throughout the course of the story.
Still, if you need a pick me up or insights from someone who has been there and is telling of his experience for not only his own benefit, but also to bestow his knowledge to others, this is a deep yet quick read that does leave you walking away feeling full of new knowledge and motivation to tackle the road ahead of you.