Notes To Self: Book of the Month (November 2019)

By Megan Thomas

It’s Emilie Pine’s collection of six essays; a memoir in definitive parts. 

To start, her dad falling ill whilst living in Greece, and the process of her and her sister seeing him through. Then the baby years – her years of trying and failing to conceive, miscarriage, heartbreak and self-loathing. Onto her experience of her parents’ divorce, her notes on speaking/not speaking. In “Notes on bleeding & other crimes”, she deals with periods and the associated shame that comes with the territory of womanhood. She discusses her “wilder” years – of drug abuse, running away from home, sleeping on the street. And eventually, she discusses her sexual abuse. 

She tackles questions big and small, feelings of inadequacy and the necessity of being kind to yourself. It’s probably more honest and brave than a writer should ever be expected to be when offering up a platter of their innermost life and experience, and yet Emilie Pine gets just right both an awareness of how painful it is to speak out as well as nodding towards its necessity. Excellent. 

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