Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Encore: A Journal of the Eightieth Year --by May Sarton

336 Pages
5 Stars

To take from her last entry: "Knowing my journals would be read has provided a certain discipline for me. It has forced me to try to be honest with myself and thus with my readers, not to pretend that things are better than they are, but learn to evaluate without self-pity or self-glorification what has been happening to me."

I have read a few of May Sarton's works, including a couple of her Journals, and I find this one the one that I most resonated with. There were times when her honesty almost sounded like bitchiness, then I realized if she was bitchy, she wouldn't have had the legions of fans and friends she had coming to visit, calling, sending flowers, etc. And, had I been in the pain she was in, I probably would sound bitchy too, now and again.

She faced her cancer head on, and her disease passed over and by her and when it passed, only she was left. She admitted her fear (I don't know that I could do that) not just to herself, but to everyone. And she shared her great joy and love.

This journal was started in her 79th year, and finished in her 80th. She died in her 83d year, 16 July 1995. She talks about many of her contemporaries, authors I've read, or heard about, and many I didn't know or know of. But, for the duration of her book, I felt I was her friend, and a friend of May Sarton's surely was a friend of mine. I found it delightful to hear first person accounts of people I've only read, or read about.

I don't know if a young person would be able to relate to this book, but if a young person has an elder person in her life, this might be a good book to help relate to "Granny." And if you are that "Granny" this is a fascinating book to read.

A fascinating book to read a bit of before turning out the light. She truly earned every award she ever received or for which she was nominated.

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