The title of the book Smithereens captures the grief caused by the death of Sharon, the author’s best friend. However, this is no misery memoir. In essence, it’s about wringing the most out of our short lives!
This book is intended to be complementary to Basia Gordon’s first published memoir - From the River to the Sea: Aquitaine, A Place for Me. It is though not necessary to have read the earlier volume as it can be enjoyed on a stand-alone basis. It covers events in 2021 and 2022, but flits back and forth during this period. Both books are fresh, vivid, life-affirming and on the quirky side with plenty of laugh-out loud moments.
Both volumes of memoirs feature the same characters and follow the same structure. They have many themes in common: house renovation, linguistic limbering in French and the Scottish vernacular, the realities of Brexit, political activism, local history, nature, literature, friendship, food and wine. In this volume the emphasis is looking towards Aquitaine from Scotland - quite a different perspective from the first one. Topics covered include the local history of Glasgow, COP 26 and the Hebrides. The swans and canal-life in Glasgow take the place of the ducks and hunters of Aquitaine, whilst lives and movement are restricted by Covid.
Nevertheless, the author continues to travel a great distance in her mind.
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