Notes to Self by Emilie Pine

One of those books I just stumbled upon. The former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls had tweeted about it – brilliant, exhausting and compelling, he wrote. And it is exactly that. What he didn’t mention is that it’s also incredibly moving and may well reduce you to tears on a number of occasions. Don’t read it on public transport (or take dark glasses if you do)! Emilie Pine is an Irish academic. This book is a collection of her personal essays – six in total – on everything from growing up with an alcoholic father to infertility, wild child teenage years, her parents divorce and feminism. It is brutally honest, raw and, as Ed Balls said, utterly compelling. She commits to paper painful stories of her past that you know she has never revealed to anyone before. Brave is how her father describes her when she dares to show him what she has written about growing up with an alcoholic father. And how brave is exactly what I thought when I finished Notes to Self last night. An extraordinary book. 

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