This is Me
by Gary Wilson
Lettra Books

"So I have to make a decision to make a big change."

This highly personal work tells the story of a workaholic father with two young kids. He candidly recounts his life, marked with foster homes and trauma, but also with love and fun. It is revealed towards the end of the memoir that the writing of the book is meant to be the author’s therapy. He is writing everything down so as not to keep it all bottled up inside, which is both a worthy endeavor and an important message for all of us. Composed in almost a stream-of-consciousness manner and seemingly without much concern for organization or editing, the work comes across like a person’s private journal, a feature which gives the book an unusual intimacy.

The author’s accounts of his time in the U.S. Navy and visiting different countries are particularly interesting, as well as his stories of boot camp. At times, the narrative switches between the tenses—sometimes reporting in the past and sometimes the future—which, while at times confusing, also further lends the text a feeling of immediacy and memoir. Of course, our memories are not always completely focused on the specifics, and likewise the author is sometimes unsure of the exact time or age that an event occurred. However, this further enhances the stream-of-consciousness journaling aspect of the book.

Those looking for a peek into the life of a man trying to piece together the meaning and trajectory of this life will particularly enjoy this book, as the author recounts both the seemingly small and the seemingly big moments of his life: from getting in trouble at school, to serving his country, to volunteering as an EMS. The takeaway, though, is that all of life is comprised of the little things that make us who we are today.

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