Rethreading my Life
Rethreading my Life! This book almost tells you how. .Almost, because in the final analyses it’s down to us. However, the book goes a long way to achieving this. The experience of reading it puts us in a place where we are safe and carried along by the narrative.
For me the book takes the part of a requiem that is a celebration of a person no longer with us. In this case it is Alannas husband. She has nursed him through his epilepsy and despite his death, so loved him she has written a book about him and their life together.
Set in Brighton, the author incorporates famous places such as Whitehawk Inn, Rudyard Kiplings House at Rottingdean and the Unemployment Centre into the narrative.
The narrative is powerful. In fact that is one of the beauties of Rethreading My Life the narrative is deceptively also low key.
Alanna invokes the themes of flowers, garden and the sea and seashore to illustrate her story. “The sea is a place where I find peace. I like the rhythmic sound of the waves and the quietening of the breath. I am lulled by mesmeric movement of the waves”
The book evokes images of flowers to carry the story forward. Daffodils are used as illustration of spring-like freshness and this is carried throughout the autobiography.
Hyacinths and cactus also figure It reminded me of ‘Sons and Lovers’ by D.H..Lawrence where the author uses the image of hyacinths to evoke images of bereavement.
“I buy some hyacinths from the garden centre. They have been waiting in the kitchen window waiting to be planted in a large pot”.
The autobiography is consistent and incorporates play reading as well as poetry towards the end of the book
The story merges with the death of Alannas father and the tenderness with which she deals with his passing.(I feel sympathy as I face the death of my own parents).
Strangely enough this isn’t depressing, but quite uplifting it’s carried forward
by the observations of nature and also description of Alannnas crafts. Making a felt picture for example.
“I always believed that death is a transition a transformation.”
The book can be read as an enlightening story or as a guide to developing a coping strategy for bereavement.
It is written from a very feminine viewpoint.