I Am, I Am, I Am

I Am, I Am, I Am

Seventeen Brushes With Death

Book - 2018
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We are never closer to life than when we brush up against the possibility of death. I Am, I Am, I Am is Maggie O'Farrell's astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter -- for whom this book was written -- from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life's myriad dangers. Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O'Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2018
Edition: 1st American & Canadian ed
ISBN: 9780525520221
0525520228
Characteristics: 288 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

A memoir told entirely in 17 near-death experiences stemming from a dangerous childhood illness, accidents, an encounter with a disturbed person and the author's daily efforts to protect her daughter from the vulnerabilities of a high-risk condition.


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Aarikadeborah
May 18, 2018

I also wished this was written more chronologically because in the end I didn't feel there was some neat nuance the back and forth created. Just odd.
I also would have liked more details of her life outside of the near death experiences. I enjoyed some of the minor plot lines that were her life but was left wondering, "how did that turn out?" Or "who was that guy and where in all this did she meet him?" "Tell me more about your third child!"
She has an interesting style of writing which was refreshing to read but I finished this book glad I rented it instead of buying it.

KateHillier May 14, 2018

A fascinating, lyrical look at one woman's 17 near death experiences. Some are dramatic, some are quiet, all are formative

k
krsbozo
Apr 21, 2018

I like reading about near-death experiences. I often wonder how I would respond in dramatic life-or-death situations, and so I liked reading this book, which includes (I think) 17 near-death experiences the author has had. The first is most dramatic, when she has a close brush with a strangler on a lonely hike. And it proceeds from there, one after the next, when I finally got fed up and started thinking, "Are you nuts? What sort of person puts her child on her back and swims into the ocean and nearly kills them both due to hubris?" Then the last two chapters are about her childhood encephalitis that nearly killed her and left her unable to walk, and about the fear she feels every day that her daughter will die due to anaphylactic shock. I felt like an idiot for getting frustrated with her, after all she had been through, her somewhat reckless approach to life made sense. She is a great storyteller, and the language is beautiful.

l
lilypad_1
Apr 03, 2018

I would have like to have given this book 5 stars because the author is a good writer and her premise is v. interesting but the chronological back and forth is just not necessary nor does it add to the narrative. She has survived not only many near death experiences of her own but also of her children. She has cultivated an attitude of gratitude and sensitivity that only enhances her story.

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