Non fiction

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell


About the Book

I AM, I AM, I AM is a memoir with a difference – the unputdownable story of an extraordinary woman’s life in near-death experiences. Insightful, inspirational, gorgeously written, it is a book to be read at a sitting, a story you finish newly conscious of life’s fragility, determined to make every heartbeat count.

A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. Shocking, electric, unforgettable, this is the extraordinary memoir from Costa Novel-Award winner and Sunday Times bestselling author Maggie O’Farrell. It is a book to make you question yourself. What would you do if your life was in danger, and what would you stand to lose?

What I thought

Oh I really enjoyed this book. It’s difficult to write a review of it and this will probably end up being one of the shortest reviews I’ve written but that is no reflection on my enjoyment of the book.

I’ve only read one other of Maggie O’Farrells books which I enjoyed very much, so back in 2018 when this one was published (was it really that long ago? Seems like yesterday) I thought it sounded really interesting and added it to my “tbr one fine day” list. Then I spotted it for 99p on Kindle at Christmas.

The memoir of the authors brushes with death in many varying forms isn’t written in any kind of chronological order. Each chapter gives an account of the different situations she has found herself in over many, many years and they read as a short story, completely self contained within each chapter. As a result I dipped in and out of it, sometimes as a break from reading another book, or a couple of chapters as I came to the end of one book and before starting another.

Perhaps reading it that way spoiled the impact of all the drama in this authors life, I don’t know, and whilst I didn’t think it prevented me from enjoying it, it does mean that I’ve forgotten quite a few of the stories.

However for me the two events that made the biggest impact on me were left until towards the end of the book. As an 8 year old child Maggie O’Farrell suffered encephalitis as a result of a viral infection. As well as almost losing her life at such a tender age, it has left her with life long physical after- effects.

In the last chapter we learn about her daughter and the severe immunity disorder she was born with causing them to live on a knife edge trying to protect their daughter from what for most would be innocuous every day things but are life threatening to her daughter.

So whilst I cannot remember everything I’ve read mainly due to my erratic reading, it was nevertheless a compelling read and wonderfully written. You get a real sense of the author, who she is and what drives her. Highly recommended.

♥ Happy Reading ♥

The book is available on Kindle, hardback and paperback on Amazon and all other book shops.

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