In this Mommy Minute, a look at the memoir from Suzanne Roberts “Almost Somewhere.”
I loved Almost Somewhere! For me, this is the book I wanted Wild to be. (Though I do think reading Wild made me appreciate Almost Somewhere even more and glad that I’ve now read both.) I connected with the narrator right from the beginning. In 1993, when she took the trip, I had just graduated high school just as she graduated college- a time I remember well. I really appreciated her mentions of things that have changed since ’93 on the trail, giving readers an idea of what they might be in for. Besides being the same age (roughly) as Roberts and having a similar level of paranoia, we are not much alike yet the way she brought us along with her on this important journey of her life from being a kid to being an adult connected with me. I loved the frank way she set up herself and the other characters. We got a flavor for all of the people, the vistas, the flora and fauna, and the insights on self reflection all nicely woven together into a very interesting and compelling journey. What happened? She walked 235ish miles with two girlfriends. But the picture readers get takes the hike into almost an experience.
I wished there was a website with photos that she mentioned and pages from her journal to see what she described. I felt like I could really picture it and wanted to see if my imagination matched. The website didn’t exist, but I did find the book trailer and it had lots of the photos and moments Roberts wrote about. You can check it out here: http://www.suzanneroberts.net/almostsomewhere.html though the video production person and teacher I am will warn you of the surprisingly low production values of this video. There is no way I’d read the book after watching that trailer, but it think everyone who reads the book will enjoy it- like snapshots of our own past captured and playing out like we are reliving the memories in our photo album as we flip through.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly what made me enjoy this book so much. The writing style, which was conversational, funny, and felt real could be it. So could it be that it didn’t come across as boastful or fearful. Maybe it is the zen feminism. But it is most definitely also the message of enjoying each step and stopping yourself from thinking of what’s next. I’m not a big margin write or highlighter of books. I prefer to write thoughts down like a journal (and I hate to “mess up” books) but I did highlight my favorite line (from page 106): “I realized that the going and getting there were never the point- when we are always almost somewhere, we can’t be happy where we are.”
No matter if you are 10 or 22 or 40 or 80. These are wise words to ponder and definitely something that I needed to think about right now. Very glad to have read this book!