I enjoy reading personal memoirs, essays and diaries of others, especially works on the caliber of Ann Patchett’s “This is the Story of a Happy Marriage”. An author’s personal thoughts and experiences are a great way for a reader to feel a kinship with the writer.
This was not the experience I encountered while reading “The Folded Clock: A Diary” by novelist Heidi Julavits. Although this book is referred to as a diary, The Folded Clock is actually a collection of dated essays. It feels aimless with nothing to really hold all the pieces together. Well written essays tend to arrive at a conclusion, reveal a lesson learned, an issue is resolved or an epiphany of some sort is experienced—there is typically a destination to arrive at the end of the writer’s journey. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Julavits collection of writing. It reads as though we’re inside the author’s mind, bouncing back and forth, never really going anywhere. This was a disappointing read I’m sad to say.
If you enjoy memoirs, essay collections or diaries, I would suggest Patchett’s work mentioned above, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron or Annie Dillard instead.