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REVIEW of Lifesaving: a Memoir

Library Journal

Barrington, a British poet and author, demonstrates her mastery of words in this coming-of-age story. Barrington’s parents drowned as a result of a cruise ship fire when she was 19, and here she reflects on her search for her identity at a time when she was in denial of her parents’ deaths. She goes to work in Spain, where her parents lived before she was born and where the family vacationed. The area and language are familiar to her, but she is enough of a foreigner that her somewhat strange behavior is excused. Barrington keeps herself so busy that she barely has the time or energy to deal with her loss. Finally, after three years, she is able to vent her emotions. She comes to realize how much she misses her parents and that she is not responsible for their deaths. What captivates the reader even more than the narrative is the wonderful prose the author employs in describing Spain and her life there. Recommended for all libraries.

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