New Titles > Final Draft by Rosemary Friedman
Rosemary Friedman signs off a long and successful writing career with Final Draft, a perceptive, moving and frequently witty collection of essays on what it means to be human. Throughout the author’s observations on such seminal subjects as truth, beauty, love, war and death, counterbalanced by the pleasures of walking in the park, lying in the bath or recalling her grandmother’s chicken soup, the reader will recognize the spirit of the sixteenth-century essayist Michel de Montaigne. Using her métier, Friedman skilfully recreates a world of impressions on topics as diverse as sex, travel, music and kindness; elsewhere she observes how a close scrutiny of people’s hands and the way they employ them reveals their owners’ secrets. She comments on the use of the cliché, our preoccupation with the cyberworld and the current obsession with ‘clean eating’, from the point of view of one who grew up during wartime rationing.
She does not shrink from addressing such issues as growing old, failing health and the overwhelming sense of grief and loss engendered by the death of loved ones. She concludes that, although we are not all able to leave an imprint upon the sands of time, one should embrace a wide range of experience and develop a balance of hope over despair. When we come to the end of this sagacious and insightful ‘final draft’ we realize that we know both the world – and ourselves – a little better.