My history (her story) is based upon diary entries written during the late ‘50s and ‘60s. But memories tend to change with age. Time softens some, sharpens others, distorts and even extracts parts. This fabric of our memories, its threads weaving intermittently in and out of the realm of recall, is not quite the same as it was almost 50 years ago. Yet it is nonetheless the fabric from which my life was woven..
The French have an expression: the more things change, the more they remain the same. Remembering and researching for this memoir led me to that conclusion as well.
Reading the words written so long ago in my diary, I was astounded at what I saw and heard and thought about as a teenager and later a young twenty something living in Europe. Was that really me? Was Paris/Rome/Belgium/London really like that in the ‘60s? Yes, it is real. Real because I wrote it on the spot. No directives, no hindsight. Now I have integrated all those direct observations into a Memoir. It is for you, dear reader, to enjoy and, at the same time, perhaps gain some appreciation for the past. In this case, my past.
“All history properly understood is the history of thought.”
(Robin George Collingwood)
“Anyone who believes you can’t change history has never tried to write his memoirs”
David Ben Gurion
“All Alone” is one of those rare gems of a book that draws the reader into the era 1960’s that the reader may have experienced but possibly on another level.
Patricia has eloquently related her life, losses of loved ones, sorrows and travels that one can only imagine. I myself am a product of the 60’s.70’s but of the west coast, California Hollywood rock music, fraternizing with rock stars,the art, theHippy scene and sunny beaches. In my 30’s I did travel throughout Europe and lived in France for a number of years and met my husband. Patricia’s vivid description of both France and Italy brought back numerios memorie for me that I was reliving my episode through Partrica eyes. A very special book one should definitely read and will enjoy from a very unique lady. Patricia Daily- Lipe Thank-you for an amazing ride.
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4 out of 5 stars Memoir of the 60’s, February 22, 2011
By Story Circle Book Reviews
This review is from: All Alone: WASHINGTON to ROME, A ’60s Memoir (Paperback) This is the story of a daughter looking for her connection to her family through the past. Patricia Daly-Lipe carefully chooses somebody else’s words to kick off each chapter of the book. Then the reader encounters her voice through words written in her journal in the 1950’s and 60’s as she grows up. We meet an adolescent bewildered by family attachments based on intellectual values more than affection and expressions of love. As a result of an absent father and lack of siblings, she was quite alone when she lost her mother. Her journal pages reflect her philosophical retrospection. She longs to find “who I am and what I am supposed to do with my life.” Her story is full of family history intertwined with world history. The entries from her journals about how world events are a part of her life is fascinating.
The author shares her soul in this memoir in such a way that I found it easy to relate to her story. For those of us who grew up in the times of the Bay of Pigs and JFK and Vatican II, her memories and account of events resonate. Perhaps, I too became a seeker of truth due to the social milieu and political climate of my adolescence.
Sadly, her family kept many secrets. At the young age of 15, her mother’s doctor asked her to bear a dreadful burden by keeping her mother’s cancer diagnosis a secret from her. After her mother’s death, Daly-Lipe finds hints of a secret French lover in her mother’s life!
Any woman who has also had an experience in international living or studying abroad would find this narrative interesting, I believe. We find that through learning a new language and love of a new place and people, the world is brought closer together. Ultimately we are a family of humankind sharing at our roots, not just a historical past, but one heart and soul.
I was left wondering and wanting to know more about how her relationship with her mother and father influenced her first marriage. Her story ends abruptly at the recent past, the era of raising her children. This is understandable as is so much easier to look back into the distant past than to write about present life and family members.
Overall this little memoir is full of lessons about a life well lived and the twists and turns that we find on our life’s journey.
by Martha Meacham
For Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
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I thoroughly enjoyed your book though I grieved with you at the grieving parts.
Growing up in Ft. Lauderdale FL in the 50s-70s we went on many trips to Bimini/Bahamas and my dad AL SARNO, SR. worked with boat fiberglass design etc… with both Avenger and Pembroke!!! If my memory serves me right as well as Chris Craft though they were the wood design… He and my mom RUTH SARNO did yacht purveying and interior decorating in that era and later
Al Sarno, PhD, LPC, BCPC>
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5 April, 2010; A review submitted to Amazon.com
This memoir about a talented and intelligent young lady’s transition from late teen age years to young adulthood opens another world beyond the direct experience of most, including this reader. We are taken to and from Europe where we meet individuals who place high value on ideas and philosophy, where the author describes art, architecture and ambiance, and introduces the reader to individuals of another almost (as I see it) bygone high culture. Among others, I was intrigued by the author’s great uncle, Msgr. William A. Hemmick, the only American Canon of St. Peter’s Basilica. I’ll say no more, but suggest one read the book. The author uses contemporaneous diary entries coupled with the perspective of the well-educated and successful mature woman. In this, the author succeeds. The memoir is not in strict chronological order but arranged as one might remember long ago, which I found helpful. The book held my attention due to the flow of the writing and my interest due to the subject matter. The book is easily a one evening read and well worth the effort.
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ALL ALONE, From Washington to Rome, a 60s Memoir is an extraordinary memoir that immediately transports the reader to another time and place; a time when art and culture and ideas matter, and a place where beauty and love are natural and innocent. Patricia Daly-Lipe, in a style that is both literary and eloquent, paints a picture of Rome as seen by a young girl coming of age during the ‘60s and left all alone. Her bittersweet memories of the loss of her mother and a failed first love are contrasted by the unbridled joy and wonderment for life she experiences in a foreign country. All ALONE is an honest and thought provoking look into the past that offers all who read it a better understanding of themselves.
Barbara Casey, Author
The House of Kane,
The Coach’s Wife and
Just Like Family