Carolyn F. (San Carlos, CA)
The Journal Keeper
A beautifully written book, this book makes me think every time I pick it up. I read memoirs hoping to learn something about how to deal with the curve balls life throws at me, and this book helped me springboard from her journal entries to situations in my own life. Theroux has also written some lovely essays which I have read.
Nancy Macy (Rancho Mirage, California)
The Journal Keeper by Phyllis Theroux
A very feminine spirit, opens an extraordinary world to the reader. Looking at life through her perspective she raises everyday life to poetry and high drama. What she focuses on becomes vivid and poignant at the same time.
Growing old, falling in love, loss and new beginnings. Awareness of her inner and outer environment, which is acute, makes the difference. She notices and enjoys what most of us hurry by. It shows the freshest imagination and is illuminated in the most eloquent flights of original descriptions. Her transparent feelings give voice to my own. A conversation that happily makes one see the world, oneself and others more distinctly. She is wonderful company.
Laura A. (Jeremiah, Kentucky)
A very introspective memoir
I thought "the Journal Keeper" was a fair read. It is a memoir that deals very little with actual events in the author's life and much more with her emotions and thoughts about her life. I think that I sometimes think too much but she takes it to an entire new level and then some. It definitely makes you realize that we never really know what someone else is really thinking or feeling in their lives.
Kristina K. (Glendale, CA)
A Walk Through Life
"The Journal Keeper" is a walk through several years of Theroux's life during her later years that she recorded in a series of journal entries. At first the obvious life lessons in her entries felt too pat or contrived (or maybe I just complain a lot more in my own journal), but then I felt myself getting into the rhythm of the author's life. I could feel a balance emerging between her daily struggle with maintaining her spiritual life, her creative life, and paying the bills. I realized I share a lot of her inner conflicts, her self-consciousness, her self-critical tendencies, but I also share the recognition of those crystalline moments of poetry within the mundane world. (I was also shocked to realize we share a friend in common!) She deals with loss on so many levels, as we all do, particularly all the little losses of aging. Yet her journal entries also allow hope and humor to rise to the surface as life does go on.
I feel Theroux's journal entries are best savored a little at a time. Their effect is like having had a conversation with a good friend whose insights will stick with you throughout your day.
Carole A. (Denver, CO)
The Journal Keeper
Memoirs are usually very stimulating to me as an inside glimpse to other lives and lifestyles and a platform offering new directions of thought. As a rule I have found reading memoirs to either engage, challenge or open new avenues and so awaited this memoir with anticipation. I was disappointed that I was neither engaged, challenged nor were new avenues opened. That being said there were paragraphs here and there that I did find interesting in terms of the sameness of women's experiences. For those interested in writing a memoir/journal this could prove to be a useful structural resource.
Laura L. (Providence, RI)
The Journal Keeper
This book is not light material. She touches on items such as death, relationships, spirituality, being a writer. At times I found myself swept into her emotional world. She teaches the reader how to think about writing , and what internal life is like for a writer. She also muses about being alone vs. in a relationship. She put words to a lot of different subjects. This book is not for everyone, and some might find the first part depressing ( I did at times). If you don't mind a serious read I recommend this book.
Barbara A. (Roswell, GA)
The Journal Keeper inspires
The Journal Keeper is a book for people who like to reflect while reading, whether it be on their own personal lives when something in Theroux's own experiences resonates or on the bigger picture of the world around us.
I earmarked a large number of pages so that I can go back and delve more deeply into interesting tidbits, stories, quotes.
It seems to be a great book for a writers' group or writing program. It inspired me to pick journaling back up. I really enjoyed reading this book!