28 Days of Solitude by B.L. Bruce — A Review

28 days of solitude28 Days of Solitude by B.L. Bruce

RaeleighReads rating: 4 out of 5 coffee cups

“Maybe all writers survive on just a few things: coffee (or certain other substances of choice), good books, and hope.”

Yes!

I received a copy of this memoir in exchange for an honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with this memoir written by a perceptive, creative, and beautiful soul. What a wonderfully intimate view of one writer’s thoughts — a month-long collection of insights and asides about what it means to be an artist, to be a creator, to be sensitive to the world, and to have an insatiable desire to share these things through the written word.

28 Days of Solitude was written during B.L. Bruce’s stay in a cabin in the forests of Northern California. It chronicles her daily struggles with creating, in particular in writing a collection of poetry and a novel. As a memoir of sorts, a journal in fact, there is no plot, but as a reader I felt compelled to continue on this month-long journey of introspection.

It was interesting to witness the turn of the mind — one moment hopeful, another steadfast, and yet another full of defeat and negativity. Bruce’s driving force seems to be a desire to capture a sense of realism in her work through natural, relatable occurrences. This is, she states, the goal of her poetry and her novel, “…I want it to be rooted in reality and relatable, raw.”

This desire for realism makes me think of two things. One, the transcendentalist poet Thoreau, and two, the group of realist writers of the late nineteenth-century:  Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Maupassant, and Ibsen. Perhaps it is the blend of Bruce’s obvious love and appreciation for nature and her slightly antiquated turns of phrase together with her desire to illustrate real moments that make me think of these other master writers as I read this journal.

As a fellow empath, for I think that is what Bruce is, I really related to her experience. At one point she discusses the difference between alone and lonely. Being alone does not make one lonely. And doing things alone is often a freeing and revelatory experience, one to which many people are unable to relate. Reading Bruce’s thoughts on the nature of being alone and the nature of loneliness really resonated with me.

I would recommend this to people who enjoy reading memoirs and journals, and I would recommend this especially to other writers, readers who are in love with words, and artists of all kinds. Go out and feel something today!

Other thoughts you may find useful:

The author wrote each page elegantly and captured my interest with even the minor details.“– Kristin Hinkle on Goodreads

“Her insights of the writing experience, both the successes and the challenges, make this book an interesting read. Highly recommended.”– Evie on Amazon

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