I have an interest in the farming movement, the hippie return to the land movement. I saw this autobiography, This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family’s Heartbreak (P.S.) at Mother Earth magazine. Melissa Coleman’s parents, Eliot and Sue, were some of the pioneers in this movement. They moved to a small piece of land in Maine and built their farm from nothing. Yet, this is Ms. Coleman’s autobiography of this time, told first from her perspective and then adding to her memories with talking to others. She was frustrated with her father’s drive to make the farm succeed, at, what she believes, the expense of his family. It is interesting to read how even though she loves her parents, and she tries to understand them, she does hold them in a bit of judgement for her unconventional childhood. It seems a reoccurring theme with the books I read lately, of the parent’s selfish dream overtaking the child’s need for a childhood.
In Stitches is one of the best books I read this year. The book is full of the stress, paranoia and narcosis that is those first years of adulthood, only with the added craziness of medical school. Dr. Youn has a self-depreciating humble way of describing the rigors and trials of medical school. Several times I laughed right out loud. He also delves into his personal life, including details about growing up Korean American and somewhat of a nerd. He talks about his father’s heavy pressure on him to become a doctor, and not just any doctor: a surgeon. His father is the only parent he knew who would have been disappointed in him if he became just a regular doctor. He talks about kind of floating along uncertainly with only his father’s intensity to guide him until he finally has an epiphany based on one sad incident, that gets him into plastic surgery. All in all, he is very personable, interesting, and funny to read.
In Stitches Youn, Anthony, 2011