Who wouldn’t want to leave a lasting impression to children and grandchildren? There are a lot of stories to tell and share about youth, upbringing, neighborhood, school, and how you fell in love. What is your background? What traits can be found in your bloodline? Jim Williams started to write his memoirs in essays, but unlike other reflections, A Message to the Children is mixed with chapters instructing wannabe authors to construct similar writings and pointing back to all kinds of details in the painting with words that were overlooked in the first reading session.
To me, the chosen format of essays didn’t resonate well. The book better can be understood as a collection of short stories since you don’t know any of the characters, contrary to memoirs written by or about living or deceased celebrities. Yet, A Message to the Children inspires to think of a way to convey your own memories to your descendants before Alzheimer or other neurological disorders take away the memories or the capabilities to share them.
About the author
Jim Williams first hit the news when his early novels had the uncanny knack of coming true. The Hitler Diaries was published nine months before the celebrated forgery came out in 1983. Farewell to Russia dealt with a nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union months before the Chernobyl disaster. Lara’s Child, his sequel to Doctor Zhivago, provoked an international literary scandal and led to his being a guest speaker at the Cheltenham Festival. Scherzo, a witty and elegant mystery set in the eighteenth century Venice, was nominated for the Booker Prize. All of his fiction has been published internationally. American Values is his fourteenth novel.
I received a free review copy from City Publishing in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.