I first came across Sarah Maria Griffin’s writing online. I read and enjoyed some of her essays and articles, including her food column for The Coven, so when I discovered she had written a book about her first year living in the US I couldn’t wait to read it.
“Memoir is not what this thing is. It is just a true story. Except for the parts that are enormous staggering lies…”
Not Lost tells the story of a year in Sarah Maria Griffin’s life. The year she moved from Dublin to San Francisco.
From the beginning Griffin lays out that there is no tragedy here because she assumes people expect something awful to have happened in a memoir. I’m glad there are no tragedies here; instead what we are treated to is a beautifully written experience of finding your feet not only in a new home, but in a different country.
Full of observations about emigrating, job hunting, adjusting to a new kind of domesticity, exploring your surroundings whether they are new or not, and the importance of food, Not Lost is a thoughtful love letter to Dublin as much as it to San Francisco, settling down and dealing with the anxieties that life throws at you.
This book is littered with moments that made me laugh as well as some that made me cry.