The Return to Safekeeping

Guest Post by Christine Noelle

Months into the pandemic, I found myself longing for “the good ‘ol days” when it felt safe to travel, and I could focus long enough to immerse myself in a story. Once I read a book nonstop, cover-to-cover during a flight from New York to Seattle. If I read the book again, could it bring back a feeling of normal, when COVID-19 made our daily lives feel so foreign? I pulled the book from my shelf and, to my surprise, I liked that the word safe was in its title.

Safekeeping: Some True Stories from a Life by Abigail Thomas is a groundbreaking collage-style memoir containing elegantly written vignettes that seem unrelated, but build to a beautiful, meaningful whole. Thomas offers an intimate unfolding of pivotal moments that shaped her life: pregnancy at 18, joys and fears of being a single mother of three by age 26, love and frustration within her marriages, and the tragic death of her second husband. Readers of Safekeeping will bear witness to the art of sensory perspective: the before, the during, and the here-and-now, as told through stories that are poetic, visceral, and universal. The normal of life we all know.


Safekeeping: Some True Stories from a Life by Abigail Thomas. Penguin Random House, April 2001.

Christine Noelle is a writer and marketing consultant living in the San Francisco Bay area. She is a traveler and lover of trees. http://www.christinenoelle.com

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