From My Balcony to Yours by Nino Gugunishvili
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a charming memoir about the author’s experience during the pandemic from March to September 2020. It starts out a bit slow, but stick with it because Nino’s comments are insightful, humorous and frank. You have to give her credit for her admirable efforts at optimism:
“I guess what we come to understand is that ruined plans are not a catastrophe. That we can’t and don’t have to control everything around us and worry. That right now, we can be happy just because we’re alive. The future can wait.”
But after a while, the bedeviled social media and the pretense that we have adjusted well gets old. Nino refers to the “unwritten rule that you have to scrupulously follow unless you want to be left out from this world inhabited by love, where everyone is welcome.” Nino captured the social media experience so well:
“If you want to be a part of this vanity party, play by the rules. Play, and remember to say I love you as many times as possible. That’s your secret to virtual world domination and to endless, eternal happiness!”
Shunning the superficial dialogue we have succumbed to during the pandemic, she grew weary of Zoom and Facebook, and longed to reach out for a more meaningful connection:
“How can we be only profoundly concerned with nail trimming, hair coloring, and facials? There must be more existential dilemmas to be solved, in-depth revelations of what worries us, what makes us wake up at six o’clock in the morning, what we fear.”
Nino is forthcoming and says what many of us are thinking. The book is a quick and enjoyable read. I would have given it five stars but found it could benefit from some editing and proofreading.
I recommend this book to anyone, women in particular, interested in a straightforward perspective of the lockdown that is lighthearted but also gets to the heart of the matter.
Disclaimer: I received an advance copy with a request to review.
My Rating: 4 stars.