book review: managing expectations by minnie driver

I find memoirs to be one of my favourite kinds of books. But normally the celebrity memoir doesn’t have quite the same charm as they can sometimes become a bit showy and self-congratulatory. However, this wasn’t the case with this one.

I think that it was the essay format that really helped this one along. Having separate little stories to devour meant that it didn’t feel like we were just aiming for the point where our main character gets famous and we should all clap and cheer because they have made it when us mere mortals are never going to achieve even a smidgen of their success.

In Managing Expectations, Minnie does take a close look at her faults and I loved the essays earlier on in the book that charted some of the key moments in her childhood.

The book was written during lockdown and Minnie’s mother died during the writing of it. This meant that the book had a very sad ending because the final essay is about the death. Reading it was painful and I can imagine anyone who has lost someone will find it even tougher. Her mother sounded as though she had such a way with words and I hope that when I am on my deathbed, I can pass on wisdom like that.

If you get the audiobook, there is an extra interview at the end which is well worth a listen. Minnie chats with her friend who is a novellist herself, and they talk about the art of memoir writing and about being an avid reader.

I loved that they pointed out that being human is never one thing or the other. She describes an audition when she was a child, and her response to her friend who was upset about not getting the part was, ‘there is no best, there is just one that gets picked.’ I liked that because I’m guilty of thinking in black and white; if I don’t get picked, to me, it means that I’m rubbish.

I also loved when they spoke about readers being polite people. I had never made that correlation, but now that I’ve heard somebody say it I can’t unsee it.

So, from one reader to another, have a lovely evening and I wish you the happiest of weeks.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the gift of looking back

selective focus photo of magnifying glass
Photo by lilartsy on

It’s true that it can hurt

To see the days that marked our past,

That made us cry and broke our spirit,

But what a joy to see our strength

Our will to thrive and oh,

Those golden moments in the sun.

A gift, an art, a wish upon a star.

I have sporadically kept diaries over the years and I sometimes wish that I had been a bit more consistent because I love reading them back years and years later.

I do think that recording your life is really therapeutic and I have started using the one second a day app where you just film one second of your day and then it mashes them all together into a thirty second film. I’ve already looked back on the first week and it just makes me smile to see that little slice of life.

My attempts are obviously not very artistic, but I do find the art of memoir writing truly beautiful and I hope that one day I can start to write eloquently about my own life.

One of my favourite books of all time is Wild by Cheryl Strayed and I would love to be able to write something that beautiful. The difficult part of writing something that beautiful is that you have to look at your part in the disasters in your life.

All of my diaries are polished versions of my life and even the bad bits, I blame on other people. I read somewhere that the secret to writing a great memoir is to be OK with people not really liking you all that much by the end.

I definitely need to work on that. But for now I’ll just stick to showing people my best second of every day…

Much Love

Rachel xx