Matt Freese is a retired psychotherapist and in his latest work, he turns the focus towards himself. Putting his life under the lens of examination, he writes with passion and transparency of his journey through life. This book cannot be called a true autobiography but it is certainly autobiographical. In any case, Freese does speak of himself in third person a lot, in his stories.
Almost all of these stories have a theme or backdrop. Some of these are highly nuanced, interesting and will be a takeaway for most readers. Take, for example, the story of Michaelangelo’s Moses and the subsequent essay by Freud on it. The author peels away layers of history, mistruths and linguistic farce to talk through the experiences of his own life.
I also enjoyed the running thread of mental health throughout the book. The author examines questions of the state of mind of a writer who is writing. Does a writer have to be inherently serious? But then again, is seriousness perceived by some as depression, as his housekeeper later reveals her opinions? These and more thought provoking analyses fill the pages of musings.
As an indie work, this book stands on its own, or with Freese’s other prior books. In reading through them all, it is possible to get a sense of the man himself, but also the nature of man. And in that, lies the success of this work.
I have reviewed a couple of books by Matt Freese previously. You can read my reviews here and here. The thing that has struck me every time is that although his books tend to be a collection of narratives rather than a single discourse, the topics are very different. In this latest work, Freese recalls the memories of two summers in the late 60s, when he spent time at Woodstock. I love the name of the book too, it means the pieces of stone whch make up a mosaic – it seemed to me the perfect name for a book of this kind.
The collection is part-memoir part-adventure-novel. By using his experiences on those two summers in particular, and interspersing the narrative with the past of the past and the future of the past, Freese has created a marvellous book. The thing that will stay with me, is how very intimate the book is. It is a deep-dive into the author’s innermost fears, dreams, insecurities. He talks of his first love, his wife, a failed marriage, and his intense but brief relationship with his daughter. He talks of these events as if talking to a friend, and it took a lot of stepping back on my part to not feel upset and embroiled in it all.
The only slight downside, for me, was that there are a few American references which were lost on me. I have never been to America, nor have I had close friends, so understandably, that is a want from my end. But those who have lived through the American 60s will definitely find events to relate to and empathise with. I really enjoyed reading it and will recommend it for sure.
It is available to buy from Wheatmark or Amazon.