I went last Wednesday at the local second-hand charity bookstore Books for Dogs to Umbertide.
I stayed there at long for trying to see which books I could bring and read at home. I don't pick up
anymore a lot of books because I have plenty of great reads, but every bookworm can understand the
feeling ;-) of compulsion. Here it's what I found last months. Not bad ;-)
I noticed Stoner by Williams close to a book by Huxley, remarkable authors like Dickens and Thomas
Hardy, in the section classics and the best literature for everyone and every taste. Satisfied of my choices I was ready to go, when I though it would have been great to give another last look.
Sometimes we don't see the most important books, sometimes we rush and we abandon the most precious gems alone.
It was there, pretty shy, hidden, it didn't want to be found to me.
Or yes, who knows?
Little, hardcover, new in the aspect and it is a genre I love a lot. The diary of Miss Idilia edited by Genevieve Hill published by Short Books after 145 years.
An incredible story. There is in the cover a girl, writing on her desk a diary.
I found it intriguing. I read the back cover's first lines and then the first pages.
I was shocked.
As a reporter I followed a case years ago of a missing elderly woman and I can tell you that when
someone is missing the family falls in a terrible spiral and the world turn upside down.
They fall in a condition of unknown because any certainty is gone.
A homicide is different. There is a body, a cause of death and a reason why that man was killed. Soon or late the responsible will be found. There is logic in the illogical criminal act, but you can explain.
You can bury the person killed. You can cry in a grave the departure of your beloved one. You can
start to mourn, you can start to heal.
When a person disappear you don't have these "psychological supports", no.
The family understand something: that the missing person is like vanished. The missing person become a phantom without anymore corporeality. The common compass of normality is gone for a long time (since the person is hopefully found dead or alive) and it starts a long process of nervous exhaustion.
When a person disappear it's a mental work of conjectures. All the time.
I brought the book home decided to read and review it.
I read it yesterday.
It is touching, sad, unbelievable but believable at the same time because the obvious sometimes is never taken in consideration and I thought while I was reading The Diary of Miss Idilia at the potential
destiny that this girl would have had in case her fate, her destiny not so cruel.
Idilia was in fact a bright, intelligent girl.
It's tender the beginning of this diary. Idilia was sad and started this diary in fact dedicating it to her friend Gwendolyn emigrated in the USA.
"My dearest Gwendolyn..." she starts to tell her. Idilia wants to tell to Gwendolyn all her days and
her life, sharing although it is no possible at the moment to discover where Gwendolyn is, all her
thoughts with her. The two girls promised to each other of not sending any letters but sharing a diary once per year for reading the adventures lived by each of them in a year but Gwendolyn didn't send her in 9 months any news, any address apart for a postcard sent from New York.
It was common in the past to sharing journals with family members, or diaries also in the immense land
of the USA. People shared thoughts but also pictures, recipes, articles and so on. It wasn't an uncommon way to do. It wasn't an eccentricity of these two girls.
Although Idilia thought that the behavior of her friend irritating all her thoughts were with her, imagining that she was still close to her.
Gwendolyn, Genevieve and Idilia are all Scottish and very united. They have their life to realize and each of them hope to be successful in some field. Life is still in the dreaming phase of the existence.
The future, although didn't give to any of them great success in life brought a posterity success, because involuntarily Gwendolyn the protagonist of the diary of Idilia for example.
Who knows? I love to think that maybe if Idilia wouldn't have had the purpose to write to her distant friend, she wouldn't never have written such a detailed diary; and her death although the remains of her body found, maybe would have remained still a mystery without bringing some peace to the family.
Thanks to this diary it was all clear. The diary later passed at the closest friend of Idilia, Genevieve.
The main protagonist of this story: Idilia. Unfortunately the diary couldn't be published by Genevieve because of the opposition of Idilia's parents.
Idilia at 17 years was a rebel moment and yes the portrait of her parents not great at all but it's a classic between parents and teenagers.
The story of Idilia this one: the entire family, Idilia had other two siblings decided to afford to
Rhineland in 1851 for a vacation. Rhine located in Germany was in the past visited,
explored and great inspiration for many writers and creative people including Lord Byron.
Nobles appreciated the stunning places, peace and possibility of developing new projects thanks to
these wonderful peaceful, enchanting lands. With the time Rhineland became also the favorite
trips of the so-called new riches, merchants etc.
The family of Idilia, the Dubb from Edinburgh part of these new rich.
The diary of Idilia is very beauty, very well written. Idilia had a real gift for describing, telling, giving out what she had in her mind and what she was observing around her, never forgetting a great class and research in writing.
Idilia is impressive for profundity of analysis and research of particulars and like every 17 years old
girls she had problems with her mother at first because she broke up with Henry, a boy her mom was
seeing with pleasure close to her and later with her dad because of her rebellion. Like all the 17 years
daughters of this world Idilia was discovering life.
Idilia in this diary tells the story of the trip of her family to Rhineland and how she fell in love for
this boy Christian Bach. The romantic meeting in the ship, the discovery of passion later, the visit at a wonderful castle in ruin the Lahnec castle once in Rhine.
Maybe a premonition but after an afternoon Idilia spent with Christian and Christian told her a certain tremendous legend, Idilia wanted to return home as soon as possible.
But that one will be her end and no one, no one once the girl started to be missed searched for her in
Just several years after in 1860 years, when it was decided to renovate the castle some some human rests found with some rings and other personal objects and a diary:
Idilia after all that time was found.
This journal, this diary wants to give a last voice, a last justice to Idilia and her horrible death and she wants to let you discover a beautiful soul.
Unheard, the poor girl tried all her best, but the old stairs connected with the tower collapsed and
Idilia remained blocked in the castle's tower. She couldn't abandon the tower anymore dying starved but first of all dehydrated.
Christian was serious in his intentions, reading the diary you will discover it. Once he discovered what
happened to Idilia, his presence will be constant during the mourning time.
Enjoy this book. It's a real gem in the panorama of diaries and it's the best legacy left by Idilia Dubb
at this world. A life not lived in vain but read thanks to this diary by a lot of people in the world. Her words will resonate forever and she can now smiles at this world, in peace, wherever she is.
Anna Maria Polidori