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A review of "City of One" by Francis Cournos

Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics

City of One- Front Cover

City of One- Front Cover

A memoir of Francine Cournos

In Francis Cournos Memo, city of one, we come across a struggling young girl who however defies all odds to become successful in life. Her father dies when she is merely three years of age. This leaves her with her mother who is pregnant with triplets. The author narrates how the death of her father became the beginning of her sorrows afterwards. In the mean time, her mother succumbs to cancer. This forced her to become a caretaker of her siblings. It was another misfortune for Cournos to lose her mother at age 11. The refusal of her relatives to take care of them culminated into seeking foster care. This caused a great emotional upset by the girl to the point of not trusting anyone. In this book, Cournors also commemorates how her many relationship with the opposite sex soared. One of the reasons as to why she was consisted with such relationships however was the need for affection. After high school, she was interested in studying medicine and psychoanalysis. These courses were supposedly undertaken by her in order to understand the cause of diseases such as those that affected her parents and the latter as a form of self awareness. Even though she is now in what she considers a good marriage with children, she points out that these experiences left a huge impact on her life from a physical and emotional perspectives.

Francine Cournos’ memo is a captivating story that may be appealing to many individuals. Her life experience and struggles are well accounted. She talks about her experience, also emotional feelings when her parents died. In this way, she presents a clear picture of what anyone would pass through in such a circumstance. Through an example of herself, she portrays how one can beat all such odds to become successful or to leave a happy life. This offers a good lesson to those people who may be devastated out there with such calamities and circumstances. It is a lesson such people ought not to lose hope and instead take on in life.

Cournos' psychology and emotions may have been really triggered by her earlier life experience. Passing through one calamity to another according to many psychiatrists may amount to permanent or long term damage to one's emotions. Such undergoing by Cournos as in loosing both parents within a short time, being forced to take care of her siblings at an early life, being neglected by relatives and thus seeking foster care, frequent failure of her relationships of the opposite sex and other situations had a potential to cause great damage to her psychologically.

To clinicians and psychiatric personnel’s, the memoir by Cournos provides a further insight on the psychological and emotional impact of being neglected. Although many of such professionals understands different emotional aspects of beings in different circumstances, The book brings a new perspective towards these clinicians on the best way to handle such people in order to help them regain their lost self consciousness as well as re develop their lost ego. This is because handling such kind of people with severe background situations as as Cournos entails a different approach compared with people from normal backgrounds.

The memoir by Cournos’ is an enlightening piece to many those reeling under such conditions on how to tackle painful issues in life such as the loss of parents. It is a good companion especially to those children who may be neglected by their relatives and who may be at a loss on what to do.

The book provides a lesson to relatives and other people not to neglect orphans. Relatives who neglect such children may be surprised to find that those rise up to become successful later in life. Regardless of that, it’s everyone’s principal duty to protect and take care of orphaned children. In other words, all children belong to the society and we are all mandated to take care of them.

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Another lesson derived from this book is that of self appreciation, when one starts feeling the worth of himself or herself that is the beginning of his or her life. By sharing her life’s lowest moments and what she went through as young girl in the book shows her appreciation and sense of worthiness. It is also a lesson to people to learn to share their experiences regardless of how worst they may seem, because the testimonies may be a support to others in similar situations. It also indicates that people should not despise themselves irrespective of the social dilemma encountered; being positive towards life is paramount to success.


Silas Nyamweya (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on June 24, 2021:

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