Scriptless: A Memoir - Book Review

Scriptless: A Memoir

Author: Carol McMillan
Genre: Non Fiction - Memoir
Publisher: Sidekick Press
Date Published: June 13, 2023
ISBN-10: 1958808105
ISBN-13: 978-1-958808-10

Book Review of :  Scriptless: A Memoir


Author Carol McMillan has shared with readers her fascinating history in her memoir, Scriptless. In addition to published technical writing and a nonfiction volume titled White Water, Red Walls, she has exposed her personal relationships and reflections in this memoir while living in the 1960s political and social/cultural scene in the Bay Area of San Francisco. Her writing style is pithy with spirit and resolve. Her use of strong, descriptive language based on her education as an anthropologist adds to her excellent memory for details, journal entries, and photographs.

The hippy movement, free love, and anti-Vietnam war movement permeate McMillan's coming of age in the sixties. Marijuana and counterculture music by now-famous artists and bands are fondly remembered.

I lived in the Bay Area during this period and experienced this transformative era firsthand. Her writing transported me back to my own poignant memories of San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. McMillan's book offers an authentic and vivid portrayal of a time that shaped the counterculture movement and the generation it birthed.

The prologue to Scriptless is an introduction to the Bay Area by following the flow of sea fog across the bay and into the towns. The author relates the fog changing as it envelops the area to the changing direction of her life. A 21-year-old college graduate in 1966 with no job, she impulsively joined the Peace Corp. While flying from San Francisco to Miami for training, she contemplates her death. Her fear of flying led to introspection into her life's purpose and goals. Dropping out of the Peace Corps, she returns to the Bay Area and is offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accompany a professor on a six-month trip to Africa.

Continuing in her intriguing writing style, the author relates her many experiences while traveling, photographing, and meeting people in Africa. From Cape Town to Sub-Saharan Africa. Through Zambia, Tanzania, and other fascinating countries to Victoria Falls and the  Serengeti, the author's memories relate how the small team of scientists endure with perseverance, determination, and courage a trip that armchair travelers will embrace. She details encounters with many wild beasts,  one of the least changed cultures on earth, warring tribes and soldiers, and poisonous creatures.

McMillan's raw experiences allow her to contemplate further her ideas of an interconnected human tapestry, or Cosmic Tapestry, where all life forms interrelate. On returning to the United States, she devoted herself to studying for a Masters in Education and anticipates teaching in a multicultural school. The author is not without romance in her life, but it takes second place after her dedication to teaching her students.

For readers of travel tomes, this is a must. As a memoir, it is personal and makes the reader feel as if he knows the author intimately and her friends, family, and co-workers as distinctive people who are all a part of the tapestry of the human existence.  

Reviewed by: Carole W.

About Carol McMillan


Carol McMillan is an award-winning writer, published in several anthologies and scientific journals. She is the author of White Water, Red Walls, a memoir in poems, paintings, and photos of her rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. She lives on Moku O Keawe, the Big Island of Hawaii, where she has served as president of the Hawaii Writers' Guild. Carol is working on her next book that will share her experiences living with free-ranging rhesus monkeys on Cayo Santiago, a tiny island off the coast of Puerto Rico.

Visit for more information on Carol McMillan


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