It feels like a novel of impressions gathered trough a lifetime.
Proust's novel gave me the impression of a world discovered through the eyes of a synesthesist: images described with a tint of color, a hint of smell and a lot of emotions.
I enjoyed reading it a lot, especially since it gave me a perspective of the nineteen century France, but because some of the ideas presented in the book where similar to those used by me when attempting to describe a place where I felt comfortable, but without the true power of words to convey it properly to others (sometimes I wanted to share my reflections, but wasn't able to do that satisfyingly).
A remembrance of the times when life was much more pure and when eyes were more willing to discover more and the mind wasn't too eager to jump to notions, concepts to describe what it was perceiving through the senses. Lecturing the book, it brought back memories when I was discovering feelings, I was, in a way, completing perspectives I had on certain events which happened the way they did and which made me, in a way, what I became today.
Knowing when to be nostalgic and when to extract from the past the power to change your present state it's an ability worth practicing, if one wants to evolve and to have a sense of one's evolution.
Maybe friends can give a history of your becoming alongside them, but only if you nurture properly the relation with them. If you have that luck you can have an account of what you were like when you were growing up and what were the things, events, people which had influenced you in a way. But if you aren't that lucky, don't worry, you can still rely on yourself and your memory to fill the gaps(but beware of the retrospective perspective which can/make events seem more mild than they were).
An in all, a great book, the kind of book which can help you think of your upbringing or your past in general.