Book Review: The Opposite of Loneliness

We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.

The Opposite of Loneliness was one of my favorite books I read in 2016 (and I read a lot of them), which is why it was the first book I pulled off of my shelf to review and share with you.

The Opposite of Loneliness is a compelling book with a tragic backstory. It’s the kind of book you read cover-to-cover even though it is a string of individual stories and essays. The author, Marina Keegan, was an English student at Yale. She was killed in a car crash in 2012, just days after graduating magna cum laude. Her family, friends and professors compiled this award-winning collection of her work to honor her memory. The book title is taken from an essay Marina wrote for the graduation issue of the Yale Daily News. I won’t spoil the content for you, but if you read anything at all from this book, read that essay.

We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two year olds. We have so much time.

Right from the book’s Introduction, wherein Yale professor Anne Fadiman quotes a number of emails from Marina, I felt a connection with Marina and with the book. In her stories, you see the brilliance of her writing; but in her everyday emails, she’s a normal, young twenty-something who writes with the same passionate energy that I feel. Add this to the fact that her essay, The Opposite of Loneliness, hit me at the exact time in my life that she had been: a recent college graduate preparing to face life. I feel I might have to read this book again now (one year later) just to relive the experience.

I’ve listed a couple more of my favorite quotes from the book below. I invite you to order this book and bask in the wonderful work Marina left behind.

I will love for love and the rest will take care of itself.

It was subtle. Quick. But it said everything. Absolutely, absolutely everything.

 

 

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