The Opposite of Loneliness - Marina Keegan || Review


A few months ago a friend of mine read an essay online called, The Opposite of Loneliness. He said it was deeply moving and made him think about his own life; he also told me to read it and I told him I would...  but as usual I completely forgot about it. It wasn't until the #SassyBooks book club announced that their September read was a book of the same name that I remembered it and decided to look it up. No surprise that they were one in the same!

Marina Keegan is described as an American author that passed away five days after graduating from college in 2012, but she is more than that. The Opposite of Loneliness is a collection of her short stories and personal essays, all of which were chosen by Anne Fadiman (her college professor and friend) after Marina's death.  She is remembered as the talented writer that died after her graduation, but for me that doesn't do her justice. She wasn't just a writer, she was a story-teller, she had, and still has, the capability to draw people into a world and make them feel, she has the power to delve into the mind of a complete stranger and make it feel like you are the only person in the world that matters. She is not her death, she is her words, her beautiful descriptions, her understanding of the human soul, and so much more. 

What is it about
The book is a collection of short stories and essays, all of which explore human emotion; from the old woman that strips off to read to a blind man, to Marina's personal essay on having Celiac disease, each piece leaves you feeling - feeling what? Well, that's up to the individual reader, but for me, the more I read on, the more I wanted to escape my life and become a better human.

Within the short amount of space that we are given to learn about her characters, their lives and their stories, we end up learning more about ourselves through their very creation. What would we do in that situation? How would we react to this? and most importantly, how will our present effect our future?

In the short story, Reading Aloud is the line 'aging is harder for beautiful people' and a first I thought nothing of it, but I came back to it and I kept coming back to it. She was right. In those six words, in a singular short story, she has opened up an entire world of debate, understanding and discovery. Whether she knew it or not, Marina was a genius.

Should you read it?
Do I even need to answer this? Haha! Yes. Yes, you should. If you get a spare moment read her essay, The Opposite of Loneliness, and then try and not want to read more.

You can buy the book on Amazon, and all other places where books are sold!

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