Wednesday, 10 August 2016

On Books | The Opposite of Loneliness - Marina Keegan

A few weeks ago I did post about this book over on Instagram, telling everyone that they need to read this book. This had been on my to-read list for a long time and I ordered it a couple of months back from Amazon after seeing someone else post about it and thought that now was the right time to read it. 

Marina had just graduated from Yale in 2012. I was just about to graduate when I started to read The Opposite of Loneliness. Tragically, Marina died four days after graduation; a tragedy which I think only hightens just how wonderful this book is. 
A combination of essays and stories, Marina's writing is amazing. I did not even realise at first that I was reading fiction, and not her own life, when I first started the book. That is how well she draws you into the stories. The essays (most of which were written for the Yale Daily News), all involve considerations that seem so mature and well thought out for someone so young (because I'm so old!) She was clearly highly intelligent; she knew what she was good at and how to do it, and do it she did. In her essays she covered thoughts that probably all 20 somethings have about how hard life is and what we are going to do with ourselves. She discusses topics that were obviously very close to her such as the conservation of whales and being a celiac. All of which are written in a way that makes you feel as if you are reading the thoughts directly from Marina's mind. 
The stories also hit directly on the emotions of the characters that you feel as though you know them, that they are your friends, that you are there going through the motions with them. 

The way that Marina writes gives you hope and inspires you to find something that you love and to pursue it. And with the knowledge that Marina could not do the same, it almost compels you to go and do that thing because of her. 

If nothing else, I truly found this book inspiring. At moments it was sad, funny, just good old interesting. If you read nothing else this year, then make it this book. I cannot explain how much I adored this book and want everyone else to as well.