Kathryn Brown's Reviews > Lonely: A Memoir

Lonely by Emily White
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2965124
's review
Oct 10, 2010

really liked it
Read from September 07 to October 10, 2010

The reason why I (like most people) enjoy reading memoirs is because I long for the sense of relating to another human being. I enjoyed reading this book and got a lot out of the author's own personal experiences.

Over the past few years, I have noticed a sense of loneliness in myself, and when a friend mentioned this book, I immediately wanted to read it. I have a tendency to be independent - almost to a fault, but lately, I'm realizing that this part of my own nature doesn't entirely serve me well. I'm realizing that perhaps I am just desiring relationships with more depth that are founded on common interests, and relationship building takes a lot of time.

Anyways, the author did a good job of weaving her own personal experience with scientific studies, which I appreciated since I happen to work in a scientific field. What I most appreciated about this book was the notion of stigma. Loneliness isn't something that anyone that I know is ready to own. I struggle with depression and have no problem claiming that, but loneliness is an entirely different matter. Over lunch one day at work, I even hestiated to tell my co-workers that I was reading this book, but then, I dismissed my initial reaction; I would only be perpetuating the stigma associated with loneliness.

I like this quote: 'I know that lonely people have things to say about their loneliness -- about how it makes them feel, and behave, and think; about how they feel walking into a room or bar; about how strange it is to unplug the phone after a weekend of loneliness. So long as we stigmatize loneliness, however, we're not going to hear about any of this. So long as the state remains taboo, there's a big wide stretch of human feeling and experience we're simply going to miss.'

Oh, the one thing that I am not so sure I liked about the book was the fact that the author's solution to her loneliness was in finding and meeting a partner. Perhaps I am still in my fiercely independent mindset, but still, I think that having a partnership is only one solution and that it's important to create a supportive social network, too. IMHO.
3 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Lonely.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ruby (new) - added it

Ruby Wow, that's it! I am obsessed with memoirs and you helped me figure out why. I feel less lonely when I read them! It is lovely to connect with people at such a deep level, even via the pages of a book. Maybe it's also "safer" than being at that level of intimacy with another human? Great observation, in any case


back to top