rachel's Reviews > Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide

Night Falls Fast by Kay Redfield Jamison
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's review
Jan 02, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2008, heartbreakers, true-story

Suicide, both the completed act and ideation of, is a subject that I've had to deal with much more than I'd care to. I made the mistake of reading this book while on a bus back to college and what I remember most of the experience is how embarrassing it was to be sitting next to a stranger, making a deeply personal connection with a book and crying without restraint.

But, if you think of all of the smart, creative, generous people whose lives have been cut short by depression culminating in suicide, it's impossible not to be sad. This book tells the stories of some of those people; the chapter on Meriwether Lewis (one half of Lewis and Clark) is particularly affecting. If the historical and sociological facts Jamison presents don't touch you, the personal accounts will.

Often considered a taboo subject, suicide is something that needs to be talked about so that more people can be discouraged from doing it. The understanding (or maybe just the empathy) that this book gives is essential. So while I felt embarrassed about crying on the bus, I'm not embarrassed to have read this book in public.
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