Marina Keegan's star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.
As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, "The Opposite of Loneliness," went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.
Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina's essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.
When I read what this book was supposed to be about I was immediately drawn to the young author who died unexpectedly. I love the introduction that the mentor and close friend of Ms. Keegan (Anne Fadiman) had given in the book; I found it very heartwarming and sweet. I really enjoyed the stories and essays that were put in the book; it really made me think about how I felt when I was her age and how my children must feel at that age now. I became sort of confused upon reading certain sections of the book, but overall I still really loved reading these stories and essays that this amazing author had written. The part that sort of confused me was where it said “Fiction.” I wasn’t sure if everything within that section was just fictional stories that Ms. Keegan had written or if it was essays and stories of how she had felt at that moment.
I really enjoyed this book and as I read it I was able to put myself in Ms. Keegan’s place at that particular moment and I could imagine and “feel” the emotions she must have felt as she wrote that certain part. It made me be more appreciative of what I have in my life and how I feel about things.
I think it was a wonderful way for Ms. Keegan’s family to memorialize her by putting her essays and stories into a book and sharing it with the world. I really enjoyed this book and I plan to give this book to my daughter and let her understand that I do know what she is feeling at that moment; that this book has helped me be able to understand her more as well. I find it tragic that the young woman died; I think she would have made an amazing writer. I am so glad that her family shared this book with us. I give this book an “A+.”
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Tiffany