Lonely: Learning to Live With Solitude

Toronto lawyer Emily White found herself experiencing years of intense loneliness following her graduation from law school. Desperate to claw her way out, she sought to analyze her condition, one that carried heavy stigma, and yet had barely been researched or written about.

Lonely is a well-written and well-researched book. Emily White advances the cause for loneliness being a bonafide condition, and not merely something a person should be able to "snap out of." She meticulously puts forth study after study that documents that loneliness causes ill health, can be genetic, is experienced by multitudes more than we suspect, and is not a self-indulgent state.

I'm glad that White wrote this book, as I suspect it will provide, if not relief, then a launching pad for anyone experiencing loneliness, whether long or short term. As she says, knowledge is key–knowing and accepting one is lonely is important in order to tackle it. Loneliness is not depression, is not anxiety (though those conditions can accompany it), and requires specific methods of treatment.

The book includes the words of other lonely people, but it doesn't really give the reader a sense of their experience. The book nicely incorporates both personal story and psychology, but I felt it needed other voices to be truly a definitive book on loneliness. Perhaps, selfishly, what I really wanted was to feel empowered by seeing the words of lonely people finally tacked to a page. This is more a comment, than a criticism.

Further information:

**This post is part of TLC's Lonely blog tour. I received a review copy from TLC in exchange for an honest review.


Hubert O'Hearn said...

This was my take on it: http://bythebookreviews.blogspot.com/2010/03/review-of-other-family.html

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I'm glad that you found things to connect with in this book even if it didn't have as much personal detail as you'd have liked. Thanks for being a part of this tour!

B.Kienapple said...

Thanks Heather! I love being part of TLC's tours. It always gets me out of my reading comfort zone!

Megan said...

I heard about this book here and decided to read it. It was an interested book that made me look at loneliness from a new perspective. But on the whole I didn't really connect with it, maybe it was the overwhelming amount of information and studies one after another. Not sure.


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