Monday, May 13, 2024

Grief is for People

Grief Is for PeopleGrief Is for People by Sloane Crosley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A sprightly book about grieving and loss, full of snappy lines and trenchant observations, arranged in the Kubler-Ross stages of grief (Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression and Acceptance) although the last is simply Afterward as Crosley never really accepts her loss. Drawn in from the first page by the burglary of her jewelry, as I've had the same happen to me, I admired her chutzpah in pursuing leads to find the missing pieces as well as the hollow feelings, the frustration.
But most of the book describes her friend Russell, who was also her publicist boss at Knopf Vintage, and her grief at losing him: "I am disgusted by the universal truths of grief, by the platitudes. I don't want to make my way through the coming stages..." Her losses left a hole in her heart which "was like a wind tunnel that whistled straight through until dawn."
The end of the book describes New York City in quarantine and any urban dweller can identify with it ("What about the cabdrivers? What about the umbrella guys who manifest at the first drop? What about the theater? What about zoos?..flea markets?") making her feel like her "life had been petrified in ash."
She's a smart, talented writer and I read her book straight through, but, for me, her "trademark wit" interferes with the story.

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