Book Review | The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan

Marina Keegan
Advance Reader Copy, 208 pages
Publication date:
April 8th 2014
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.


“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness. but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.”

You may have heard of Marina Keegan if you’ve read or stumbled upon her essay “The Opposite of Loneliness” which was published in The Yale Daily New. I loved that essay so much as it was so poignant and well written in addition to resonating with much of what I was feeling as I prepared to graduate and move onto the next step in my life. It was that piece of writing that inspired me to pick up this collection of essays and short stories written by her. Unfortunately Marina died in a car accident in 2012 so this is probably the only collection we’ll get of her writing.

The collection starts with her famous essay, “The Opposite of Loneliness” which I think those of us who are students would find relatable. The rest of the collection is then divided into two sections, “Fiction” which consists of her short stories and “Non-Fiction” which are her essays. I went in more excited to read her essays, but in the end, I actually enjoyed her short stories much more although I did find her non-fiction writing to be extremely compelling, honest and at times heartbreaking. My favourite one was “Song for the Special”, a piece which I thought was the perfect choice to send this wonderful collection. As for her short stories, they were simple yet had much depth within them; I especially enjoyed the first short story titled, “Cold Pastoral”. This story, though initially seemed like a typical story about a woman grieving the death of her boyfriend turns out to be a much more complicated look at human relationships and love. All in all, this was an interesting collection of both fiction and non-fiction writing that I think is worth checking out.

If you like this book, you’ll love: So Much A Part of You by Polly Dugan

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.