There is probably no greater mystery for family and friends when a loved one takes their own life. It leaves one bereft, oftentimes no knowing the reason only knowing the loss. In the book The Friend, Sigrid Nunez explores the feelings that come with that loss and the way in which on can hope to carry on left with both tangible and intangible reminders of the person lost. She also takes on as a group authors and does not have many peasant thing s to say about them
How long do you carry grief? How long do you remember a person who you loved every minute of every day? How long can comes to terms with only remembering the past when there is no future for the one you love?
A woman has long a friend of her lifetime. She is left bereft and as she takes on the friend’s Great Dane, Apollo, they both experience grief in one another. Her residence does not allow dogs, but somehow the woman is permitted to keep and know Apollo. As they grow closer all the feeling they had for the deceased come pouring out. Of course the dog can’t speak, but he can communicate through a bit of the woman’s magical thinking that this dog feels grief, as strong as hers.
“Your whole house smells of dog, says someone who comes to visit. I say I’ll take care of it. Which I do by never inviting that person to visit again.”
The woman becomes isolated devoting herself to Apollo and trying to capture through him, the meaning of both life and death. Can she capture her friend from the love and times he and now she shared with Apollo?
The problem I had with this story was it was jumpy. It seemed to be going into that stream of consciousness vein others have used. It has never been a successful strategy with this reader. The author was also very unforgiving with other authors. She made them out to be a narcissistic group, having little thought or respect for others of their profession.
If you enjoy a book that often rambles, and that presents writers in a non flattering vein, this book might appeal to you. I just wished the author had concentrated more on her relationship to Apollo.