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Sonder Reads | Emily Gould's Friendship & Caitlin Doughty's Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory

January 29, 2017

 

 

 

Friendship is a captivatingly honest and singularly unflinching window into the complex and often painful realities of early adulthood and the true weight of our friendships.  Emily Gould has crafted with unyielding precision, a story which belies the fables we tell ourselves as we grow up.  Friendship is the razor sharp and deftly wielded portrait of two young women finding their way, together and apart.  Through meaningless jobs, stale dreams, failing relationships, pregnancy, disappointment and betrayal, Bev and Amy wend their way towards maturity – towards an ultimate understanding of the disparity between the lives we’ve imagined for ourselves and the ones that we are leading.  But the true magic of this novel lies in Gould’s utterly authentic voice, shameless in its sincerity, marking the brutal realities and unexpected windfalls of our youth and the vital nature of our friendships.

 

 

 

Caitlin Doughty’s memoir, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory, is a bluntly driven, but never unsympathetic, commentary on what it means to die in the twentieth century, where death is hidden behind closed doors and cultural traditions have given way to fearful irrationality.  Doughty navigates her subject matter with a nimble hand.  From a grisly encounter with her own mortality at the age of eight to a fascination with medieval history and a straight-out-of-college job as a crematory operator, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes traces Doughty’s corpse ridden coming-of-age with keen intellect and thoughtful research.  Her prose is direct – by turns hilarious and grotesque – meticulously examining what so many refuse to acknowledge: the true reality of our own ending.  Doughty’s is a piercing narrative, as difficult to accept as it is enthralling, a true reflection on the very nature of human existence.

 

 

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