Book #43 of 2020

Title: How Not to Die Alone

Author: Richard Roper

Thoughts: I wanted to love this book so badly. I was so excited about this book. The premise is so cute (you can read about it here)—but at least for me, it didn’t get good until about 3/4ths of the way through the book, which is a lot of time to wait for the two main characters to (inevitably) fall in love. I loved the ending, I just didn’t love how long it took to get there. Also, the main character annoyed me. But other than that…it’s good! It’s cute. It’s a reminder that everyone is deserving of love. Even annoying characters, apparently.

Favorite Lines:
“It was this kind of detail that stayed with him long afterward: odd little elements of a forgotten life, the reasons for their existence unknowable, leaving him with a subtle feeling of unresolved tension, like seeing a question written down without a question mark.” (p. 56)

“And the idea that they’d not have someone there to be with them at the end, to acknowledge that they’d been a person in the world who’d suffered and loved and all the rest of it—he just couldn’t bear the thought of it.” (p. 64)

“It had been a genuine gesture of warmth, and for that second and a half he was reminded about how it felt to let someone in.” (p. 123)

“And now, as he desperately searched for something reassuring to say to Peggy, he realized the pain he was feeling concealed a different truth. In that moment, he didn’t care about himself. All he wanted to do was make Peggy happy. The pain was there because he didn’t know how.” (p. 144)

“…the feeling was one of pure, almost painful happiness, like a desperate embrace squeezing air from his lungs, and it was then that the realization hit him: he might not know what the future held—pain and loneliness and fear might still yet grind him into dust—but simply feeling the possibility that things could change for him was a start, like feeling the first hint of warmth from kindling rubbed together, the first wisp of smoke.” (p. 166)

“He decided this should be part of some governmental scheme: that everyone should be legally entitled to have at least one evening a year where they could sink down into soft cushions, their stomachs rumbling in anticipation of ravioli and red wine, listening to chatter from another room, and feel for the briefest flicker of time that they mattered to someone.” (p. 191)

Click here to purchase How Not to Die Alone

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