Sixteen year old Tiger is concerned about normal teenage things. Her clothes, her best friend, a boy, a dance, a kiss. Then one day, her mother dies. And she is alone. And nothing that mattered before, mattered anymore. This book is a guide to grief. What you might go through, what others go through, how it will feel in the dark, how dark and isolated it can be. How one person came to terms with it and continued life not on the other side of it but beyond the beginning. Embracing the dark and the grief that remains after it enters your life.
How To Make Friends With The Dark is a wonderfully heartbreaking, tough and hopeful book. One that I could not read in one sitting. This book requires breaks. Tigers grief is hard to be pulled into for too long. The pacing converges into this, a bit strange, cyclical or unpredictable out of the blue, but in a way that makes sense and adds realness to the story. Tiger’s mother has died and with her Tiger has lost normalcy – routine, predictability. It gets slow. You’re afloat with Tiger, you’re close to her thoughts, and all at once something is happening that feels out of her control and the the pace hurtles forward.
Kathleen Glasgow seems to know how exactly to push all m emotional buttons. She goes in on issues – death, grief, depression, suicide, sickness, abuse, addiction. Tiger gets deep, down into the dark. The new lows she reaches dealing new perspective not just to her but for me as the reader.
- Strong, complicated and varied forms of female relationships.
- Some things aren’t resolved outright, as it tends to not in life.
- While there was a budding romance, there is no push into pursuing the previous or new which I appreciated. Tiger didn’t need a romance to take over this story. She had enough on her plate.
- Tiger’s mom, June, wasn’t depicted as perfect. Neither was the relationship between mother and daughter before her death. June was complicated and had lived with her own life and grief and had her own faults. She wasn’t the best mother but she was Tiger’s, and her loss was devastating nonetheless.
- Told in an effective and engaging manner where I felt that even if I didn’t relate to or particularly like a character, I could still feel for them which really highlights the honesty and empathy embedded into the book.
- Grief didn’t feel like isolation in the end. It felt like a community. Something no one goes through truly alone. Something you won’t get past but can pull yourself up from.
- It’s not a quick or easy read. The visceral and gut-wrenching nature of it takes time.
- The pacing at times added to the difficulty getting through the book. Sometimes mundane and repetitive and too much into Tiger’s thoughts with few events for too long.
– 4/5 Raw, dark, messy and relatable. A guide to grief.