This is a memoir-type of nonfiction book about death and suicide. It is a very differently structured book, but one that I read once and reread again.
In November, 2016, Liz Levine’s younger sister, Tamara, reached a breaking point after years of living with mental illness. In the dark hours before dawn, she sent a final message to her family and then killed herself.
In this book, Liz weaves the story of what happened to Tamara with another significant death–that of Liz’s childhood love, Judson, to cancer.
She writes about her relationship with Judson, Tamara’s struggles, the conflicts that arise in a family of challenging personalities, and how death casts a long shadow on those left behind.
This memorable account of life and loss is haunting yet filled with dark humour. Tamara emails her family when Trump is elected to check if she’s imagining things again. Liz discovers a banana has been indicted as a whistleblower in an alleged family conspiracy, and a little niece declares Tamara’s funeral the most fun ever!
In this memoir, Liz exposes the raw truths about grief and mourning that we often shy away from, and never share with others. And she reveals how, in the midst of death, life must also be celebrated.
I loved this book although I must admit it was hard to read in places. But I was very glad that I read it through.