Review ARC | Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19

I would like to thank Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are my own personal thoughts

My first accepted request by Netgalley! Woohoo! So happy to have this opportunity and hopefully I’ll be able to snag more awesome ARCs and present them to you guys.

I love the idea and concept behind this book, and I think it’s a wonderful movement to help support the literature world that provides us with the much needed escapism we desperately need during these troubling times. So grateful and in awe that Haupt decided to donate the proceeds of this book to aid indie bookstores and booksellers. I wrote about more ways in which you can help in here.

Description Summary | A scrapbook of stories from the various people who give life to the literature world, heart wrenching in it’s brutal storytelling.

Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Book Summary | (Skip to Review)

Haupt presents a series of short stories and poems that make up this aching real anthology about the raw truths that we individuals face in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gathered from multiple figures in the literary world, Haupt presents the collection of stories in 4 different parts titled:

  • What now?
  • Grieve 
  • Comfort
  • Connect

We are whisked away to hear tales of bustling cities coming to halt, Zoom funerals and weddings, reunions and goodbyes, protests and change, and the comfort a yellow canary can bring us with its song.

Review

Review

Truthfully this book hides nothing. It’s like tentacles and claws ripping out open your darkest fears and worries about the pandemic and putting them on paper. Albeit few pages are not so bleak but for the most part this book is intense. It is not an easy read but I feel some people (especially those who think this whole pandemic is a “hoax”) need to see this. I can’t imagine not feeling anything after reading about all the things that these people went through.

I am sure many connected and shared in the many grievances presented in the book but to me personally it didn’t help. I feel like the book enabled hidden anxieties and worries to spring back up full force, and at one point I had to put the book down because it was overwhelming. This was why I took such a long time to read this. This is why I am saying that to anyone who easily becomes anxious this is a warning : this book may be triggering. And I do not want anyone else to go through what I went through.

I get that these stories need to be told, but for me what worked was when I focused my mind on different things to nourish myself rather than loom about this invisible shadow that is devouring everything around us. This is how I handle the pandemic, and it is my own valid experience.

Story and Format

I liked how the stories were divided into four parts, I liked how we had a diverse range of authors and writings. I think Haupt could possibly expand this concept to include international authors and booksellers since it is not just American bookstores and authors that are suffering. It could be a wonderful way to create a sense of community by having a worldwide collection of these anthologies. 

It’s a nice addition to include after every piece a small bio of the author and not just their name. 

Do I recommend? Only if you are able to emotionally and mentally handle the stories in the book.

Expected Publication | September 1 , 2020

Publisher | Central Avenue Publishing

Published by jawahirthebookworm

Hello I’m Jawahir the bookworm, a lost twenty-something year old bookish blogger who enjoys her books with a cup of strong coffee; milk no sugar no cream.

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