Someone You Love is Gone by Gurjinder Basran is a beautiful novel centered around grief.
Picking this book up, after losing my own Father years ago, was kind of like therapy. I was able to see someone else facing the exact thing I had (keep in mind a different gendered parent) and having a similar response to me. Gurjinder Basran does a fantastic job of showing how grief affects a person.
The small losses of temper, without meaning to was a big part of mine and my Mother’s grief. Seeing this happen was truly incredible – our main character Simran does not purposely yell at her daughter or her husband, it just happens. The emotions that go through someone when experiencing grief is very expressive in this book – and it shows how talented this author is.
I’d hate to say this book is like a “slice of life” novel, but it is – but a slice of grief and the life that comes after. So many sayings that you don’t think about – like how you just get used to grief and it doesn’t get better – are displayed in this story. Before someone dies, you say that but don’t realize how true those sayings really are. You don’t realize how haunting it is to be here and that person who’s in your memories and clothes are still in their closets are just not there – they don’t exist anymore. This beautiful novel shows all of this, and it almost made me cry thinking about how honest this book is compared to my own grief.
I relate a lot of Sim, and I think this is why the book speaks to me so much.
<spoiler> When her husband comes home from work only to get changed to go out for drinks for work, leaving Sim behind when she really needs someone (and her daughter goes back to school and won’t even hug her mother goodbye) speaks to me on so many levels. All of my friends and family ditched me as soon as my Father died, leaving me alone for the final month of high school. Literally alone. It speaks to me so much on so many levels to see THIS IS REAL. This was not just my small reality, but this can be others as well – even if this book is fictional. </spoiler>
Overall, this book is truly beautiful. I could go on and spoil everything, but I would rather just state my opinion to finish it off.
This book shows the gradual change in grief – immediately losing a parent, dealing with the emotions after, dealing with relationships during grief, trying to pick what’s best and how to grieve, and the finale of finally accepting it.
This book should be read by those experiencing or who have experienced grief to understand. This was far better than any therapist or book I was forced to read during my grief – those self help books are rarely helpful, let’s be honest.
Five out of five stars.
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
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