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From Barnes & NobleOn the face of things, White seemed to have it all: caring friends, a loving family, and a challenging and fulfilling job. She juggled her roles as confidante, daughter, sister, and lawyer competently. Yet despite the structure and busyness of her days, despite the company of her friends and family, she was an intensely lonely woman. Unable to understand her debilitating failure to connect, she thought of it first as a personal problem. The embarrassment she felt at her inability to "fix" it merely caused a redoubling of her efforts to maintain the façade of a happy life. Ashamed, she became afraid that the severity of her loneliness was trivialized and deemed unimportant.
Research has shown that loneliness has a genetic component, and when enjoined with early isolation in childhood, as in White's, the outcome is fairly predictable. Chronic loneliness is no longer seen as a "mood" but as an affliction to be treated with the same care and seriousness as depression. And its impact isn't solely emotional —untreated, it can undermine the body, lead to dementia, and sucker-punch the immune system.
With the same precision and honesty that made The Noonday Demon so memorable, Lonely is a brave and encouraging look at an affliction shrouded in shame and thoughtlessly dismissed. With compassion and insight, White recounts her experience in order to help fellow strugglers find the comfort and motivation necessary to overcome their own loneliness.