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Half a Life: A Memoir

Half a Life: A Memoir - Darin Strauss When I turned to the last page of this profound little book, I simply sat quietly and thought about how awful it must be to carry guilt with you, like a shadow, for most of your life, for something you probably had little or no control over and are completely without blame.
This poignant, honest appraisal of a tragic accident, that took place "half a life" away, grips you in its claws. You are compelled to empathize with the driver of the car and the bicyclist that was killed. The simplicity of the author’s prose, coupled with the raw emotion expressed, conspire to make you an unwilling witness to this tragic event.
You morph into friend and foe, all wrapped into one, watching the author, whose life changed the night of the terrible accident, as he spends his days unaware sometimes, of how consumed he is with the memory of someone he never really knew.
His life changed irrevocably that night, but the cyclist’s ended totally. He goes through his life searching for meaning and justice and comprehension for that moment in time that changed his future and hers. He asks himself often, is he feeling the right emotions, will he ever be able to forget that night or will it haunt him forever as it has been doing for so many years? Every waking moment seems to be a judgment about him, based on that fateful night.
Although he is not always fully aware of it, his mind has not coped well with the grief he carries from the tragedy. He cannot move on beyond it because the guilt will not release itself. He remembers the words of the victim’s parents and tries to satisfy their needs and lessen their horror, by living for her as well. He is consumed with the question, if their horror will never end, why should his? How he copes with this sadness and need to explain the unexplainable, is the crux of this memoir and it is very compelling.