Recommended: Bittersweet, by Susan Cain

A few years ago, I was introduced to Susan Cain's first book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, and was deeply affected by what she had written. She was describing my repeated experience in such accurate detail that I wondered if she'd been able to do a Google search of my thought banks. Turns out I'm just not as unique as I thought I was.

My book group of two that I have enjoyed participating in for the past year has been reading Susan Cain's latest book, Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, and I'm having a stark sense of deja vu. She is putting my internal world on paper for the whole world to see.

I've had a streak of melancholy as a feature of my existence since I was very young. I don't remember a time in my life when it wasn't nearby. It was never based on my circumstances; it was almost as if it was central to my worldview. And longing too has been a companion. I think this book will be an affirming read if this sounds like you.

I don't find a resolution here, but acknowledgment and understanding are plentiful. If the Martha Graham quote about divine dissatisfaction evokes a familiar feeling for you, this book will be right up your alley. 

Susan Cain is a gifted communicator who matches her articulated experience with relevant research to support her claims. For me, this wasn't a book I wanted to hurry to finish. I wanted to savor it, and I know I will read it again sometime soon.

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