“I Was Here” by Gayle Forman, the story of a young woman coping with the aftermath of her best friend’s suicide, sounds like it would be the most depressing book of the year. However, despite being based on a terrible tragedy, I did not find it hard to read. It was sad, of course, but was truly more about recovering from tragedy than focused on the tragedy itself.
Cody is asked to sort through her friend’s belongings after her suicide; in the process, she learns many things she didn’t know about Meg, and a decent bit about herself. The author has obviously done a great deal of research about her subject, and shares some horrifying truths about “Suicide Assistance” groups, as well as some useful information about depression. It’s important to note that the novel never comes across as “preachy” or overly focused on providing factual information. It reads like a well-paced, intriguing story.
My recommendation: Give this book a try as a good story about unraveling the mystery of a vibrant young woman’s life. Also read it to learn more about depression and suicide. Even if you’re blessed enough that these issues have not touched your life, it is always good to be informed. You might someday find yourself in a position to help someone else.