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Surrounded By Others And Yet So Alone

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Professional Reviews

Freiberg, I’m happy to say, is the Oliver Sacks of law …
“What we have in Freiberg, I’m happy to say, is the Oliver Sacks of law…Freiberg’s stories of law cases—like Sacks’ clinical tales of his neurology patients—lead the reader through a fascinating accounting of the technical workings of their respective professions. But both writers do so much more for us than that, for both report to us how, by being forced to think outside the box, they worked to resolve the singular and fascinating cases that came their way. And Freiberg, like Sacks, has an unpretentious ease of expression in his flowing prose that sometimes brings a tear, sometimes a smile, and often an insight. Both writers manage to report their professional intervention in deadly serious real-world circumstances with a lightness of touch than seems almost ethereal. Freiberg never lectures this reader; on the contrary, his voice seems more like a whisper from the person sitting next to you as you both look out at the legal drama seemingly unfolding on its own in the pages you read.”

Bessel van der Kolk, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University Medical School
Best-selling NYT author of The Body Keeps The Score

Review in US REVIEW by Kat Kennedy

Surrounded by Others And Yet So Alone Recently Received Highest Level of Praise by US Review Of Books

A riveting read that will forever change the way one looks at chronic loneliness and the connections between humans ...

Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone: A Lawyer’s Case Stories of Love, Loneliness, and Litigation by J. W. Freiberg, Philia Books – book review by Kat Kennedy

``Loneliness, I realized, is the sensation of inadequate connections to others, just as hunger is the sensation of inadequate nourishment and thirst is the sensation of inadequate hydration.``
Consisting of five stories taken from the author’s work as a lawyer, this book offers a study in the causes of subjective chronic loneliness in those whose connections with other people “fail to provide the security, nurturing, and soothing care that others enjoy from their healthy connective networks.” In looking over his many years of case studies, the author narrows down the types of misconnections experienced by the chronically lonely into five categories: “Tenuous Connections,” in which the connections between clients are uncertain or unreliable; “One-Way Connections”—for example, unrequited love; “Fraudulent Connections,” wherein one’s relationship is based on deception and manipulation; “Obstructed Connections,” where one is prevented from being emotionally available; and “Dangerous Connections,” in which the relationship can cause devastating emotional and physical harm. For each of these misconnections, Freiberg includes a case study from one of his past clients to illustrate how people who are in relationships with others may still suffer loneliness because of the failure of their relationships to offer healthy connections.
The five case studies presented in this work are exceptional tales of the human experience. Some are heart-wrenching as they deal with innocent children who find themselves at the mercy of the adults in their lives. Others deal with the bizarre turns that life can take and the human capacity to see what one wants to see even to the point of denying an unmistakable truth. Each fascinating story is told through the voice of a master storyteller, which renders the text fluid and engaging while instilling its subjects with a humanity which elevates them far beyond a case study in a folder. One feels for each of these people as they navigate the legal system, gaining respect for the author and his role in helping them. There is much to learn about humanity, as well as the nuances of loneliness in the author’s work.
Freiberg has a unique position from which to address the issue of loneliness through the lens of litigation. He began his career as a social psychologist after obtaining his PhD at UCLA and spending a decade as a professor at Boston University. After receiving his J.D. at Harvard, he embarked on his long career as a lawyer. Having experience in both fields gives him a unique perspective on the modern phenomenon of loneliness and how it contributed to particular law cases on which he worked. This is the third of Freiberg’s books on the subject. The award-winning first, Four Seasons of Loneliness (2016), deals with four case studies from his law practice, one from each season of life. The second, Growing Up Lonely (2018), is a collection of papers, for which he served as editor, from the 2018 Symposium on Childhood Loneliness held at the Kennedy Center in Boston, MA. Each has received accolades from professionals in child psychology, with Four Seasons of Loneliness garnering the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Awards Gold Prize.
It is impossible to read these case studies without being profoundly impacted by the people involved. What Freiberg has done is to take the legal notes on each case and put a very human face on each one, all the while revealing his own deeply felt concern for his clients and their circumstances. This is a riveting read that will forever change the way one looks at chronic loneliness and the connections between humans.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review


Surrounded by Others And Yet So Alone Reviewed by “KIRKUS REVIEWS, The most trusted voice in book reviews since 1933”

A richly literary and psychological meditation on legal conflicts that illuminates the ways that people need and hurt one another

Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone: A Lawyer’s Case Stories of Love, Loneliness, and Litigation by J. W. Freiberg, Philia Books – book review by KIRKUS REVIEWS

People threatened with or suffering from loneliness turn to a lawyer for help in this insightful memoir of vexed relationships. Freiberg, a former Boston University sociology professor and longtime attorney who represented social services agencies, recounts five cases he worked on that focus on interpersonal connections gone wrong. In a complex child custody case, a 6-year-old girl whose mother died suddenly faced separation from a man who’d cared for her from birth and the prospect of being shipped off to a grandmother she didn’t know. In an off-kilter disbarment proceeding, the author defended a competent, energetic attorney accused of ethical impropriety for not pressuring clients to accept advantageous plea bargains; Freiberg came to believe that the lonely, isolated man had tried to prolong his clients’ cases so he could maintain relationships with them. The author also dealt with a celebrated case of relationship fraud, negotiating contracts for Shi Pei-Pu—a male Chinese opera soprano who pretended to be a woman in order to maintain a decadeslong love affair with an ostensibly unwitting male French diplomat; the affair ended when they were arrested for espionage. (Shi’s life story later became the inspiration for the famous 1988 play M. Butterfly.) In a bit of impromptu family therapy, Freiberg helped a lonely 10-year-old cancer patient convince his distracted parents that he needed more love from them; the attorney later advised the boy’s mother on how to rectify the fact that she robbed a bank decades before, which enmeshed him in negotiations with federal prosecutors and a Mafia don. And in a plangent domestic abuse case that demonstrates the danger of ties that bind too tightly, the author advised a baker and her stepson in their quest to get free of her violent husband. Beneath an overlay of psychological analysis, Freiberg’s case studies unfold like short stories, complete with evocative characterizations (“my client was satisfied with living alone, working alone, and surviving on the thin emotional soup of his fantasy”) and fraught scenes in which unwitting self-revelation flows from subtle observations of setting and action. For example, regarding Shi’s ill-advised operatic comeback attempt, he writes, “The delicate soprano tones he so searched to refind were no longer available....Three or four seconds passed before a belated and brief round of unconvincingly timid applause broke out. Shi Pei-Pu visibly quiv­ered at being so out of place, so disconnected, so alone.” There’s a lot of lawyering here, with descriptions of gnarly strategizing, behind-the-scenes negotiations, and courtroom drama, as in the custody case: “I can’t lose my daddy,’ she replied. ‘I already lost my mommy….It would be like if you lost one eye, that would make you sad….But if you lost both eyes, that would make you blind.” At times, the narratives get bogged down in meandering dialogue, but the subjects’ own testimonies often carry extraordinary force. The result is a richly literary and psychological meditation on legal conflicts that illuminates the ways that people need and hurt one another.

A series of engrossing true-life legal procedurals that pack an emotional wallop.

Review in BookLIFE

Freiberg has a master storyteller’s skillful voice

“Freiberg has a master storyteller’s skillful voice” by BookLIFE Reviews

Attorney and former social psychology professor Freiberg (Growing Up Lonely: Disconnection and Misconnection in the Lives of Our Children) assembles a sparkling collection of exceedingly erudite essays on human nature as seen through the lens of some of his most memorable legal cases. For over three decades in Boston, Freiberg worked for child protective social service organizations, adoption agencies, and many psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers. The majority of his stories center on children and the social and psychological stresses that litigants experience and inflict on one another in legal proceedings.

One of the most heartstring-tugging pieces is “The Girl Who Inherited France,” the story of a bright six-year-old whose mother dies suddenly from a stroke. In a protracted custody battle, her stepfather fights to keep custody of the little girl he considers his daughter. Another story likely to elicit tears is “Three Souls Caught in a Spider’s Web,” the tale of a bakery owner and battered wife who helps her isolated stepson to find a forever home. The author’s passion for his subjects will readily be shared by the reader. The theme of solitude and loneliness connects the essays, but each one takes a different approach, and each child is a sympathetically depicted individual.

Though billed primarily as an analysis of loneliness, this is far from a dry textbook. Freiberg has a master storyteller’s skillful voice, easily drawing readers into his narratives and keeping them enthralled. He teaches through relevant examples rather than dry pronouncements and expertly gets to the emotional heart of each case, immediately garnering empathy for each person he profiles. The closing section has a more academic tone but is still very accessible and reader-friendly. Expertly written and perfectly paced, Freiberg’s work puts a human face on the law and will have considerable appeal for anyone interested in human nature both at its best and at its worst.

Takeaway: Anyone with an interest in loneliness, solitude, or the sorrows of children caught in litigation will be enthralled by these erudite and sympathetic essays.

Great for fans of Oliver Sacks’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, E.O. Wilson’s On Human Behavior.

Production grades
Cover: A+
Design and typography: A+
Illustrations: -
Editing: A+
Marketing copy: A

Review in Good Reads

Freiberg has a marvelous ability

“Freiberg has a marvelous ability to translate people’s lives and their struggles into readable tales that allow us to explore our hearts.” review by Jill Elizabeth at Good Reads Reviews

I am a lawyer. I have known a lot of lawyers. They have not, as a general rule, been the most adept at maneuvering their way through the world of emotion... That's not to say we, as a class, are heartless. We are no more or less so than any other category of humans. But I do think that, because of the nature of the work, we tend to be excellent at separating ourselves from emotion when necessary (and ``when necessary`` tends to translate to ``often``). If we could not, it would be very difficult to do what we do with the precision and clarity we need to. This is true for corporate lawyers as well as family lawyers, and all categories in between. To represent someone in what are often their most difficult moments (civil or criminal, professional or personal), we have to be able to look at all the angles - and if you are caught up in the emotional drama of the person's situation, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to do that to the extent necessary to get the job done.

But distancing yourself from the emotional impact of what you're doing does not, by any means, mean you are isolated from it. You ignore the human impact of your actions at your own (and your client's) peril. And that's where someone like Terry Freiberg becomes the most important lawyer I know of. This is the second book of his that I have read. It will not be the last (assuming he keeps writing them, of course!) because his words remind me why I have always been captivated by the law and why I believe, no matter how many lawyer jokes or horror stories I hear, that ours is a noble profession with the power to do great things. He reminds me that words like love and loneliness are entirely relevant to the practice of law, because they are entirely relevant to the practice of being human. In this second book, Freiberg once again uses case studies to remind us of this.

Through a series of stories of individual's experiences with life and the law, Freiberg demonstrates how loneliness is at the heart of the isolation that is rendering modernity so scary for so many of us. The stories are interesting, lovely and heartwarming. They are also difficult to read at times, particularly if you find them and their theme so resonant, as I did. During the course of my read, we lost my dad to ALS, in the midst of a global pandemic that meant we were robbed not only of years with him, courtesy of the disease, but of many of the final months and weeks of him, because of quarantining. Having just lost my dad, I was indeed one of the eponymous people surrounded by others and yet so alone, and I was very nervous that the book would be too difficult to read as a result...

It was difficult. But it also helped. I only cried once during the read (an exceptional accomplishment in those days, when I pretty much cried every day). I won't spoil the story by telling you why, only point out that it was Billy's story that did it. The rest of the time I found the stories to deliver an element of hope on top of their thought provoking lessons. Freiberg has a marvelous ability to translate people's lives and their struggles into readable tales that allow us to explore our hearts without feeling like we are being preached at. It is a gift, and one I hope he keeps sharing - I for one will read anything he produces. His books are unfailingly interesting, thoughtful, and important reminders of why we're here and how we need to remember that none of us is alone in this world, even when it feels most like we are...

Thank you to the exceptionally talented Terry Freiberg for providing me with an obligation-free review copy - and for waiting so patiently for me to deal with my own issues and grief in order to prepare this long-overdue review!

Reviews in Readers’ Favorite

J. W. Freiberg is an expert in human connection and loneliness. It is a page-turner and a must-read.

5.0 out of 5 stars – Reviewed By Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone: A Lawyer’s Case Stories of Love, Loneliness, and Litigation by J. W. Freiberg is a compelling and eye-opening book that discusses a topic that is as relevant as it is intimate to the human spirit: loneliness. Using stories of some of his clients, the author, a social psychologist turned lawyer, explores how human misconnections drive the disturbing experience of loneliness, to the point that people live with friends, family, and mates yet they feel a devastating sense of loneliness. The author identifies three different types of misconnection: fraudulent connection, obstructed connection, and dangerous connection and unveils some of their characteristics. People experiencing these kinds of misconnections, like Victoria Bergeron in the story of “The Girl Who Inherited France,” featured in the book, are seemingly normal people, or are they, really? In this book, J. W. Freiberg analyzes the human experience of loneliness and explores some of its causes, illustrating how wrongly forged connections can be unsettling and harmful. The ability to share stories from people he’s encountered in his work is exceptional and the analysis the author shares with readers is enlightening. While reading Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone, I felt compelled to examine the connections in my personal life, from family to friends and the people I meet in the neighborhood. The author compels readers to ask the question: Am I genuinely, authentically, properly connected? It is surprising how some of our connections are either dangerous or fraudulent. The book is entertaining and hugely informative, but what makes it stand out is the way it will compel readers to scrutinize their relationships. In an age when gadgets and technology make us drift further and further away from real human connections, this book is a powerful reminder of the importance of human connections to our personal and social health. Just as Brene Brown is the expert on human vulnerability, J. W. Freiberg is an expert in human connection and loneliness. It is a page-turner and a must-read.
Beautifully penned portraits of real cases, along with a deep and psychological exploration of the human experience

5.0 out of 5 stars – Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone: A Lawyer’s Case Stories of Love, Loneliness, and Litigation is a work of non-fiction focusing on relationships and personal feelings and was penned by author J. W. Freiberg. In this highly engrossing follow up to Four Seasons of Loneliness, the author once again explores the crisis of social isolation and chronic loneliness, this time through an exploration of a lack of connection in relationships. What results are some beautifully penned portraits of real cases, along with a deep and psychological exploration of the human experience through their eyes, and from the author’s own perspective as a lawyer. Whilst this wouldn’t be my usual go-to read, author J. W. Freiberg had me hooked right from the beginning. For a work of non-fiction, the scenes in these different cases are presented with all the creative talents of a novelist, inviting us to meet fully realized characters and engage with the intense problems and feelings that they are experiencing. This highlights the central issues of the book in an emotive and extremely relatable way, helping those who have never experienced chronic loneliness to truly understand how damaging it can be, and also how it affects and is affected by relationships. What results is an emotional journey of getting to know both the author and his cases, whilst also being deeply educated on an important element of social psychology for the modern world. Overall, I would highly recommend Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone for all readers wanting to understand mental health in the modern world a little more.
The stories are incredible, made more so because they are true, and are brought to life through the talented writing

5.0 out of 5 stars – Reviewed By Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite

Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone: A Lawyer’s Case Stories of Love, Loneliness, and Litigation by J. W. Freiberg is the fifth book published in the author's non-fiction arsenal that is drawn by his legal career. This installment is preceded by Growing Up Lonely, Four Seasons of Loneliness, Critical Sociology, and The French Press. In this volume, Freiberg delivers five distinct stories that delve into the very real situations of people who are emotionally isolated despite having a traditional circle of people around them. The book begins with an overview of the different types of connections—aptly labeled as misconnections—which do little or nothing for our well-being. Through the lives and the cases that Freiberg presents, we are able to connect on our own with those who themselves were burdened by loneliness. Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone is as much a psychological study as it is a compelling reminder of the difference between quality over quantity in the circles we build as well as those we do not, such as with family. I was particularly touched by the chapter on a young boy named Billy Denver, an emotionally starved cancer patient who turns to Freiberg in an attempt to make things right with his parents in The Boy Who Was Older than his Parents. Billy is such a profoundly intelligent boy that he sums up the kinship between himself and his mother by saying, “There’s just no heat in her warmth.” The stories are incredible, made more so because they are true, and are brought to life through the talented writing that only an author with the skill of Freiberg could portray. This is an excellent book that is easy to recommend to any reader who adores true to life narratives.
A book that hit me hard and that had me thinking about the nature of my relationships and human connections

5.0 out of 5 stars – Reviewed By Gobi Jane for Readers’ Favorite

Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone: A Lawyer’s Case Stories of Love, Loneliness, and Litigation by J. W. Freiberg is a book that hit me hard and that had me thinking about the nature of my relationships and human connections. In this book, the author explores the “why” and the “how” people have others in their lives and draws the attention of the reader to the scourge of this age: loneliness. Indeed, one can walk for miles and miles through a teeming crowd and still feel terribly lonely. In the stories featured in this book, the author shows how we connect with others for the wrong reasons and the wrong way, and while such connections might not show an immediate health concern, they aren’t healthy. He calls such connections misconnections and explores how they affect characters he has known. The author shares real experiences and encounters with his clients and shows readers how loneliness becomes a troubling issue that leads to suffering. I loved how J. W. Freiberg brings his experience as a social psychologist and lawyer into the book. Most of the characters whose stories are shared are the author’s clients and the analysis he makes of their cases is astonishing; it explores the theme of misconnection and how what we think are relationships do not benefit us. As I read through these pages, I could relive my personal experience of loneliness, even in the company of people I thought loved and valued me genuinely. That void and the disturbing sense of not belonging is a theme so well written about in this book that it becomes very illuminating to readers. Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone: A Lawyer’s Case Stories of Love, Loneliness, and Litigation is an eye-opening book with a message that contemporary readers need to hear. It is insightful, intelligently crafted, and filled with wisdom.
Brilliant book, brilliantly written. Highly recommended.

5.0 out of 5 stars – Reviewed By Viga Boland for Readers’ Favorite

Are you one of the millions out there who, like me, even in the midst of loved ones, on a deeper, almost secret level, feels very much alone, and hence often lonely? The colorful book cover of Surrounded by Others Yet So Alone by J.W. Freiberg, social psychologist and lawyer, illustrates this perfectly. But even more perfect illustrations of this antithesis are found in the five real stories Freiberg shares with readers in this, his second book focused on loneliness. Freiberg opens his book with a fascinating and comprehensive look at human connections and how they ultimately affect our relationships. That section alone is eye-opening. You might instantly recognize some of the things causing a disconnect between you and a spouse, a family member, or a co-worker. You’ll want to dog-ear those pages for future and further reflection. After this introduction, the sensitive and caring story-teller in J.W. Freiberg takes over from the psychologist, and readers become immersed in stories starring some amazing children; caring, successful parents lost in their secret pasts; a dedicated, well-meaning lawyer whose own profound loneliness nearly gets him disbarred; a battered wife whose own PTSD is as bad as that of her veteran mate, and a most unusual relationship between an oriental opera singer and their partner of several decades. Freiberg’s story-telling abilities made every case, even the legalities explored, of interest. But what is most unforgettable are the principal characters peopling the stories, and Freiberg’s skill in making them come alive on the page. By the time I read each person’s story, I felt I had known them for years, even the brilliant children whose ability at self-expression rivals that of many adults. I recognized the lonely heartache of the fat child who grew up feeling unloved and desperately in need of feeling worthwhile. And I related to that female victim of emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. These are all everyday people like you and me, but oh, how life and other people have impacted who they ultimately became. Surrounded by Others Yet So Alone is not a depressing book. Yes, its truths are profound and thought-provoking, but as Freiberg takes us through the complications of each case in his friendly style, often even poking fun at himself, readers cannot help but feel how lucky each of these characters was to have Freiberg in their corner. That most likely was not the author’s intention in writing this book but you can’t come away without hoping that if the need ever arises, each of us might find a Freiberg in our circle of friends. Brilliant book, brilliantly written. Highly recommended.
Extraordinary stories told by a master storyteller ...
“This book is a compilation of extraordinary stories told by a master storyteller. J. W. Freiberg has met some amazingly resilient survivors of a somewhat broken system and has told their tales with uncommon grace. His humanity, his compassion, and his love for the details of the law shine through his stories with clarity!”

Jacqueline Olds, MD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

A hell of a storyteller with some amazing tales to tell ...
“These surprising and moving stories draw us a vivid map of the many worlds of loneliness. J. W. Freiberg has so much to tell us about the causes of loneliness and what it’s like to be trapped there. And he’s a hell of a storyteller with some amazing tales to tell.”

Richard Schwartz, MD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Compelling and authoritative insights on loneliness … I strongly recommend this book ...

5.0 out of 5 stars –  “Compelling and authoritative insights on loneliness” by David Van Nuys (Shrink Rap Radio Podcast) , June 3, 2020

As a retired psychology professor and podcaster, I strongly recommend this book. Dr. J. W. Freiberg is both a social psychologist and an attorney. His research on loneliness is qualitative, consisting of hundreds of legal case consultations collected over a period of 30 years or so. This was in the context of his working for a legal firm whose job was to provide legal advice and back up to a variety of Boston social service agencies. When one thinks of the Law, the topic of loneliness is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, as Dr. Freiberg, who goes by the nickname Terry, looked back over all his case records, he found that some form of loneliness was at the root of most of the cases. He describes loneliness as a sensation rather than an emotion. He sees it as deeply rooted in our brain, underscoring our evolutionary history as social mammals, clumping together for safety. The sensation of being disconnected from the group evokes a kind of primal fear. Terry, sees loneliness as pandemic, not just in the U.S. but throughout the industrialized world. In fact, he says chronic loneliness is a relatively new phenomenon that did not exist before the Industrial Revolution. Terry has written a number of books on the topic of loneliness, of which Surrounded By Others And Yet So Alone is one of the most recent. In it, he characterizes five different types of social misconnections that lead to tragically isolated, lonely lives:
Tenuous connections
One-way connections
Fraudulent Connections
Obstructed Connections
Dangerous Connections
Each of these five are illustrated beautifully in an extended case story in his Surrounded By Others book.
Terry sees a great increase in chronic loneliness among today’s children, caused by the temporary relationships characterizing modern life and further aggravated by the social distance of social media.
The unfortunate co-occurrence of the covid-19 crisis will exacerbate the symptoms of those who are already struggling with social isolation.
Dr. Freiberg’s case stories are done with such story-telling skill that they have been likened to the writing of Oliver Saks. On that basis alone, whether or not one is interested in loneliness, I strongly recommend Surrounded By Others and Yet So Alone.

Review by NBY News

"A Master Storyteller" by NBY News

“A Master Storyteller” by NBY News

Surrounded By Others And Yet So Alone by J.W. Freiberg available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads. In this follow-up to his acclaimed book, Four Seasons of Loneliness (winner of the 2017 Independent Publishers Gold Prize as the best book of the year in Psychology / Mental Health), social psychologist turned lawyer J. W. Freiberg continues to explore chronic loneliness, one of modern society’s most serious public health crises. Freiberg explores the impact of faulty connections in failing relationships. But don’t expect to be lectured on the topic; you will find yourself reading a collection of deeply human stories. And that’s a good thing, because Freiberg is a master storyteller.

Independent Reviews

Fascinating stories from the author's case histories

5.0 out of 5 stars – Each vignette is a lavish spread of food for thought regarding the timeless, fundamental human need for connection, love and friendship.

In these four stories, the author explores and reveals a full range of human emotion -- from dismay at our capacity for cruelty to heartwarming optimism at our equal capacity for empathy and compassion.
Each case history is a stand-alone and very absorbing read for those who simply love a good human-interest story -- full of highly-relatable, sympathetic characters. And not a moment too soon, at a time when our ``entertainment`` media are increasingly filled with infantile subject matter, extreme, gratuitous violence and unimaginative, re-hashed story lines. Each vignette is a lavish spread of food for thought regarding the timeless, fundamental human need for connection, love and friendship.
The author's writing is richly detailed, very well-informed and compelling. These are, in other words, stories to sink your teeth into -- filled with pathos and humor and very artfully told.
Well done!

Linda Parrish

The most meaningful I have read in many years…

5.0 out of 5 stars – the most meaningful I have read in many years… – By Robert Dannin, Ph.D. May 11, 2020 – Verified Purchase

“J. W. Freiberg’s books, the most meaningful I have read in many years… eloquently written stories shed welcome light on the lives of chronically lonely individuals… Drawing from two careers, an early one as a university sociologist and a fulfilling sequel as a big city attorney, he redefines loneliness as a clinical disorder and offers a first-hand account of professional interventions in the tangled, heartbreaking anomie of children and adults whose very existence is imperiled by their social isolation…The more stories Freiberg tells, the greater the insight he lends to the increasingly complex problems of maintaining healthy emotional connections under rapidly changing social conditions… Freiberg’s books are likewise essential to understanding the future of family relationships… Some reviewers compare Freiberg’s writings to books by the late Dr. Oliver Sacks, renowned for unraveling the mysteries of the human brain in crisp Sherlockian style. Yet in pursuing the singular concept of loneliness, I think `{`Freiberg`}` advances the more fundamental dialectic between the individual and society as explored by the good Doctor Freud in Future of an Illusion and Civilization and its Discontents. More than a century later, we already inhabit a brave new world. The problem for all of us is how to avoid being stranded there without love.”

Robert Dannin, Ph.D.
New York University

Beautifully Written Stories About Unlikely Loneliness …

5.0 out of 5 stars – the most meaningful I have read in many years… – By Florence Chavez. May 5, 2020 – Verified Purchase

Loneliness is the sort of thing we think we are alone in experiencing and as such there was such an art in J.W. Freiberg's stories in ``Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone… this book is a reminder that loneliness is part of the human experience. It's something we all deal with (or don't deal with) and talking about it helps us to feel less alone…This book is beautifully written and a nice look at different forms of loneliness from a lawyer's perspective and cases…This book is an excellent escape on a cold spring day. Thank you!”
If there were six stars, he'd get one for this work …

5.0 out of 5 stars – Mental Health and the Law?  by atexasmarine, May 16, 2020

As a sufferer from anxiety, depression, and PTSD, I found this book very meaningful to me on a personal level. In this book, Mr. Freiberg tells his stories as a lawyer helping those with mental illness and other issues overcome legal battles. In one case, a battle where the mother passes away, leaving the child in an unusual predicament. The biological father is unaware of the child's existence and lives in a foreign country. The mother did not marry the only father the child has known. This and other cases are written in a vivid and interesting style that keeps you wanting to read until the end of each case so you know how it turns out. I found it well written and almost like fiction. If there were six stars, he'd get one for this work.
Relatable in so many ways ...

5.0 out of 5 stars –  “Relatable in so many ways” by Meg, May 23, 2020

I was hesitant to read anything too deep or reflective since I've been trying to cope/manage/survive through an emotional roller coaster that kept trucking right into the country's lockdown status for the COVID-19 crisis. I am the go-to for counseling when my child, very emotional and anxiety-driven, goes to. I am the manager, teacher, friend, parent, counselor, nurse, employee, chef, janitor, maid, assistant, boss in this home...and I'm also struggling, but I don't have an outlet. I'm everyone's go-to, but I have no go-to myself. So, I've been skirting around acknowledging this to avoid confronting it and feeling worse. After a particularly difficult day with family dynamics, I decided the book could put me no further down the loneliness rabbit hole that I really already was, despite my trying to compartmentalize and ignore it. I'M SO RELIEVED I READ THIS BOOK. I cannot stress enough how simply reading these tales of others' struggles and realizations made me feel less alone, though nothing really changed in any other way.
Aside from how this book impacted me personally, I need to emphasize how eloquently the author writes. I felt like I could pick up the phone and call him and he'd be immediately warm and engaging. He has a gift that really is one-in-a-million. He's not pushy or preachy, but I felt Mr. Freiberg was just in-tune and educated with that kindness that cannot be taught or learned; it's simply innate.
I highly recommend this book if you need a connection that you can't put your finger on, or if you feel like someone in your life can use some steering into the light.
I absolutely love each tale and can identify ... I recommend this to anyone interested in legal cases, loneliness, and examples of amazing humanity ...

5.0 out of 5 stars –  “Loneliness is a far greater problem than one thinks” by Carleen Markivich, May 17, 2020

This book was definitely eye opening but a tough pill to swallow during the CoVid-19 pandemic. As people are confined to their homes, a greater sense of loneliness has become more apparent. Even though this book reads as fictitious, it is in fact a non fiction book. I absolutely love each tale and can identify and feel the pain of loneliness in each story. It’s interesting to see how legality and government restrictions can enforce change in our lives both good and bad. One doesn’t always equate love as the antithesis of loneliness, but in many ways it helps ease the burden that it causes. This book is separated into multiple cases which allows the reader to pick and choose which case to read. All of the cases are independent of each other but it is so difficult not to read through the entire book in one sitting. Especially now, people feel a sense of camaraderie with feelings of loneliness and all are seeking ways to help each other not feel so alone. This book is written beautifully and actually gives one a semblance of peace especially now. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in legal cases, loneliness, and just plain examples of amazing humanity.
I could find myself drawn into each story ...

5.0 out of 5 stars –  “a great snapshot of life today” by Stacey E. Vance, May 19, 2020

I am surely not alone in feeling some sense of loneliness during this uncertain time. Even though I am home with my family, and totally busy, I feel a real sense of loss and loneliness at looking back at past social interactions and normalities, and am uneasy about the uncertainty that lies ahead. Surrounded By Others is not a true story, though it could be, especially now. Restrictions and laws make their way into each of the stories within the book, and can create either a good or a bad outcome for those involved. good and bad. The one thing that seems to be constant throughout the stories, other than the overarching theme of loneliness, is love. The presence or absence of love within each can have an effect on the people involved, though not always in the ways we predict at the start. It is a very well written book, and I could find myself drawn into each story, even if I didn't think I had much in common with the characters in each one. I would recommend this book. It is a fast read, and it draws the reader in for the ride.
An intriguing roller coaster ride--as entertaining as any detective genre!

5.0 out of 5 stars –  “An intriguing roller coaster ride–as entertaining as any detective genre!” by snarkyshark, May 22, 2020

I very much enjoyed this book! I didn't even realize I was learning important facts about sociology and other related psychological dynamics throughout. In this book, you will find intriguing stories that keep you on the edge of your seat. I had to basically finish each vignette within a day, because of the suspense. What is even more interesting to me, is that all of these stories are true--taken from a Social Psychologist/Lawyer's case files! For a few pages in each story, the author weaves in a few facts or anecdotes about different types of loneliness (such as ``Dangerous Connections``), that are not the ``stereotype`` of the loner, but the very types of relationships that people can become engaged with--that can result in chronic toxic loneliness.
I loved it!

Growing Up Lonely

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The more stories Freiberg tells, the greater the insight …

5.0 out of 5 stars – The more stories Freiberg tells, the greater the insight … – By Robert Dannin, Ph.D. May 11, 2020 – Verified Purchase

“The more stories Freiberg tells, the greater the insight he lends to the increasingly complex problems of maintaining healthy emotional connections under rapidly changing social conditions. He also provides supplementary commentary. Growing Up Lonely includes essays by medical doctors explaining the critical role of nurturing in infancy and the resulting dysfunctions when normative processes are disrupted. Their recommendations alert readers to the dangers of parental distraction in a world of 24/7 work and excessive screen time that substitutes poorly for face-to-face connections. This can distort the neural pathways and produce unforeseen abreactions to the stresses of modern life. One child psychiatrist proposes this as a possible explanation for the ongoing tragedy of school massacres.”
Unusually well written!

5.0 out of 5 stars – Unusually well written! … – By John F. Menzel, May 11, 2020 – Verified Purchase

``Excellent insights, well written, the words flowed easily!``
I urge you to read it.

5.0 out of 5 stars – I urge you to read it. … – John A Nesbitt, Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2020

Freiberg and his colleagues shine a bright light on a subject which for too long has been shrouded in darkness- loneliness and the broken connections which make it possible. This book will make you think about loneliness in new ways. I urge you to read it.

Four Seasons Of Loneliness

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These Cases are lessons on loneliess

5.0 out of 5 stars – These Cases are lessons on loneliess – By Andrea Smithon January 18, 2017 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Four Seasons of Loneliness made me think long and hard. Long about my life and the lonely people in the world. The stories shared will tug at your heart strings and they are bittersweet. I often wondered about Ashley and especially Seth Doe's fate. It's dark and disturbing and Hollywood could not create such a plot of of wicked sexual abuse. How this comes into play is that the authorities were alerted about these deeds and the children are taken from their family. Despite these wrongs the children feel a great sense of loss. Sad but true. Another narrative that struck a chord is the fall of the truck driver. Caradelli accidently kills a young woman with his vehicle and this leads to a lawsuit. The company he works for is also to blame. The man feels remorse. He is ready to face the family of the deceased during the court proceedings and take responsibility. You understand how close Jennifer and her mother were and the father's regret. The truck driver recounts to Terry his sense of isolation. He finds solace in his books but it is not a true replacement for actual human interaction. Perhaps he couldn't relate to anyone or his father's rejection caused him to retreat from seeking connections, The saga of Henry Huddleston resonated the most with me. He lost love and he gave up hope for himself. He devoted his life studying the history of romantic love. There was a point in my life that I didn't wish to form any further attachments. My heart was heavy and I was at the abyss yet I came to my senses after reading about him. Life is better with someone to share it.
A wonderfully written word that is an absolute must read

5.0 out of 5 stars – A wonderfully written word that is an absolute must read. – By TCoatson January 9, 2017 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I have worked in the legal field and the courtroom handling domestic relations cases, and this book is an absolute must read! I have encountered many individuals who have been so severely affected by the lack of connections and live with this void. The characters we meet in this book have a little bit of each of us in them, and they show us that it is a dreadful existence when you cannot find that specific connection. I cannot get over how this book speaks to me. On a professional level, this book is an example of life, but on a personal level, I find myself realizing everyday the people around me.
J. W. Freiberg writes with such clarity and ease, that I couldn't put this book down, and have read it many times over. He focuses on his word choice and has great descriptions, making the words jump out and paint a picture. Not only does this book have an incredible message, it is written in a way that rings true. J. W. Freiberg has a huge wealth of knowledge and has put that down in writing.

I loved this book!

Very thought provoking read

5.0 out of 5 stars – Very thought provoking read – By mlsternon January 22, 2017 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

In this book, J.W. Freiberg writes about four different case studies that share a common theme: loneliness. Each one of the cases follows a different individual from Freiberg’s point of view, who has somehow found themselves completely alone in the world. Two of the individuals have found themselves alone because of the influence of other people; the other two, by way of personal choice. Freiberg possesses talent in writing with great detail. He does a wonderful job in keeping the topic light, interesting, yet also serious. Each story grabs you and pulls you in just like you’re right there experiencing it with him. The topic is thought provoking and I found myself thinking about the topic of loneliness when I wasn’t reading the book. In the end, Freiberg warns us that loneliness is a growing problem in America, but he doesn’t end the book with that startling thought. He provides what he believes is a solution. He tells us that connections are the key to combating loneliness and as I pondered the book after I had finished reading it, I realized how much that hits home for me. I’m an introvert through and through, and I usually choose to be by myself, but being alone for a time makes me realize that I most definitely crave conversation and time with my friends and family. This book made me realize that if I were to stop tending to my connections completely, then I would most likely experience true loneliness.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and what it has to offer. I would recommend it for anyone who likes to read about topics that are thought provoking.

Absolutely amazing!

5.0 out of 5 stars – Absolutely amazing! Freiberg comes across as a very perceptive – By Amy3820 on December 27, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Absolutely amazing! Freiberg comes across as a very perceptive and introspective person.
Loneliness is a part of life and how a person deals with it can be life defining. Freiberg uses his background in social psychology, his experience as a lawyer, and his great compassion to write an absolutely amazing case study on loneliness. Freiberg meets some of the loneliest people through his work as a lawyer. He quickly finds that he is referred many clients due to his background in psychology. This allows him to work and learn from many different people. Freiberg uses the examples of an abused child (Seth Doe), a political prisoner (Sidney Rittenberg), a truck driver (Paul Cardarelli), and a history professor (Henry Huddleston) to describe different types of loneliness.
Freiberg is able to bring his clients to life! Each character is in a different “season” of life and no two characters make the same choices to deal with their loneliness. Freiberg uses his clients to show how devastating loneliness can be. His hope is to push people to get involved and not allow loneliness to rule their lives.
I was hooked from the first chapter of this book. Freiberg has a very clean writing style that could be attributed to his many years in academia. He is able to intertwine his own life into the telling of the story. This allowed for his compassionate nature to show throughout the four different stories. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in how actions can change a person’s life.
Would also become one of my favorite authors!

5.0 out of 5 stars – Would also become one of my favorite authors!  – By Amazon Customer on January 15, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

When I read J.W. Freiberg's book I had no premonition nor was I prepared for the compelling and abundant insight that pervades his book.Years prior, I had been witness to Freiberg's sensitivity and compassion when he fashioned a living will while in the presence of my dying wife; a will that left her secure in the belief that her life was not in vain and that her children would be taken care of.
So I had no idea when I picked up his book to read by my fireplace late one night that Freiberg, in addition to being my favored attorney, would also become one of my favorite authors!
Choosing four legal cases from a long and successful career as an attorney-- cases which he followed as closely as any attorney has ever monitored a case-- he weaves these actual life stories into a compelling and altogether engaging way of looking at the consequences of sustained loneliness. His merit as a writer, as an author of exceptional and low-key brilliance, is such that you find yourself easily and compassionately drawn into the lives of his clients, victims of their own immeasurable and inescapable loneliness. You side with no one. Strangely, you observe the``slings and arrows of outrageous fortune`` with wonder and empathy as you are guided gently through the author's observations, and insights into an understanding of how hopelessness, longing, and despair engulfed these clients' lives. This book is a work of love, compassion and unusual perception into the dedication of a man who chose not to simply live his life as a successful professor of social psychology and attorney at law, but who also took the time to share with us the details of the lives of clients who touched his sensibilities throughout his career. He has given us a gem of compassion to ponder. Read this book, absorb its message, and do everything it suggests to never fall prey to the four seasons of loneliness. And in the process, you'll develop a lot more sympathy for those who do.

Tommy Thompson,
Faculty, Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University
Eye opening information

5.0 out of 5 stars – Eye opening information – By J.C.H.on October 21, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I found this to be a very interesting read as I love psychology. The author is a lawyer who helps people who have some sort of psychological need in their legal cases in Boston. He compared writing about loneliness and connections to not being able to write about hunger without writing about food. I have been able to see for myself people of all ages experience being lonely. As the author says, Its not just elderly in nursing homes that experience. He gives examples of people from different backgrounds and ages that experience loneliness.
In this book there are 4 seasons of loneliness described. In the Spring, Seth Doe and Ashley Doe’s lives are ruined by incest and sexual molestation. They experience loneliness when a judge takes them from their family and they are placed in separate foster homes. Their adoptive parents then disown Seth and left him to fend for himself in the judicial system until he ages out.
Summer is about a man that was in the prime of his life and how he spent 15 years of his life in solitary confinement in Mao-era China. He is accused of being an American spy by people he trusted while trying to immerse himself into the Mandrin culture.
Fall is about a truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel of his semi-truck and killed a young twenty-six-year-old girl. His only friends were his books as he read literature and other extraordinary authors that keeps him from interacting with anyone in his life.
Winter is about a Professor who wrote about the history of love but forgot to find others in his life to love and to die all alone without any family.
Like peeling back layers of an onion

5.0 out of 5 stars – Like peeling back layers of an onion – ByDOTRAZNon October 7, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

This is an essential read! Freiberg has shared something that has the objectiveness of a law professor with the compassion of a social worker. The end result is a compelling work of different lives that all share the common theme of isolation, self-imposed or otherwise. Like peeling back layers of an onion, we get to experience the world as these individuals see it. No judgement or patronizing narratives but rather a matter of fact explanation of how people can become lonely in our modern society. It can be assuming that with so much social media and virtual and physical connections in society that isolation seems challenging to achieve. What Four Season of Loneliness displays is the reality that sheer will power and desire for human connections is not enough anymore to free certain individuals from self-imposed or even actual prisons.What I was left with from reading this book is the overwhelming sense that by our nature, humans are social beings. We crave and need human interactions in order to thrive, no matter how much we may be denied this. I've never been incarcerated, labeled a sexual deviant by society, nor disarmingly anti-social. By reading this book, I can empathize with others who can easily identify with these stories and reaffirm our necessity to belong in our society. If anything, it's a staunch reminder that the impact of isolation can start small, than quickly snowball into habit. I feel compelled to strengthen the bonds and relationships in my life today in order to reaffirm the vitalizing benefits of the company of others.
Thank you J.W. Freiberg!

5.0 out of 5 stars – Thank you J.W. Freiberg! – By Florence Chavezon – October 19, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

This was a hard book for me to read, but I couldn't stop. The stories were so depressing and hard to read about, but written so well and so thought provoking that I couldn't help but read and think about. I finished this book several weeks ago, but am still thinking about how I can reach out and find new people to interact with in my life. I was talking with my husband several days ago about something he heard on the radio about how only half of the people you think are your friends would consider you a friend back. It was depressing, and made me feel lonely, even though I don't even know if that's necessarily true personally. I have struggled with loneliness for several extended periods of time in my adult life. I live in an area that is extremely transient, and it seems like every 3-4 years I am forced to find new social interactions (I'm a stay at home parent, and not bound to an office with fulfilling adult interaction), which can be extremely hard for me (I'm very quiet, reserved and introverted). This book has helped me see that although I have been lonely, it hasn't been to the extent of others, and I can find ways to reach out to others to fill the need I have in myself (through playgroups, church, story time, and being brave!). This book will stay with me for a long time, and I appreciate Freiberg bringing to light something uncomfortable that I don't think we talk about enough.
Captivating from the first word!

5.0 out of 5 stars – Captivating from the first word! – By Joan Loraineon – November 7, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

J.W. Freiberg has written a book that describes Loneliness to a perfect T. He explains the difference between being alone and being lonely. And also the different ways one can feel lonely. Sometimes one can feel lonely even in a crowd of people. One can feel lonely because they have no connections to people...they feel lost and that no one cares and no one loves them. These people are by themselves in the world. There was the man who was imprisoned, not once...but twice. He was kept in solitary confinement for months...years. He learned how to be his own company, but it changed who he related to those in the outside world. Loneliness can come in all forms. The author tells the story of the truck driver who broke the law because it wasn't enforced by his company...in fact it was encouraged...in order to get where they're going on time. Because he broke the law, there was an accident that killed a young person. This truck driver spent so much time on the road. He was lonely. But he found his escape in books. All of these people handled their loneliness in different ways..some in healthy ways...some in destructive ways.This book is so well written that I was intrigued from the beginning. I would recommend this book to anyone!
WOW. Just wow.

5.0 out of 5 stars – WOW. Just wow. – ByJill Bakeron October 17, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

``Four Seasons of Loneliness`` is undoubtedly the deepest, most meaningful book I have read in a long time. J.W. Freiberg takes us through four very unique experiences he encountered as an attorney cross sociologist. Please be forewarned that these stories are for the faint of heart; they dive deep into the realms of a person's psyche and explore the rawness of the spirit when exposed to certain surroundings. I gravitated to Freiberg's diction immediately and felt myself immersed into each story as if I knew the characters personally. If you are like me, you will find yourself wanting to reach out to overwhelm each of these people with loving kindness and show them that their experiences are the complete opposite of what living ought to entail. Reading this realm of horrendous human experience redefined my known spectrum of a human's ability to cope and adapt. I promise you that you will not want to put down this book.
Four Season of Loneliness

5.0 out of 5 stars – Four Season of Loneliness – By KMon – October 21, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

In Four Seasons of Loneliness, a lawyer relates four cases that tie to the feeling of loneliness and isolation, each relating to the spring, summer, autumn, and winter seasons of life. By choosing stories and experiences that relate to different parts of the cycle of a life, Freiberg hints at the connections that are necessary for development, security, and happiness, and shows how destructive it can be on one’s life when we do not or cannot have healthy human relationships. The stories are sad and sometimes hard to read (one focuses on a child who has been sexually abused), but give insight into how circumstances beyond our control can conspire to create impossible situations for the powerful connections people so desperately need. Freiberg explores loneliness through these stories, and I think that these sometimes extreme cases can give insight into the way people become disconnected and the effects it has on us all.
Not for the soft of heart-- this book with affect your emotions

5.0 out of 5 stars – Not for the soft of heart– this book with affect your emotions – By Belleon – October 21, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I was immediately attracted this book. As someone recently diagnosed with depression and that struggles with loneliness, I was inspired and saddened by this book. It has a two-fold reaction as it immerses the reader in the deep emotions of the 4 cases. I was inspired to know that there are others out there suffering from loneliness, and as hard as this is to admit, that they are worse off than I. My circumstances are mild compared to the abuse, guilt, and isolation that the people in the 4 stories experience. That is also what deeply saddened me. I would consider myself an empath, and I could relate to the devastation that the cases faced. The one case told the story of a man in solitary confinement in Mao-ist China. I felt that was a great parable for all the cases, and for all who suffer from loneliness--- it is like living by yourself in a prison. This work is not for the soft of heart-- only in the sense that you will be affected by it. A solid read that makes you think and do a lot of soul searching.
I recommend this book to everyone

5.0 out of 5 stars – I recommend this book to everyone – By K. Allison Davison – October 11, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

This book provides the stories of four individuals and their different lives of loneliness. I believe most people can relate to this book in some way. We have all had a time in our life where we felt completely alone. I was able to relate when my husband was deployed during my entire pregnancy and left again shortly after having our son. We lived out in the woods so I have no friends anywhere close and he had gone back to Alaska since he was active duty army. It was one of the most challenging times of my life. I recommend this book to everyone, I hope that it would make each person reevaluate their personal relationships and find ways to improve not only their personal lives but of those around them. I have since joined a community moms club where we keep each company instead of being trapped in the house raising small children all day alone. Great Book!
Emotional and peaceful at the same time

5.0 out of 5 stars – Emotional and peaceful at the same time. – By Shani K.on October 19, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

For me this was an emotional read for me. It was also hard at some points because of the deeply harsh realities of the stories. As someone who has walked through so much, I figured it wouldn’t effect me this much. But it did because it’s a reminder that even with all of that, there are those who have suffered in different ways and have felt such a tremendous loss through actions, moments, trauma, etc. It’s hard not to feel some type of empathy or sympathy for at least one of the characters depicted within the book. I connected and it took me several days to finish the book because of it. It’s like having your feelings and words validated without having to share it. I felt a kinship and maybe even a better understanding of what it means to truly live on through things. Really it’s an exceptional book that helps guide you into finding a bit of peace.
I was unsure about it because it was reading about how lonely some people have been

5.0 out of 5 stars – I was unsure about it because it was reading about how lonely some people have been and so I knew that I was going to be reading s – By jksmith4 on October 18, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

This book was different than those that I usually read. I was unsure about it because it was reading abo how lonely some people have been and so I knew that I was going to be reading some sad stories and I am a sap. The writer wrote of four people who were lonely in four different ways. This shows how wide the idea of lonely is. I probably overthink it but would like to think that how the author got the idea of the four seasons of loneliness, besides the stories settings. In one general year (the idea of loneliness) there are four different seasons (multiple forms). I liked that at the end of the book the author tied the book together to encourage different relationships. I would recommend this book because I think that most people have either experienced a terrible season of loneliness or knows someone who has.
Great book, great writing!

5.0 out of 5 stars – Great book, great writing! – By Bonnie P. on September 24, 2016 – Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

I loved this book. At first I wasn't sure I wanted to read it because I wasn't sure I wanted to read a book that might be depressing. However, Mr. Freiberg is is an excellent writer who shares four individual stories about four clients who were lonely in very different ways. But there was so much more to these stories. I was enchanted with the depth of the writing and how well the author detailed these four particular clients. And then at the end of the book Mr. Freiberg takes a few pages to remind the reader about the purpose of the book; to nurture your current connections and relationships, make new connections, take the time to volunteer, join a social club or community and just get out there. Again, great book. Loved it! Highly recommend it for the lesson of course, but also for some very interesting reading.
We need personal communication!!!

5.0 out of 5 stars – We need personal communication!!! – By Kate Wilson on October 21, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I liked the honesty that was showcased throughout the stories. My coworkers and I discussed the possibilities that are offered single people and married couples when it comes to finding what one wants in a relationship.
All my one coworker wanted was someone to talk to about things that interested them both. To have real discussions that are often lacking in our world full of technology.
I appreciated the viewpoints even though the stories were sad. They gave me a lot to think about in today's society and our relationships.
The thing about loneliness is that it is defined differently by each person

5.0 out of 5 stars – The thing about loneliness is that it is defined differently by each person and it isn’t always easy to identify – By JP on October 21, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I know someone with a situation very similar to one in this book, which is why it struck a special chord with me. Reading this helped give me some insight to the situation and what they may be feeling, why they may do what they do and how I may be able to help them. The thing about loneliness is that it is defined differently by each person and it isn’t always easy to identify. While this was a sad read, I found something I could relate to in each of these stories shared and felt moved by each one. It also really put things into perspective for me and made me grateful for the people and opportunities I have in my life.
A Great Book

5.0 out of 5 stars – A Great Book – By makes me happy – on October 10, 2016 – Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

I will write a revue of this book but first know who I am. I am a sister of the author and I am a Ph.D. psychologist. Over the years we have discussed many of his cases and I have been fascinated by them. I have always said that when the time comes he should write a book! For once he listened to his big sister and followed my suggestion. I must say, in my wildest dreams the book he would write would never be THIS good !! All I can say is, read it, and you will be so glad you did !!
The Need for Genuine Human Interactions

5.0 out of 5 stars – The Need for Genuine Human Interactions – By Marilyn on October 5, 2016 – Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

The stories in this were so poignant and heartbreaking that I had to remind myself that they were not just the creative masterpieces of an excellent writer, but the results of real life hardships. From the young man that was unfortunate enough to be born into a loving, but dysfunctional family to the men that retreated into reading and academics for comfort, I identified with the characters so much that I found myself wishing that the stories were not based on actual experiences. I believe we all find ourselves deeply alone in our private thoughts from time to time, and this book portrays the extent to which a person will reach to escape the chronic isolation that is not meant to be a part of our human condition. I was especially touched by the tragic realizations of the young man, the truck driver and the professor, and to note the tenacity and the calm spirituality of the imprisoned individual only begins to describe the depths of my admiration for him. In this day of superficial, technological relationships, this book is a humble reminder of the need to connect with others at a deep and meaningful level.
An invaluable addition to my library

5.0 out of 5 stars – His very thoughtful treatise on both love and loneliness makes this book an invaluable addition to my library – By Howard Davison – September 18, 2016 – Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

A truly thought provoking book. As someone who has suffered mightily at the hand of loneliness I related to every one of Mr Freiberg's stories.
His very thoughtful treatise on both love and loneliness makes this book an invaluable addition to my library.
A book well worth reading and one I couldn’t put down

5.0 out of 5 stars – A book well worth reading and one I couldn’t put down. – By Ellen on September 20, 2016 – Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

Loneliness is a state increasingly acknowledged as a precursor for decline in both physical and mental health. The cases the author shares with us are riveting and provide us unique insights into the choices and circumstances that may lead one into a life of solitude. A book well worth reading and one I couldn’t put down.
Compelling, heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time

5.0 out of 5 stars – Compelling, heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. – By Amazon Customer on November 1, 2016 – Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

This book is simply amazing. Food for thought at so many levels that it's hard to describe. An in-depth look at the human soul. A well written analysis on the impact of social isolation. But also a strong reminder for appreciating life and the opportunities for connection it offers along the way. As the author states, something we all need to constantly work on and never give for granted. Highly recommended read.
The author did a wonderful job with the compilation of these stories

5.0 out of 5 stars – The author did a wonderful job with the compilation of these stories – By Amazon Customer on November 13, 2016 – Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

The author did a wonderful job with the compilation of these stories ! Each story touching in their own way , yet all fitting into the central theme.
Beautifully written and easy to read. This book was hard to put down, and left me wanting to read more . I hope the author has more stories and books to share soon.
One of the finest and most poignant books that I have ever read

5.0 out of 5 stars – One of the finest and most poignant books that I have ever read. – By  Todd Kwait on September 5, 2016 – Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

A masterwork. In my mind, one of the most important books that I have read in quite some time. Beautifully written and a challenge to put down.
What a wonderful book! It was impossible to put down

5.0 out of 5 stars – What a wonderful book! It was impossible to put down once … – By Jeff W on October 9, 2016 – Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

What a wonderful book! It was impossible to put down once started. The author shares 4 amazing stories with a very strong message to tie them all together. A must read!
Five Stars

5.0 out of 5 stars – Five Stars – By Amazon Customer on October 3, 2016 – Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

If only these stories were not true. They keep you grounded.