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The Requirement of Grief, by Danielle Ariano

Danielle Ariano spends much of her childhood in suburban Philadelphia, trying to mimic her older sister Alexis: the way she dresses, speaks, even the way she stands when she smokes. But at 12, Ariano gets the first clue that all might not be well in Alexis’s inner world, when her sister locks herself in a bathroom and swallows a handful of aspirin. This is the first of 13 suicide attempts that will span 30 years.

The Requirement of Grief lays bare the relationship between two sisters and the bond that remains in the wake of a suicide. In startlingly honest prose, Ariano tracks her grief journey chronologically through days, months, and years; all the way through the birth of her first son. But will the unparalleled new joy of motherhood be powerful enough to drive out her grief?

Equal parts shatteringly sad and infinitely hopeful, The Requirement of Grief, tells the story of one person learning to bear the unbearable.

Ariano’s prose perfectly articulates the rollercoaster of emotions we confront in the grieving process, showing us that we are not alone. I highly recommend that you not only read this book but use it as a tool to give yourself grace and to understand that healing takes time

– D Watkins, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Cook Up and Black Boy Smile

In The Requirement of Grief, Danielle Ariano employs exquisite language to create a beautifully rendered account of her beloved sister’s suicide and her own hard-won healing. Ariano’s deft use of language and fast-paced structure create a story that will leave family members with hope.

— Susan Kushner Resnick, author of You Saved Me, Too

With breathtaking honesty, poignancy, and even humor, Ariano grapples with the conflicting emotions of love and resentment, of idolization and vexation, as she witnesses her gifted sister’s mental acuity spiraling out of control. This is the book for everyone who has loved someone against all odds.

-Judith Krummeck, author of Old New Worlds

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