• This Will All Be Over Soon

  • A Memoir
  • By: Cecily Strong
  • Narrated by: Cecily Strong
  • Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (390 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A powerful memoir from the Saturday Night Live cast member Cecily Strong about grieving the death of her cousin - and embracing the life-affirming lessons he taught her - amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cecily Strong had a special bond with her cousin Owen. And so she was devastated when, in early 2020, he passed away at age 30 from the brain cancer glioblastoma. Before Strong could attempt to process her grief, another tragedy struck: the coronavirus pandemic. Following a few harrowing weeks in the virus epicenter of New York City, Strong relocated to an isolated house in the woods upstate. Here, trying to make sense of Owen’s death and the upended world, she spent much of the ensuing months writing. The result is This Will All Be Over Soon - a raw, unflinching memoir about loss, love, laughter, and hope.

Befitting the time-warped year of 2020, the diary-like approach deftly weaves together the present and the past. Strong chronicles the challenges of beginning a relationship during the pandemic and the fear when her new boyfriend contracts COVID. She describes the pain of losing her friend and longtime Saturday Night Live staff member Hal Willner to the virus. She reflects on formative events from her life, including how her high school expulsion led to her pursuing a career in theater and, years later, landing at SNL.

Yet the heart of the book is Owen. Strong offers a poignant account of her cousin’s life, both before and after his diagnosis. Inspired by his unshakable positivity and the valuable lessons he taught her, she has written a book that - as indicated by its title - serves as a moving reminder: Whatever challenges life might throw one’s way, they will be over soon. And so will life. So make sure to appreciate every day, and don’t take a second of it for granted.

©2021 Cecily Strong. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about This Will All Be Over Soon

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book, from the heart❤️

I give Cecily Strong a lot of credit. She sure went through a lot during this Covid Pandemic. I guess we all have? I loss my brother to Covid in October 2020. I could relate to her hurt, loss and grief. I cried a lot while listening to this book, but it made feel good that I wasn’t alone. Someone else felt like I did. Thank you Cecily Strong.

9 people found this helpful

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Love Cecily and She Needed An Editor

There’s a great book in here somewhere. One feels unkind leaving a negative review on a memoir about a women’s journey through grief, but I’m truly commenting on the writing not the content. I love Cecily and Im happy she wrote this book. That being said, I find this current genre of “memoir” difficult to read. There’s a current genre of writing that I don’t really consider “writing,” I consider it musings. I think many things get labeled memoir when they are often published journals, trains of thought, or things of that nature.

Cecily has essentially published her journal during Covid that reflects on the death of her cousin, her reactions to the pandemic and her mental health. It’s a very beautiful and brave effort. For that reason, it’s important. It’s a truly heartbreaking loss that impacted her greatly. I wish it were articulated better. Many celebrities today use the shorthand of your relationship to them via social media to do the work of creating intimacy on the page. She’s not a writer and her editor didn’t hold her to constructing her world. She doesn’t go into great detail about her family of origin or her life in general. You’re just supposed to buy in because you like Cecily. And we do. I do. I love her. But I found the narrative lacking. I wasn’t compelled. In short sentences, run ons, incomplete sentences and text conversations the journal, which is dated during the pandemic,
often time hops and not very clearly. She tells you how she is feeling and often doesn’t elaborate. She often repeats the same sentiments.

Overall, I liked the book but I felt it lacked depth and was poorly written and organized. Like I said, it feels mean to criticize such an earnest offering. I listened to the audiobook which I feel probably was more coherent than trying to read the prose. I think this would make a more compelling one women show.

One of my favorite memoir authors, Mary Karr talks about how memoir should be “carnal” meaning the language should evoke imagery in the readers mind. It should be detailed and visceral and rich. That is the yardstick I often use for memoir. In this memoir I felt the prose was never fleshed out from Cecily’s memories and this is where her editor failed her. None or very limited descriptions, limited adjectives and the scenes she lived are never fleshed out carnally for the reader. She expects the reader to just get it because it meant something to her. In my opinion, that is a failure as writer. Not everyone will agree with me. As a person, she’s an incredible and lovely human being and I am in awe of her. I just wish the book were better.

7 people found this helpful

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Raw, heartbreaking, honest

I found this book a very moving and authentic story of her covid year and the themes of grief and vulnerability. Most of the focus is on her sense of terrible loss and grief following the death, in January 2020, of her 30 year old cousin from brain cancer. But we also get background on Cecily’s family, especially her difficult high school years and first long term relationship, and some about her closest friends (not from SNL). This book would never have been published if the author was not a celebrity, but if you understand not to expect much about SNL, and that it’s a meditation on grief and the power of love, and only incidentally funny, you may still find it very worthwhile. She’s very observant, articulate, and endearing.

7 people found this helpful

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Foul language is like a punch in the gut!

Hated her politics. She is immoral yet worried about being political correct
Very difficult to listen and be interested.
I want my money back.

7 people found this helpful

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Diary of an author who happens to be on TV

The personal journal entries of Cecily during a devastating time in her life. This book doesn't contain any comedy, SNL stories, or Second City memories. If you have lost a family member to brain cancer, you may get something from this book. If you just like Cecily or SNL, there's not much here for you.

7 people found this helpful

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Never Meet Your Heroes I Guess?

Cecily is a hilarious talent and she is terrific in everything I've seen her in. Wish I would not have read this though. Writing might not be her best quality and that is perfectly okay. 0% funny and that is also okay since this is all about her grief. However this comes off as a monotonous pity party diary of a rich person, that was the most disappointing thing. There were touching parts at times so it wasn't all terrible. Having to hear her read family text threads was cringe worthy boring. Maybe she got bad editing advice.

5 people found this helpful

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Cecile is real and very human.

Cecily tells a real story without ego. She reveals her fear and is honest. How rare in a superficial world.

5 people found this helpful

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Cathartic

Cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It felt authentic, honest, inspiring and funny. It's a must listen to especially after what we have all gone through (in our own journeys) in the past couple years.

5 people found this helpful

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Heartfelt but disappointing

The seeds of a good book are in here. If Strong had paid as much attention to nurturing the story as she did to her pandemic basil plants, this would have been a more satisfying experience. As it’s structured, however, it feels like she just published diary entries. I think her editors and publisher did her a disservice here.

3 people found this helpful

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Love and loss and humor, plus the pandemic

This book is a lovely tribute to a lost loved one. The author has a unique perspective on the pandemic in NYC, at SNL and in her own life. I enjoyed the book.

3 people found this helpful